Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sleb Mastermind - Show 7

Well, I can’t say that I was overly familiar with any of last night’s contenders. I have seen Hal Cruttenden before on some show or other, I think, and Sophie Hosking I knew as an Olympic gold medal winning rower. Clare Perkins joined the cast of Eastenders long after I stopped watching that particular doomfest, and like John I feel somewhat long in the tooth to listen to Radio 1, so Huw Stephens I did not know.

Right, the afore mentioned Mr. Cruttenden went first, with the Rocky films. After my measly one point on specialist in the previous show there were much richer pickings in this one. OK, I didn’t get close to my record of thirty odd the other day, but I made over 20. A large slice of these came from this first round. I managed 8, which wasn’t bad. Hal, though, had a perfect round of 12 from 12. That’s a fantastic score, and looked likely to give him a very useful lead at the halfway stage, bearing in mind what we’ve seen in this series.

Clare Perkins was answering on my least favourite subject of this particular show – the Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy. I thought he was the former Roman Catholic Bishop of Westminster, but I digress. I’ve never read the books, but a couple of lucky guesses, like San Antonio Texas added a couple of points to my aggregate. Clare did rather better than that, but 7 meant that she’d need a hell of a good GK round to put Hal into the corridor of uncertainty.

Now, Sophie Hosking was answering on a subject that I once considered taking as a Mastermind specialist subject myself – the London Underground. I didn’t ever actually take it, but it was well up the list of potential subject. I love the Tube, and I suppose it goes back to days out when I was nobbut a lad. While I’m not blind to its faults, for me the Tube always meant being taken to interesting places, or going home, or other good thing. As for Sophie’s round, well, it seemed to me that this maybe was a case of misunderstanding the parameters of the subject. She missed a couple of what I would call rather obvious Underground history questions. For example, it would be a poor history of the Tube that neglected the story of one legged Bumper Harris going up and down the escalator at Earls Court to prove it was safe, and wily Herbert Chapman getting the name of Gillespie Road station to Arsenal. I had 10, Sophie had 7.
Huw Stephens was apparently the youngest ever DJ on Radio 1. He won my respect by playing in aid of Ty Hafan, a very worthwhile charity, that I’ve had the pleasure of supporting in a couple of quizzes. Actually thereby hangs a tale. It must be about 18 years ago now that Alan, John, Barry and I played in a charity quiz in aid of Ty Hafan in Cardiff. It had been advertised in the local press, with mention made of a cash prize of something like £75. We expected there to be some other good teams there. Oh, no no no. By halfway through the quiz we were running away with it. All of the other teams were made up of workers with Ty Hafan, friends and family, or so it seemed. As we approached the last round, already the winners, the chairs of the other teams started to edge closer to us. I think it was John who said to Alan, “Right then, we need to make a decision. Either we donate the money back to the charity – or you’d better start the car now!” Of course we donated the money. Happy days. I managed a couple of Johnny Cash, and Huw managed a few more, finishing with 6.

This meant a speedy return to the chair. His 7 was neither the worst round we’ve seen all year, nor one of the best. Well, he came, and he played, and that’s pretty much what it’s all about. Well done for having a bash. Clare Perkins, now, seemed to mean business a lot more than Huw had, In fact she served up the best GK round of the evening, with a well taken 13. That pusher her score up to 20. I did mention the corridor of uncertainty earlier, and this was just enough in the context of this series to ensure that the result would not be a totally foregone conclusion.

In the meantime there was Sophie Hosking’s round. Sophie’s tactic was to take what she knew instantly, and to pass what she didn’t. This ensured that she achieved the relative rarity of an even balance between correct answers and passes, with 6 of each. That’s the way it goes. Which left just Hal. On the surface the 9 points he required for the win didn’t look to be that arduous a hill to climb, but then we’ve seen lots of people fail to score that well this series. Hal is a comedian though, and you know my theories about the majority of comedians punching above their weight in the Sleb series. So while Hal’s 11 was not as good as Clare’s GK round, it was enough to give him the win, with a bit of daylight between himself and Clare. Well done sir.

The Details

Hal Cruttenden The Brain Tumour CharityThe Rocky Films12 – 011 - 023 - 0
Clare PerkinsWilliams Syndrome FoundationThe Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy7 - 013 - 220 - 2
Sophie HoskingCombat StressThe London Underground7 - 36 - 613 - 9
Huw StephensTy HafanJohnny Cash – The Columbia Years6 - 17 - 313 – 4

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