Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sleb Mastermind - Show 1

Well, here we are, back with the traditional end of year series of Sleb Mastermind. Of course, there was one burning question on everyone’s lips – would they make the celebrities play under the new format of 2 mins for specialist and 2 and a half mins for general knowledge? Well, the answer turned out to be no, they wouldn’t, and that’s probably just as well for some of them. Still, let’s not be catty about it.

Right then, first of tonight’s lambs to the slaughter was Samantha Giles. I will confess that I was not familiar with her work, but a quick google showed that she is an actress, best known for roles in Emmerdale and Where the Heart Is She earned my respect by donating her fee to the Alzheimers Society, and her specialist subject was the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Alright, there were enough gimmes in there for a non-devotee such as myself to manage a good half dozen, but Samantha did significantly better, coring 12. Respectability ensured, but a score likely to be beaten, I thought.

Richard Herring was representing Scope. Last year we saw a heat won by his former comedy partner Stewart Lee. I’ll be honest, I’ve preferred both of them since they went their separate ways, but there we are. Richard’s specialist subject was Rasputin, and his performance was out of the top drawer. Despite the fact that none of the question mentioned the classic by Boney M, he did extremely well. A fantastic 17 and no passes set a huge target for everyone who followed.

Mark Lawrenson was donating his fee to the Baby beat Appeal. Good lad. His specialist subject was Preston North End. Devotees of this gifted defender would know that this was the club with which he began his career. In fact I believe that it may well have been in the period that Sir Bobby Charlton was the manager. This actually was the answer to one of the questions. Mark made a bright and breezy start, but from the middle of the round seemingly ran out of steam, and didn’t quite manage to get himself into double figures.

Antiques Roadshow stalwart Hilary Kay completed the round, answering questions on the Life and Work of Josiah Wedgwood. So I suppose that it’s only fair that her fee was donated to the Wedgwood Museum In terms of bare statistics she was asked 18 questions during the round, and she answered all 18. Correctly. I don’t care who you are, that is a hell of a feat. You can know your subject inside out, back to front, upside down, and still your memory can sometimes steadfastly refuse to dredge up that fact you know. Brilliant round.

Yes, the sleb show is all for fun, but I’m sure there’s a bit of pride involved. For Mark Lawrenson the target was to get the 10 points he would need to give him the lead. Its no secret, I think, that the general rounds are easier for the sleb shows than they are for regular Mastermind. Still, although he struggled manfully with the questions he could only add another 8 to take his total to 17. Yes, alright, it’s a score which would have put him in the bottom half of the unofficial table of results from last year’s series, but there were a significant number who scored lower last year as well.

Samantha Giles next. She needed 7 to take the lead, and this always looked to be on the cards. She did it with something to spare, and pushed her score on to 11, which gave her 23 overall. I don’t think it would have won her any of last year’s shows, but it would have put her safely in the middle of the table.

At the business end of the contest Richard Herring looked as if he meant business with his round. He roared through the 23-point barrier, and found that he enjoyed it so much he just kept going. He dropped a couple he might have had if he hadn’t been going so quickly , but then he still managed to improve upon his first round score of 17, scoring a fine 18 and 1 pass. To put this into perspective only Stuart Maconie last year did better than this with 19 on GK.

This left Hilary Kay with a huge total to aim at. Still, if there was any crumb of comfort it was in the fact that she didn’t have to beat Richard’s GK score, only to equal it. Neither Richard nor Hilary passed at all in their first rounds, and so Richard’s 1 pass could be significant. It looked even more so when Hilary passed twice in her own round. If she only got 17, then Richard would do it. However 18 she did manage, which gave her a grand total of 36. A winning score, and incidentally a score which takes the record for the highest ever total on Celebrity mastermind, beating Lucy Porter’s 35 from the 2009 Children in Need special. Well done.

The Details

Samantha Giles Films of Alfred Hitchcock Alzheimer’s Society12-111-323-4
Richard HerringRasputinScope17-018-1 35 – 1
Mark Lawrenson Preston North End Baby Beat Appeal 9 – 2 8-317- 5
Hilary KayLife and Work of Josiah WedgwoodThe Wedgwood Museum18-018-236-2

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