Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Thoughts of the New Champion

IN case anyone missed Gary's comments after my review of yesterday's Grand Final I've taken the liberty of reposting them here. Not sure if this is a world exclusive.

Thanks Dave, and I hope I managed to keep the result secret from you - I was worried that you might see through my unusually high level of posting this year! The reason I have been critical at times is only because I care about the show too - winning really is the biggest achievement of my life - and I just wanted that win to be fair, and not spoiled by the show not being a level playing field.

Massive commisserations to Andy. Recently we ended up as a 'pair' doing a quiz that Rob Hannah had set, and the fact that he got at least 75-80% of the answers (plus the fact that he usually beats me in the big national quizzes by some margin) just emphasized the point that he is a better quizzer, and that 9 times out of 10 he'd have beaten me. I make no bones about having been tactical all the way through - even the choices of specialist subjects were all chosen with trying to win in mind. I just wonder if all those Azeri names slowed John down a bit on Andy's SS? I wouldn't have scored 16 on his GK set either.

Nick too, was unwell, but I only found that after the show from his wife - to his immense credit, he didn't moan about this once, although if you look closely it definitely affected his performance.

Speaking of looking closely, anyone who taped it is invited to watch the audience to the right as I walk to the chair for GK. My dad starts clapping (the sound was later edited out) at which point he gets clobbered by my mum - hilarious.

Still, I'm delighted to have won, and I remain amazed that my name comes after Jesse Honey and Ian Bayley in the list of winners. Even now it hasn't sunk in. I've always had a competitive streak so I was in 'quiz' solely to try win Mastermind. The plan was always, that if I achieved it I'd retire from quizzing and move on, but I've met so many fabulous people through quizzing - and I miss them. So, I will be at the World Quiz Championships in June. As many have told me, once a quizzer, always a quizzer.....

Thanks to everybody again for your kind words, and I'm proud to have won for both Scotland and the Radio Addicts! Shame I slept in for my interview on BBC Breakfast this morning.....


drgaryegrant said...

Yes, owing to my famed inability to get up - and thus missing my 15 minutes of fame - it is indeed a world exclusive.

I can only be thankful that MM isn't filmed in the morning or you'd have had a very different outcome.

contentedofcheltenham said...

Massive congratulations to Gary on a ‘textbook’ performance. Think it’s fair to say (despite his modesty) that none of the other 95 contenders would have matched that display (though I may only be speaking for myself!) And that of course from the relative comfort of one’s armchair although (as David says) there was certainly a sense of shared tension ... The ‘intensity’ of concentration didn’t quite match Ian Bayley last year but still, talk about answering on the ‘B of the bang’! A top class sprinter taking on some magnificent middle distance runners, to stretch the analogy.
Once again canny subject choices played their part – despite the ambassadorial advantage that Andy had with his Azerbaijani knowledge, you guessed that some of his answers might be of the tongue-twisting variety (and yes, the post-edit was noticeable at the end of his first round – I wondered initially if the mythical ‘challenging the answer’ option had come into play!) I suppose, however, that Gary could have been required to reel off a few scientific names in Latin, so it wasn’t necessarily a safer choice, and broad topics have their own dangers. Gary’s ‘insert’ was also very good – the BBC need look no further if a replacement for Chris Packham, Ben Fogle or indeed Dr Hilary Jones is required.
Andy also put in a formidable and virtually faultless performance. My hero Bing Crosby once said ‘A singer like Sinatra comes along once in a lifetime – but why did it have to be my lifetime?’ One could forgive Andy for nurturing similar thoughts about Dr Grant!
Gary’s GK round ‘sealed the deal’. The Royal Marines was an impressive answer under pressure (quite a few of us were doubtless in the Coldstream department); I knew that Bellerophon rode Pegasus but wouldn’t have given that answer to the specific question asked. Choose any one from the Torah, Talmud or Mishnah (I’d have chosen wrongly as well) and hadn’t a clue on ‘That Day We Sang’ despite doing the Wikipedia Challenge on Victoria Wood earlier in the series. So soon we forget. A few more really tricky questions as well; famous Belgians is one thing, but famous Luxembourgers?
As for the claim that ‘you can’t prepare for General Knowledge’ – maybe true short-term but last night proved yet again that certain key facts or lists are worth revising; ‘public figures, recently appointed’ (Bernard Hogan-Howe, Christine Lagarde) while the obligatory ‘radio’ question showed that it’s always useful to be familiar with the BBC’s current output! Aside from that I guess that everyone needs to think about individual gaps and weaknesses. Not many of those on display last night.
Talking of ‘names in the news’, thanks again to David for all the quiz input (‘reading the newspapers so we don’t need to’); well done to all the MM finalists (including Nick Reed from my own semi) for choosing a really diverse range of topics which showed the programme at its best; and congratulations once again, Gary. Future Masterminders are doubtless relieved that you won’t be appearing in any future series (until the next ‘Champion of Champions’!)


dxdtdemon said...

In case anyone cares, Gary's score of 35 was out of 41 questions and Andy's score of 30 was out of 38 questions. At the percentage accuracy that they were answering questions, Gary would've won by 2.6 questions if everyone was asked 40 questions and it was possible to answer a fraction of a question.

drgaryegrant said...

Thanks for the very kind remarks Malcolm, and as dxtdemon points out, I got 41 questions - which in some ways means the longstanding Ashman record was there for the taking, for the right contender (not me).

I hope it doesn't sound arrogant or churlish to say that a little bit of me is disappointed tho....the John Donne, Lagarde and Talmud answers were all there - I just didn't conjure them up in time (Super 8 I hadn't heard of at the time of filming, Victoria Wood I hadn't the foggiest about and Pythagoras/Archimedes was a stab in the dark). On another day I might have scored 38 and got the 'Humphrys era' record.

Oh well, I'm off to try to get that white shiny thing in the night sky down with a stick.