Friday, 30 December 2011

Sleb Mastermind - Show 3

The first to go in last night’s show was actor Graeme Hawley. Apparently he plays quite a nasty piece of work in Coronation Street. Last night his specialist subject was Blackadder. This gave rise to my first moment of the week, as I went through the card, scoring a perfect round of 12 correct answers from 12 questions. Graeme didn’t do badly either, but missed 3 and ended up with 9 and 1 pass. Graeme was answering on behalf of leukaemia and lymphoma research.

Britain’s top 800m runner, Jenny Meadows came next. Again, I quite fancied the look of her specialist subject, the Golden Age of Wigan RLFC. I may be a southerner, but I know a great game when I watch it, and it so happened that I discovered rugby league in the late 80s, just at the beginning of the very period Jenny was answering about. Jenny managed 9, which was a good return considering I felt her questions were probably a little more difficult than Graeme’s. I didn’t do so well myself, managing 6. Jenny was representing Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Alex Winters, the third contender, is a presenter on BBC’s CBeebies channel, and according to his inter-round chat, very proud to be so. In the words of Arnold Brown – and why not ? His subject was the band The Manic Street Preachers. I like the Manics, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a huge fan, a fact amply proven by the way that I only managed to answer two questions correctly. Alex put on a bravura performance. We’ve already seen that any double figure score off a 90 second round is a very good one. Well his 12 was a very significant return – good round indeed. Alex’s chosen charity was Scope.

Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham brought the first round to a conclusion. I thought he’d be taking a Natural History subject, but no, nothing of the sort. Chris opted for the Battle of Rourke’s Drift. Immediately I began to search my memory for any stray facts I knew about the battle, while trying to forget that I ever saw the Michael Caine film (Oy ! Don’t chuck those bloody spears at me ! - for God’s sake , Ivor, sing something they like - etc. etc. ) The two I came up with were 1879, and Gonville Bromhead ( Michael Caine’s character ). Thankfully that was enough to get me two points. Chris though . . . well, Chris put on that rarity, a perfect round. 13 asked, and 13 answered correctly. You can’t do better than that. The Hawk Conservancy Trust is Chris’ chosen charity.

So being realistic it was the proverbial two horse race. The contenders would all return to the chair in the same order as the first round as well, which doesn’t happen all that often. Graeme came first. He wasn’t the fastest answering, which meant that he only had 17 questions asked. I managed 16 of them, so there was nothing too testing in there. He managed a decent 9, to finish with a perfectly respectable 18. Jenny , alas, was even slower answering, and she struggled and gritted her way to 7 , for a final score of 16. I had 15 of hers.
Alex returned to the chair looking as if he meant business, which indeed he did. He didn’t seem to be going that slowly to me, but at the end of the round he’d only been given 17 questions. The good thing was that he answered 13 of these correctly. A very good performance for a non-quizzer. I had my second perfect round of the night. Chris then returned to the chair knowing that he needed to equal this score to guarantee an outright win. His tactic was to go like the clappers, and it worked. Alright, he passed on three, but he answered 15. So quickly did John feed him the questions, and so quickly did he answer that he got through a massive 20 questions, answering 15 of them correctly. I had my last perfect round of the show. Chris’ winning score of 28 is the highest of the series so far, I reckon the equivalent of 33 or 34 in old money, and will take a lot of beating. Good show.

The Details

Graeme Hawley Blackadder9 - 19 - 518 – 6
Jenny MeadowsThe Golden Age of Wigan RLFC9 - 17 - 416 – 5
Alex WintersThe Manic Street Preachers12 - 013 - 225 – 2
Chris PackhamThe Battle of Rourke’s Drift13 - 015 - 328 – 3

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