Friday, 11 January 2013

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 19

Right, well, we have quite a bit of lost time to make up for, haven’t we ? So let’s not beat about the bush, and crack right on. We’ll start with Mastermind. Three of tonight’s contenders were totally new to Mastermind, and Karen Barnes was the first of these. She was answering questions on Henry VII’s second main squeeze, Anne Boleyn. A difficult set, I found these, only managing two of them. Karen scored 8, which was a perfectly reasonable score, although for the first two thirds of the round or so it was shaping up to be a lot better. Unfortunately once Karen reached 8 the points just dried up ,

Library assistant Phil Saunders offered us the Wallander novels of Henning Mankell. Never read any myself, I’m afraid, so it was a case of nul points pour Royaume Union this round. Phil managed double figures with 10, which seemed like a pretty reasonable return for this particular set.

Now, as for our third contender, I have actually had the pleasure of sharing a studio with Graham Barker before. Graham was a member of the excellent Alesmen, whom my team, the Radio Addicts, were extremely lucky to scrape past in our series of “Only Connect”. Graham made a previous Mastermind appearance in 2001’s Discovery Mastermind. LAM readers may also recall that Graham was a semifinalist in Iwan’s series of “Brain of Britain”. So it was no surprise that Graham amassed the highest score of the show so far on his specialist subject , William Walton. With Graham’s pedigree I fancied that he would go well in GK as well, and so the other three contenders certainly had their work cut out for them.

The last of tonight’s contenders, and another newcomer to Mastermind was Richard Tarleton. Now, his subject , Shakespeare’s Tragedies, was very much to my taste. Alright, it’s always possible to argue about what exactly qualifies one of Shakespeare’s plays as a tragedy, but leaving that to one side for the moment, I was delighted to score 12. Retired headteacher Richard didn’t quite manage that himself, but his 11 meant that he was handily placed on Graham’s shoulder.

I was impressed with the way that Karen Barnes managed not to pass throughout her GK round. She amassed another 11 points to add to her total, but in all honesty her Specialist round had put paid to her chances of winning earlier in the show. Phil Saunders started his round well enough, but the going seemed to get harder for him as the round progressed. He crossed the finishing line with a one point lead over Karen, having added ten to his total, to set the mark at 20.

I have to be honest with you, while I was actually watching Richard Tarleton’s round I didn’t think he was doing quite as well as he was . Yet by the end of the round he had added 16 points to his total. That’s a good score for a two and a half minuts round, but more importantly, it was enough to put Graham into the corridor of uncertainty. I suspect that there might be some comment about John allowing the answer of “ Port – er – of – St. Peter “ for the main town of Guernsey , St. Peter Port.

Graham never lost his calm or composure throughout the whole round, eschewing long pauses, and answering every question. However there were a number of tricky questions within this round, and gradually the clock caught up with him, and , in the last half a minute or so, passed him. It was a pretty close run thing, but in the end Graham added 13 to his total, to finish with 25. No shame there at all, but unfortunately not a win, and not enough to qualify for a runner up spot. Still, very well done to Richard Tarleton – a good performance there, and a good scalp taken.

The Details

Karen Barnes Anne Boleyn8 - 1 11 - 0 19 - 1
Phil SaundersWallander Novels of Henning Mankell10 - 4 10 - 2 20 - 6
Graham BarkerLife and Music of Sir William Walton12 - 0 13 - 0 25 - 0
Richard TarletonShakespeare’s Tragedies11 - 2 16 -4 27 - 6

1 comment:

Phil Saunders said...

Hello! I came across this blog by pure chance this afternoon after I was talking with a colleague at work about my appearance on Mastermind. I'd never thought to Google it and certainly didn't expect my appearance to be documented! It is still one of the most amazing things I have ever done and also one of the scariest!