Friday, 3 January 2014

Sleb Mastermind - Show 6

Well, if I thought the subjects in the previous show really suited me, I saw the other side of the coin in last night’s show. Let’s start with John Cooper Clarke’s. Now, Elvis Presley is one of those things where I have no trouble agreeing with everyone who says how influential he was, what a great singer he was etc. Agreed. But I’m still not a huge fan – can’t explain it, I’m just not. So The Films of Elvis Presley was never going to be particularly kind to me, and I managed a measly one, the giveaway about ‘Wooden Heart’. John Cooper Clarke – or as I’ve heard him call himself, Johnny Clarke, the man behind the hairstyle – is great. Age may wither him a bit, but custom certainly doesn’t stale him, but 6 points were never going to give him a realistic shout at winning the show.

Ben Faulks is apparently Mr. Bloom from Mr. Bloom’s Nursery. My kids are far too old to watch Cbeebies, and my grandson isn’t old enough, so I haven’t seen the show myself. I will come clean and say that I didn’t answer any of Ben’s questions on Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition correctly. Shackleton’s feat in not losing a single one of his men despite the disaster that befell the expedition is truly remarkable. Ben obviously knew his subject very well. These weren’t gimmes, and he managed 9. Good round.

So much for the young comedians who have by and large made good headway in this year’s series. Representing a far older comic tradition was Max Quordlepleen – sorry, that’s Roy Hudd for those unlucky enough to miss the original radio series of Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. He was answering about an even older comic, Dan Leno. I expected him to do well, for I have seen Roy Hudd being interviewed elsewhere on his passion for music hall and variety , and he didn’t let me down. 9 points again, to jointly head the field at half time.

I’ll be honest, I only know about Frank Turner from the pre-show of the Opening Ceremony of London 2012. Ask me to name anything he has sung or written and you’d be waiting for a long time for an answer. But that’s my problem, and hardly likely to keep him awake at nights. Frank was answering on Iron Maiden, and again, not a subject on which I know a great deal, or indeed, almost anything so it turned out. Frank managed 7. In years gone by this would have meant that he was out of the running, but bearing in mind the leaders were only 2 ahead at half time you could see that he was in with a chance.

So, with a grand total of 1 point on specialists, I had a lot to prove on the GK. I had three wrong on the combined GK rounds, so I ended the show at least fairly satisfied. As for the contest, well John delighted us with a very short poem, ‘Home, Honey, I’m high’. Good stuff. As was his round. He took a while to build up a head of steam, but did in the end manage double figures, and in the context of this particular series that isn’t bad at all. It wasn’t going to bring him the win, mind you. Frank Turner wasn’t the best GK performer we’ve seen all series, but he was taking it seriously, and building up a score. By the end of his round he’d taken his round into the teens with 13, and in the context of this series that certainly counts as a good performance.

Ben Faulks, sadly, made Frank’s round look even better. Starting off two points ahead on Specialist, he soon fell behind on the clock, and rather stumbled his way to 7 points for 16. I dare say that quizzing isn’t his game, and a couple of wrong answers early on did for his confidence. It happens. This left Roy Hudd to attempt to garner the 12 answers, or 11 answers and few passes, that would bring him the title. He came close. He was up with the clock for almost the whole round, until one of his last questions, about which painter’s work gave rise to the term Impressionism, which saw him waste valuable time before giving a wrong answer. This put him behind the clock, and meant that he ended up on 19. One more correct answer and he would have won on pass countback. Ah, the clock can be a cruel mistress sometimes. Well played Frank, who earned brownie points in my estimation by saying that appearing on Mastermind had always been on his bucket list of ambitions. Me too.

The Details

John Cooper Clarke SignpostFilms of Elvis Presley6 - 110 - 016 - 1
Ben FaulksThe RNLIThe Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition9 - 07 - 516 - 5
Roy HuddThe SamaritansLife and Career of Dan Leno9 – 0 10 - 019 - 0
Frank TurnerShelterIron Maiden7 - 213 - 420 – 6

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