Friday, 8 January 2010

Sleb Mastermind - Show 10

Celebrity Mastermind – show 10 – Thursday 7th January

Well, you wait all day for a Celebrity Mastermind show , then two come along at once. Well, not quite at once, but you know what I mean. Actually, I don’t know this for certain, but I guess that they’ve squeezed in two shows on the same night so as not to conflict with the return of proper Mastermind on Friday 8th. Which is rather an ironic twist, since in the past its always been the original show that’s been shoved from pillar to post to make way for the other versions.

Well before I go off on one of those rants again, I’d better stick to the events of the show in hand for now. So we’ll kick off with soul singer Beverly Knight. On behalf of the Terence Higgins Trust, she answered questions on the Life and Career of Prince. This was a very fine round, and only a bit of a hesitation and pass on the penultimate question provided a slight stumble. 16 points set the bar at an impressive height for our next three contenders to have to aspire to.

First of the remaining three to try was world snooker champion John Higgins, as casually dressed as Beverly Knight was elegantly attired. His chosen charity was the British Institute for Brain Injured Children, and his specialist subject was the American TV soap opera Dallas. Thus followed a round in which a couple of venerable Dallas chestnuts were thrown up, such as who really shot JR ? However most of these questions required a deeper knowledge of the show than this, and fair play to John Higgins, 13 looked like a good score to me.

Gorseinon born MP Michael Howard , representing Home-Start Shepway, offered us Liverpool FC in the 1980s. Following the performance of the last MP we had on sleb MM, poor David Lammy last year, he’s a brave man. Still, his love of Liverpool FC is actually quite well documented, and being that he picked only 10 years of their history, albeit 10 of the most eventful years, surely he would do well ? He didn’t do that badly, either. 12 points is certainly a respectable score, although it did put him at a 4 point disadvantage, with one player still to go in the first round.

That player was none other than weatherman Alex Deakin, who’d put on his best suit and tie for the occasion. His fee was donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, nd his specialist subject was the band The Stone Roses. Mad for it ! Actually, I think he probably is mad for it, since he scored a very good 14 points and no passes to put him just a couple of points behind Beverly Knight. Good effort.

Perhaps Anne Widdicombe was being very unfair when she suggested that there was something of the night about Michael Howard, but I must admit I found it difficult to warm to him as John Humphrys chatted to him between rounds. Not that he’d mind that, as he said himself that you ought not to put popularity on the top of your list as a politician. John told him it was anybody’s game, but as the round went on it became clearer that it wasn’t going to be Michael Howard’s. He scored 5. John Higgins engagingly admitted to John Humphrys that there are mornings when he wakes up and thinks – I’m the world champion ! Well, he’s never likely to be a quiz world champion, but he made the best answer of the night, when he suggested that the order of monks who gave their name to a black and white coffee the same colour as their robes was the Nescafe monks.

On to the serious competition, then, and Alex Deakin had to suffer John Humphrys berating him for the way that the last summer was predicted to be a ‘barbecue summer’ . One of the occupational hazards of working for the Met Office, I should say. A decent round this, for 11 points, but it could have been better if he had said that Ramadan was a month of fasting rather than feasting. Oh well, that’s the difference a letter can make.

So the last contender in this year’s Celebrity Mastermind was Beverly Knight. First of all she explained that a singer needs to look after her voice by boring things like getting lots of sleep and drinking lots of water. Well, I sleep as much as I can, and I drink gallons of H2O, yet my singing voice still resembles nothing so much as a castrated tomcat. Such is life. This was not the fastest general round I’ve ever seen, but then speed was not the be all and end all if she could keep getting them right, and the majority of questions she could. 13 was the best general knowledge round of the night, and although she just missed out on joining the 30 plus club, I’m sure that won’t worry her at all. So well played tonight, and thank you to all of the celebs who’ve taken part in the series. Just for fun I’ll be posting some of the stats from the series either today or tomorrow.

The Details

Beverley Knight The Life and Career of Prince 16 – 2 13 - 229 - 4
John HigginsDallas 13 - 3 4 - 117 - 4
Michael HowardLiverpool FC in the 1980s12 - 35 - 517- 8
Alex DeakinThe Stone Roses14 - 011- 025– 0

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