Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sleb Eggheads Update

You may recall that last year I was worried that none of the celebrity teams would possibly beat the eggheads ? As it happened a couple of teams did. Well, this year you have to say that the natural order of things has been re-established. Since my last post on the subject another 4 teams have come and gone without a penny for their trouble, or their chosen charity for that matter.

Show 4 saw Natural History presenters Chris Packham, Bill Oddie, Phillippa Forester, Nick Baker and Mark O'Shea try their luck. Not a cat in hell's chance.

Show 5 and it was the turn of Home and Garden presnters Toby Buckland, Chris Collins the Blue Peter gardener, Aggie Mckenzie , Big Brother's first winner Craig Phillips, and James Alexander Sinclair. No green shoots of recovery for them.

If any team was going to do it I sincerely hoped it would be Monday's team of old school Doctor Who stalwarts. Doctor number 6 Colin Baker, Fraser Hines, Louise 'Leela' Jamieson, and John 'K9' Leeson joined with the only ( as far as I know ) Dr. Who companion to pose in a state of some undress in Playboy with a dalek, Katy Manning. Oh, they didn't win, by the way.

Then last night a team of very old, in fact ancient, school former radio 1 DJs had a pop. They were Mike Smash ( Tony Blackburn ) , Mike Read, David 'Kid' Jensen, Diddy David Hamilton and Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart. They took the Eggheads to two tiebreaks, but poor old ex-King of the Jungle Tony B. thought that Ron Howard was the film director who shared his name with a very famous explorer. Never mind.

I'm not going to lie, the programme does give me a slight feeling of unease. It works like this. The teams are playing for their chosen charities. In the normal run of things it is very unlikely that a team of celebs is going to have the remarkable run of luck they would need to beat quizzers of the calibre of the Eggheads. Honestly, asking a team of non -quizzers to beat Pat, Kevin, Barry, Chris, Daphne, Cj and Judith, or any combination of 5 of them is rather like asking someone who has occasionally played Crazy Golf at the seaside to take on Tiger Woods.

Which means that either : -

*A team will play out of their skins, and get a huge slice of luck, and beat the eggies. Unlikely , but not impossible.
*The eggies would need to 'take a dive' - which I don't see happening.
*The Production team would try to engineer a result by fixing the questions to fall heavily against the eggies - possible , but not advisable in the current climate
*No team will beat them , and no money will be won for charity.

It makes me wonder, do the team who make the show pay a certain amount to the chosen charities anyway ? In Sleb Mastermind there's no prize pot for the charities which the contenders play for, but their appearence fees go to the charities. Is there an appearence fee paid for the celebrities which goes to their charities on Eggheads too ? I'd feel a lot more comfortable about it, knowing that the charities are getting something out of the deal, and that the daily prize money is just an added incentive.


Anonymous said...

I felt the same. Would have been better to tip the odds a bit in the slebs' favour - with rounds on horticulture, Dr Who, or whatever.

Londinius said...

Hi Yaffle, and welcome to LAM.

Yes, they could have done that while still keeping to the essential format of the game. Even if they did that, mind you, I still fancy that the Eggies would have a very good chance of beating the slebs anyway !

Compliments of the season


Ewan M said...

Ironically the addition of Pat Gibson to the Eggheads, though vastly strengthening their team, has weakened the show IMO. There is next to no chance of any team beating the Eggheads now, particularly if Kevin and Pat are on the same show. CJ, Chris & Judith all have weak spots, Daphne while generally formidable has limited areas of comparative weakness (80s pop being one on the evidence of a recent programme), and even Kevin can occasionally be caught out on Food and Drink (though not nearly as often as people seem to think, but when your chances of beating him at, say, history are zero you grab hold of any relative vulnerability with both hands). Pat, howevever, genuinely appears to have no weaknesses. I don't watch all that regularly but his recent slip up on the location of Bed-Stuy was one of the few instances I can remember of me actually knowing something that he didn't. Part of the attraction of Eggheads used to be that they could be beaten, that they weren't really the unbeatable quiz team that the voiceover suggested. Since Pat joined the line-up that slim chance has greatly diminished. The only solution I can think of is to invite higher quality teams (QLL and other regional quiz league teams, UC teams, Mastermind champs etc) to take them on instead of the usual cannon fodder.

Londinius said...

Hi Eugene,

I don't think that any other quizzer would have strengthened the team more than Pat has, certainly. The weaknesss of "Eggheads" as a format have been debated over at length and in many places. I find it difficult to write about the show myself, because I like the Eggies themselves, Dermot, and the people who make the show so much, and I had such great fun playing in “Are You An Egghead ?” , that it makes me feel like a heel when I criticise the show. I’m sure I must have said before that in my opinion its not a great format, and it fails in some of the criteria against which I judge quiz shows I watch . As always, feel free to disagree. Having said that it has a very loyal audience,it has staying power, and I know a lot of people who enjoy it, who don’t enjoy the serious stuff which I love like OC, UC, Mastermind and BoB. One man’s meat and all that.

However I do feel that it changes the game when you make a celebrity version where the celebs are playing for charity. In the regular series if the Eggies go undefeated for 2 dozen matches it doesn't really matter. In the celeb version, the series would be long over.

That's how I feel anyway, but as always, please feel free to disagree.