Best bib and tucker on everyone, it's time for our glitzy annual awards. What, you forgot that this weekend of all weekends is the traditional time for the presentation of the LAMMY Awards ? Well, it matters not a jot. Let’s get on with the show – there’s a lot to get through.
1) The Award for The Best New Quiz Show of 2012
It’s been a bumper year for new shows, certainly in terms of quantity anyway. January brought us “A Question of Taste”. This food and drink themed quiz never seemed quite comfortable in its own skin, being presented by Kirsty Wark who has never done frivolous particularly well. In my opinion the show needed several tweaks. In the same month we also had Channel 4’s “The Bank Job “. This was a big, glitzy attempt to tap into the Big Brother generation, in much the same style as “Million Pound Drop”. Like the latter, it attracted criticism for the apparently very restricted age profile of its competitors. A fairly straightforward format, basically answering questions to find out how much cash was in a box was topped off with an endgame that owed much to the Share or Steal game from Golden Balls, and ultimately from the execrable Shafted. It ran for 2 short series in the early part of the year, and hasn’t been heard of since.
The beginning of March saw Sky Atlantic come up with a very interesting idea. This was “Cleverdicks”, a show specifically aimed towards very good, very serious quizzers. I don’t receive Sky Atlantic , so my comments and views have to be seen in the context of the one show that I actually saw. The quality of the contestants was excellent, the quality of Miss Widdecombe as a presenter was far less impressive. Later in March saw the first series of “Breakaway”. This was another BBC shot at the mid prize range teatime quiz game. I rather enjoyed this unpretentious little show, and it was back for another series before the end of the year. A series for which I had an audition, but didn’t get on the show. Still , we’ll try not to hold that against them too much.
The summer brought us “Tipping Point” , a quiz game based on perennial amusement arcade favorite Compton’s Penny Falls. If you haven’t seen it, I’m not making it up. Apparently the makers are working on developing another show called “Drying Paint”. If you wouldn’t watch someone playing it in an arcade, why would you want to watch someone playing it on your telly ? Answers on a postcard.
Finally we had Channel 4’s “1001 Things You Should Know”. This rather old fashioned Channel 4 offering was just far too easy , and far too slow, even if you’re a fan of Sandi Toksvig.
So, those are your runners and riders. Which ones were up for the big prize though ? Well, for me it came down to a straight two horse race. You had the potentially terrific idea not perfectly carried out in the shape of Cleverdicks on one hand, juxtaposed with the unambitious and unpretentious quiz game which had been pretty well executed in Breakaway. Which to go for ? After all, neither in my opinion is anything like as good as previous Lammy Winners “Only Connect “ and “The Chase” , or close runner up “Pointless”. Well, the fact is that I have to make a decision, and this is maybe unfair, but I only ever saw the one show of “Cleverdicks”, and I feel loathe to award the main prize on the basis of just one show. Therefore the award goes to
2) – The Award for Best Quiz Performance of 2012
Again, a bumper year of nominees.After all, how can you choose between : -
Only Connect Series 6 Finalists – The Draughtsmen and the Scribes
Mastermind 2012 Champion – Gary Grant
Brain of Britain 2012 Champion – Ray Ward
University Challenge 2012 Champions – University of Manchester
Well, I asked the question – how can you choose between these great performances ? For me, it’s not difficult. The 2012 Award goes to my friend, and Only Connect Skipper
Gary’s performance in the Grand final was outstanding and irresistible, and all the more impressive since he had to overcome our own Andy Tucker in the process. Andy is a member of the Draughtsmen, so who knows, he may well figure himself in our deliberations again next year .
3) The Award for the Best Performance in a Non-Broadcast Quiz
The nominations in this category are : -
The Old Castle , Bridgend
The Old Castle were the first team to defeat my team , the Llangewydd Arms , in the Bridgend Quiz League in the 2011/12 season. On the night they were too good – no excuses.
The Crown A – Maesteg
Not only did the Crown A also defeat us at home in the same season, but they won the Muriel Williams Quiz in September, beating not only us, the other teams in the League, but also the Rugby Boys – Only Connect 2nd series champions.
Ashford Road Social Club, Swindon
A team who have always been on the podium in the CIU finals, this year was their year, and they won narrowly from our friends in the Maesglas A team.
Obviously I’d like to include my boys from the Llangewydd Arms , since we completed our second consecutive League and Cup double in the 2011/12 season, but due to the presence of the LAMMY judging panel ( me ) within the team, they are sadly ineligible. Which means that the committee have no hesitation in awarding the prize to : -
Ashford Road Social Club
4 – The Award for the Most Enjoyable Event In Non Broadcast Quizzing
There are three nomnations this year. The nominations are : -
The Bridgend and District Quiz League
Yes, last year’s award winner is back on the list after another splendid year’s competition.
The GetConnected Charity Quiz Evening
Yes, the 2010 Award winner is also back in the running. A magical evening.
The Birmingham Mega Quiz
what a pleasure to see the Mega Quiz come galloping back into contention after last year’s lacklustre showing. All it had to do was just even up the rounds, junk the Birmingham round, and get the hell on with it. It did just that, and as a result it was the best one I’ve been to.
In another year the Mega Quiz might well have taken it, but nothing, I repeat nothing this year even came close to the winner : -
The GetConnected Charity Quiz Evening
What was so good about this evening ? Just read my post about it last month.
5 – Award for Best New Quiz based fan website
The Award this year, for the new fan/quiz website I have most enjoyed goes to : -
Rob Hannah’s Quizzlepuzzles
6 – The Host With The Most Award
You may remember that this was a new award last year, and our inaugural winner was Alexander Armstrong. You may be asking yourself – how can I decide between Victoria Coren – Jeremy Paxman – Russell Davies, my admiration for all of whom is a matter of public record. Well, like last year, I choose not to. This is my personal choice , and so once again I’m opting for a host whose show would, I think, possibly become a little tedious without him. So step forward : -
Yes, I think that one of the things which has made Breakaway as watchable as it is has been Nick’s presentation style. If you’re thinking to yourself that Nick had an unfair advantage in this category because I met him when he hosted the GetConnected Charity Quiz Evening, well, all I can say is it’s my blog, and my rules.
Still, let’s not end this special evening on this note. There are often controversial decisions when awards are being handed out, and I’m sorry if your own favourites didn’t get their just rewards this time, but that’s how I saw the year. Roll on next year.