Monday, 2 January 2012

Sleb Mastermind Show 5

I was a little surprised to see Andi Osho among tonight’s contenders. As John pointed out at the end of the show, Andi had already appeared in the 2010 Children in Need Special – which she won. Mind you , it’s not a totally unique case. Dave Spikey appeared in regular Sleb Mastermind in 2006 and won his show, then appeared in 2009 Children in Need Mastermind, and didn’t win. So a definite chance for Andi to get one up on her fellow comedian there.
Well, her chance would come later on anyway. First up was TV presenter Richard Arnold. He’s no stranger to TV quiz shows, having presented Take It Or Leave it on Challenge TV for a couple of series. Richard’s subject was the TV show Dallas, 1978 – 1991, and he scored a mightily impressive 13 points. It would have been a perfect round if he hadn’t faltered at just the last question too. Mind you, a lot of the questions weren’t extremely difficult either. I haven’t spared that TV series a thought for at least a couple of decades, but I still managed 8 myself. Richard was representing ASAP – African Solutions to African Problems.

Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan was second to go. As befits a distinguished sportsman, Michael opted for the English FA Premier League in the 21st century. This was by no means an easy set for the casually interested armchair viewer – me – and I struggled my way to 5. Michael did quite a bit better, but he just couldn’t drag out the name of Delia Smith – famous in football circles for her ‘Let’s Be Having You’ rallying cry to the faithful at Carrow Road, even though John gave him about half an hour to dredge it up. Michael’s chosen charity was Sheffield Children’s Hospital Trust.

Poet Simon Armitage had his pads on and strode out to the wicket next . His specialist subject was fellow poet, the late Ted Hughes. Well, there will always be a debate about the relative difficulty of different specialist rounds, and I know for a fact that the team make every effort to make the rounds as fair as they possibly can. Well, I thought that I knew a bit about Ted Hughes and his work, but I struggled my way to make only a couple. It seemed to me that there was a huge bias towards The Birthday Letters, for example. Well, Ted Hughes wrote a lot more than that. Quibble over. Simon’s chosen charity was the National Autistic Society.

At last Andi, and her chance to return to the chair. Respect to her for her choice of subject too, none other than John Humphrys ! I guarantee that the production team would only ever allow that subject for a sleb or children in need special. I didn’t think I’d get any of these, but actually managed 4. Andi had clearly done her homework, though, and she managed a fine 10. It put her 3 points behind Richard, but certainly didn’t put her out of the running completely. Andi’s charity was Trekstock.

A two horse race, then ? Yes, really it was, but that didn’t stop Simon putting on a very good display in his return to the chair. Alright, these are sleb GK rounds, and not as difficult as normal ones, but nonetheless 14 is a good performance. With the shortened specialist rounds any sleb score of 20 or over is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, so that really puts Simon’s 21 into perspective. I’m afraid it also puts Michael Vaughan’s GK round into perspective as well. He had a dreadful first minute, spraying passes and wrong answers around with abandon. After this early collapse though, after the minute mark the tail end of the innings began to wag a little, and he did manage to rally to make 9, to take his score to 18.

Last time out Andi was the last to go in her GK round. Then she needed 10 and managed 11. Tonight she had to chase a target rather than set one. 11 again would put her level with Simon, so she needed to do better than that at the very least. She did. Her round pretty much matched Simon’s, and the 14 she scored put her at the top of the leaderboard with Richard still to go. The highest sleb GK score so far this series is Justin Moorhouse’s 17, so it’s some way behind that, but nonetheless a very good performance.

Richard needed 11 to go to countback, and 12 for an outright win. He looked pretty good value for this as he reeled off the first three or four answers. But this round was like cycling up a hill whose gradient steadily gets steeper. From the halfway point it looked more and more in doubt that he’d get there, and in the end he fell short. Richard scored 10 to take his score to 23. It was close, but a miss is as good as a mile they say. So well done Andi Osho. It’s some kind of record, I’m sure, and makes her the first Sleb to win 2 Mastermind trophies. Nancy Wilkinson won Mastermind 1972, and the first Supermind Competition in 1975. Sir David Hunt won Mastermind 1977, and the first Champion of Champions tournament in 1982. Pat Gibson won Mastermind 2005, and the second Champion of Champions tournament in 2010. That’s a pretty impressive list of two time winners to join. Very well done indeed !

The Details

Richard Arnold Dallas – 1978 - 199113 - 010- 413 – 4
Michael VaughanThe Premier League in the 21st century9 - 39 - 518 – 8
Simon ArmitageThe Life and Work of Ted Hughes7 - 514 - 221 – 7
Andi OshoJohn Humphrys10 -214 - 224 – 4


DanielFullard said...

Enjoyed tonight's show, as I said on TQA though, the round on John Humprheys was rather surreal

Happy New Year

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel,

It was quite funny actually, although I was surprised that they would allow it even in a sleb show. When we did Champ of Champs I did toy with offering Mastermind itself as a SS, but I had the feeling that ti would have been turned down - I've been told that people have asked to be allowed to take it as their SS in the regular series before and been turned down. But the rules relax a bit with the Sleb show. I'm not saying that nobody takes it seriously - although some of them clearly don't - but it's a bit of fun really.