Thursday, 7 January 2010

Sleb Mastermind - Show 8

Celebrity Mastermind – show 8 – Wednesday 6th January

Another day, another 4 celebrities. We are, according to John Humphrys, a nation obsessed with celebrities. Well, maybe so. I’m not going to lie, I’ve certainly enjoyed this series. Tonight’s contenders were Michael Winner, Mishal Husain, Dom Joly and John Bird. Michael Winner kicked off the specialist rounds. Answering on behalf of the Police Memorial Trust, he offered us British films of the 60s. Considering that he was responsible for some British film in the 60s himself, I was surprised that he didn’t do just a little bit better than this, since this was I thought a pretty gentle round in terms of the level of the questions that were asked. He scored 7 and 4 passes, and I’m afraid a certain amount of scorn from the Clark sofa for not knowing that Sid James played Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond in Carry on Up The Khyber – where, incidentally the Llanberis Pass stood in for the Khyber.

Mishal Husain offered us something different in the way of a charity in the shape of the Burma Star Association. Good on you ! she offered something a little more traditional in her choice of specialist subject, namely, C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.She put on a pretty decent showing as well . Last year 12 points would have given her a shout. This series, though, the scores have been higher. Still, a praiseworthy performance.

TV Prankster Dom Joly , whose fee was donated to the Friends of Paternoster School, was answering on the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Yes, for all of us who mainly remember Carter for a grin so full of teeth that it could put an Osmond to shame, there was quite a bit more to the man than met the eye. So Dom Joly can be pleased with his score of 13. All together now – anything in the teens on specialist is a good performance.

John Bird brought the Specialist rounds to a close tonight. His chosen charity was the Blue Cross, and his chosen specialist subject was the Life and Works of Igor Stravinsky. I’m sorry, but I’m so used to John Bird’s brilliantly deadpan delivery in all of those sketches with John Fortune that I kept thinking that this must be a send up. It clearly wasn’t though, since John Bird really knew his stuff on Stravinsky. I’m afraid that all I really know about Stravinsky can be summed up as – Stravinsky – Rite of Spring – Riot on first performance – Dinosaurs sequence in Disney’s Fantasia. John Bird scored 15 and no passes, and looked a good bet at the halfway stage.

Twinkly wrinkly Michael Winner returned to the chair to explain that in a battle between the star and the director, the star always wins. He did give the example of Steve Macqueen, who himself was the subject of a specialist round in my Mastermind final ! Michael caused a generous round of laughter, since, when asked a question about the workings of a theatre, he replied “I don’t do theatre !” Would it be very rude of me to say that a couple of his films aren’t much to write home about either. Probably, so lets just say that he took his total to 13. Mishal Husain explained how she came to present the news really by accident, since there was no one else to do it at the time. I’m sure there was a little more to it than that. A pretty good round saw her get into double figures, and I’m sure that Jilly Cooper, if she was watching, was amused by the suggestion that her novel Riders may have been written by H. Rider Haggard !

The order for the GK round was the same as the specialist, so Dom Joly followed. He explained that Trigger Happy TV never worked in the USA, because people don’t have the same awkward reserve that we Brits do. He’s probably got a point. This was definitely the pick of the GK rounds tonight, as he scored a very impressive 16 and 3 passes. That’s what you have to do if you want to put pressure on the guy in the lead. At one stage, too, it looked as if the pressure was going to tell. This was not a comfortable round, as he struggled on some, passed a couple, but just about clawed his way there to the 14 he needed for 29 on the very last question. On countback, his three passes to Dom’s 6 was enough to do it. Well done guys – good show !

The Details

Michael Winner British films of the 1960s 7 - 46 - 313 - 7
Mishal HusainThe Chronicles of Narnia12 - 411 - 423 - 8
Dom JolyThe Presidency of Jimmy Carter13 - 316 - 329 - 6
John BirdThe Life and Work of Igor Stravinsky15 - 014- 329 – 3

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