Monday, 11 November 2013

Happy Retirement, Daphne

A big story from the world of quizzing last week was that LAM reader and Egghead, Daphne Fowler, is retiring from Eggheads. I should imagine that most people are aware of Daphne's quizzing achievements, of which I offer only a small flavour here - winner of Brain of Britain - Two time winner of Fifteen to One - winner of Going for Gold - I could go on, but I have no wish to embarrass her.

Eggheads has a significant and loyal fan base, who have made the show a mainstay of the BBC2 evening weekday schedules, and all of the Eggheads themselves have played a significant part in this, especially the original 5 Eggheads, of whom Daphne was one. I'm sure that I speak for many people when I say Daphne, we're sorry to see you leave the show, but wish you a happy and long retirement.


George Millman said...

I didn't know about this before reading your blog post. While I wish her a very happy retirement and the best for the future, this will be a real loss to the team. Eggheads won't be the same without Daphne. People said that about CJ, but it really won't be without Daphne. She is the only Egghead who I have actually seen on another quiz show (not counting YouTube clips). I saw her on 15 to 1 when I was about eight.

I was really disappointed by the way that they didn't acknowledge that CJ was leaving at all on the show. One day he was there, and then the next day Dave was, with no reference to CJ at all. I hope Daphne gets a better send-off. I wonder if they'll bring anyone new in to replace her? Another prolific female quizzer, perhaps? Judith will be the only woman left on the team now.

By the way, I saw your post on Dan Fullard's blog about how people either love or loathe Eggheads. Personally, I love it. It's my second favourite quiz show (only because Only Connect is spectacular). In my opinion, it's the perfect quiz really. I like that it has a very simple format, completely varying levels of questions (neither too easy nor too hard), very little suspenseful graphics and music (which just annoy me) and it focusses more on questions than on gameplay. You can't win Eggheads by fluke; it's always deserved. The only thing about it that irritates me a little is how Dermot and Jeremy recite the same script in every episode (although in fairness, Jeremy isn't too bad at deviating from it from time to time.) Also, with regards to Judith, I think she is very knowledgable, but has certain subjects that she is weak on, which is obviously what she is chosen for. On the occasions when she does get through to the final, she is generally a lot more impressive than in the head-to-heads.

Will miss Daphne a lot. (And sorry for such a long comment!)

Londinius said...

Hi George

Never apologise for a long comment - long, short or in between, we love 'em all here at LAM.

Well, if you read my comment at Dan's blog, you'll know that Eggheads isn't my favourite. I like a higher number of questions per show, myself, but there we are, you're never going to please everyone whatever you do, are you.

That's a point about Jeremy and Dermot sticking to that cheesy old script. I mean, I haven't met Jeremy Vine, but I shared a studio with Dermot on 4 seperate occasions, and I can truthfully say that he is a very, very nice, charming and intelligent guy. But he WOULD insist on saying 'Don't put all your Eggheads in one basket' in each show. I'm guessing that was the producer's insistence.

Will they (try to) replace Daphne? I have no insider knowledge on this one. I think it would be a shame to leave just Judith, considering how many really good female quizzers there are out there, who could do a fantastic job on the show. I could give a list of names, but then I wouldn't want to upset any I don't ( or do, for that matter) mention purely through lack of space that I won't. But believe me, they're out there.

Time will tell.

George Millman said...

Actually yes, that is a point about how there aren't that many questions per episode. But on the other hand, most quiz shows with more episodes also have time-limits. I like it that they don't have one; it shows that it is more about knowledge than pressure.

I think that they should replace Daphne, as I think there would be a very noticeable gap to be filled in her absence. I was thinking about who would be good to replace her, and I think that Nancy Dickmann would do a good job. I saw her on Only Connect and I found her quite impressive, and I know she has also won Mastermind. Failing her, I was thinking Daisy Christodoulou - she really impressed me on Christmas University Challenge a couple of years ago. I know she works as a secondary school teacher though, so I don't know if she'd want to quiz professionally.

If they did have a new woman in to replace Daphne, I think it would be good to have a slightly younger person on the panel. I think the show has a space for a younger woman, as Daphne and Judith are the oldest of the Eggheads. But it doesn't matter that much - ability comes first.

Cromarty(IV) said...

I'll be sorry to see her go. Like George, I saw Daphne on Fifteen to One when I was quite young, scoring one off a perfect score and comprehensively blitzing the final 40 questions in one of her games. When I first found out about Eggheads, I recognised her name instantly, so she definitely had an impact on the young boy who would go on to lap up all things quiz-related and eventually tackle University Challenge.

Five members of my local chess club once appeared on Eggheads while the original five Eggheads were permanent fixtures on the show. I'd always said that if I were to follow in their footsteps, I'd hopefully challenge Daphne in a head-to-head, because I've had such respect for her for all these years. No doubt, I would have lost the battle, but it would have been a good claim to fame to lose to such a formidable quizzer!

I wish her well for the future, and I say thank you, Daphne, for inspiring me to venture into the quizzing community.

Dan said...

What's Gayle Trimble up to these days?

George Millman said...

I don't know what Gail Trimble is up to, but if I remember correctly she said when she finished University Challenge that she didn't really have any plans to go on any other quiz shows. Obviously not everyone would want to do Eggheads, because it is a full-time job, and if you want to do something other than quiz professionally, you're not going to enjoy it very much.

I imagine with them all being students who have ambitions in different fields it would be hard to find anyone, but I think it would be great to have an Egghead who has excelled on University Challenge. I think that Daisy Christodoulou would be excellent, but as I said, I don't know if she'd want to give up teaching.

Anne Marie Fagan said...

Tuesday 27 May
Just finished watching eggheads. Was annoyed and particularly disappointed there was no mention of Daphne's retirement given her consistently outstanding contribution to the eggheads' team. . She will be sorely missed by all fans of the show.. Thank you Daphne for the enjoyment you gave us.
Best wishes,
Anne Marie Fagan

Basieman said...

I was saddened to hear of "Auntie Daph" leaving "Eggheads" as a "throwaway"remark made by the continuity announcer on BBC2 last night!;-( I sense that she hasn't been well for a while, and we will miss her and her "inkles"! Enjoy your retirement, Daphne. It's been a blast!

Unknown said...

Sorry , even though i wish Daphne well in her retirement i won't miss her at all, i got fed up with her showing she knew all the answers even though it wasn't her question, and she had so much just guessing an answer when she did'nt know the answer, so i for one am glad she has gone, sorry to dissagree with so many

Unknown said...

Lets just accept that she was exceptionally knowledgeable, lets applaud that

Unknown said...

Daphne demonstrated extensive knowledge, let us not dvalue that

Nick York said...

I love Eggheads - along with University Challenge and Only Connect, it's a "grown up" quiz which doesn't rely on loud jingles and flashy graphics or trailers for holidays in the sun.

I believe the reason they don't mark the departure of individual Eggheads is the BBC's patronising fondness of mixing new series with repeats of older ones - one night the questions often refer to last year, the next we're talking about 2009! To acknowledge team members' departure would then somewhat date the repeated episodes where the departed reappear. In the case of such an accomplished and veteran quizzer as Ms Fowler, I find it ill-mannered of the producers not to at least acknowledge her contribution to the programme.

Yes, the question masters' scripted repetitiveness does irk a regular viewer but not as much as Dermot Murnaghan's attempts to add to the tension by monotonously repeating the question and interjecting his prolonged "Errrrrs". It's a tiresome technique which fails embarrassingly. Jeremy Vine has a way of making things more fun and his own enjoyment is infectious.

Enjoy your retirement Daphne, you've given many people much pleasure over the years.

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