Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Sleb Mastermind - Show One

There are always two questions we ask ourselves at the start of any edition of Celebrity Mastermind, namely – how many points will they score, and how many of them will actually be celebrities. Miaooww! Sorry, I couldn’t resist it.

Well, to be fair the only one I didn’t really know was the first contender of the show and the series, Shaun Keaveny. The reason I don’t know him is that he’s a Radio 6 DJ. Fair enough. Shaun was answering on The Music of Led Zeppelin for Action for Children. You know I can’t say I ever listen to Led Zep any more – in fact I hardly ever just listen to music, I have to be doing something else as well. Still, time was when I was quite a fan, and I managed about 8 of these. Shaun had the lot, though, but since they were a bit long and he took a little more time over a couple he ended up with 11. Good performance.

Now the second contender was Mark Watson. A quick check on the LAM archives revealed that Mark Watson took part in a Children in Need Mastermind special in 2009. He scored a massive 33 then, but lost out to Lucy Porter. Last night he took a heavyweight subject in the shape of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a work which is very unfairly mainly remembered as a collection of bawdy tales. It is so much more than that. Mark took a very creditable 12. We already knew that he could do the business in GK.

Antiques Roadshow has a very good record on Sleb Mastermind, withy Hilary Kay setting a record of 36 a few years ago. Bunny Campione is another well known face from the same show. However her performance was destined to fall some way short of her colleague’s. Answering on the films of Stewart Granger, Bunny answered 8 questions correctly. That’s fine, but it really didn’t give her the chance of winning on the GK.

Finally writer Frank Cottrell Boyce. Now, Frank was offering as a subject the life and career of something of a hero of mine, the late Oliver Postgate. Oliver Postgate created, amongst other TV shows, Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss and the Clangers. He was gifted with such a wonderful, distinctive voice that I reckon he could have read aloud from the yellow pages, and millions of children across the country would have sat quietly and paid full attention while he did it. I’m delighted to say that Frank did justice to the subject with a perfect round of 13 from 13.

I’m quite sure that there is a section of the Sleb Mastermind audience who, while they enjoy a display of Sleb virtuosity are just as happy to watch it all go pear shaped. Such a round was Bunny’s GK. She isn’t the first contender to suffer from brain freeze, and won’t be the last. However I’ve rarely seen such barrage of passes in one round. In the end she managed 5 points to take her total to 13, but had incurred a mighty 11 passes for the one round. Well, she was playing for charity and good luck to her. More power to your elbow for giving it a lash, Bunny.

Shaun did somewhat better. I dare say that he’s not a quizzer, but he gave it his best shot, and added another 11 to his score to take him up to 22. Perfectly respectable performance, and thanks for playing. Mark returned to the chair, and I predicted some fireworks. Whichi s exactly what we got. I went through Shaun’s and Frank’s round sin this show and had them all, but a clear round on GK isn’t easy. I had one of Mark’s wrong which he had right. In fact, only a pass on one question stopped him from going through the card. 17 points took him to 29 , and set Frank a hell of a target to chase.

Which, to be fair to him, he made a pretty good fist of. Once he’d had a couple wrong though it always looked as if he was going to beaten by the clock, and so he was. The finish line loomed as he was still some distance from the target, and in the end he finished with 25. Good show.

The Details

Shaun Keaveny Action for ChildrenThe Music of Led Zeppelin11 - 011 - 222 - 2
Mark WatsonThe Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant AssociationThe Canterbury Tales12 - 117 - 129 - 2
Bunny CampioneThe Daws Hall TrustLife and Films of Stewart Granger8 - 15 - 1113 - 12
Frank Cottrell BoyceLoreto School in RumbekLife and Works of Oliver Postgate13 - 012 - 125 - 1


LisaH said...

Just watching it. Bunny's questions were a lot harder than Shaun's and some would have been tough under pressure (eg the Liver Bird which I got eventually but would probably have passed)

Londinius said...

Hi Lisa
It's all a matter of opinion. I didn't think at the time that her questions were noticeably harder than anyone else's - in fact some of the ones she automatically passed on were easy, and I'm sure she could have answered them if she hadn't been stuck in a pass spiral.As always, that's just my opinion, and feel free to disagree.

Ewan M said...

I thought all the GK sets were relatively gentle, as you would expect in the celeb version, but Mark Watson was very impressive nonetheless.