You know, there are some specialist subjects that lend themselves far more easily to the wiki challenge than others. Let’s take a look at the subjects for tonight’s show : -
The Thick of It
You see what I mean? Now, biographical subjects are usually decent hunting grounds for wiki challengers, so Eric Clapton and T.E. Lawrence offer possibilities. But TV series are far less so, and as for a catch-all subject such as British poetry, well, I’m not saying that you couldn’t prepare for it on wiki, but it would take you a very, very long time. I’ll tell you why I mention this. I know there will be a limited number of times this series that I will be able to devote much time to wiki challenges, so I want to try to set a personal record for an aggregate score in the specialist rounds of a heat. Looking at the subjects, this is how I would rate my chances unwikied: -
The Thick of It
I have never actually watched this show, so it’s highly unlikely that I’d get more than one lucky point on something tangential.
It’s just possible that some old chestnuts might get me three, or at a push 4 points.
Oh dear. You see, my degree subject was actually English Literature, and I teach English. But come on – British poetry! I thought that the Summer Olympic Games when I took it was a wide subject – but this! Let’s be arrogant and say I might get about 6 of these unwikied.
T E Lawrence
Another subject where I don’t think it would be reasonable for me to expect more than one or two unwikied.
So, added together, I reckon my maximum unwikied aggregate would be 14, and that would be pushing it. Well, here’s my wiki derived questions: -
The Thick of It
Name the creator of the series
The first hour long special was for Christmas, the second coincided with which event?
ON which channel did it makes its debut in 2005?
Who was the controller of BBC Four who originally commissioned it?
Ianucci described it as Yes Minister meets which US comedy show?
Which former BBC journalist and civil servant was adviser to the writing team?
What was the title of the feature film spin off released in 2009?
In which department is it set?
Who plays the minister Hugh Abbott?
What is the name of Rebecca Front’s character, who replaces Abbott at the head of DOSAC in the 3rd series?
How many half hour episodes were made in 4 series?
What is the name of the MP ousted by Abbott in the first episode of the first series?
In episode 2, Tucker orders Abbott to sort out his policy on which soap opera?
Which word – which became a word of the year – was first used in the series in the 1st episode of series 3?
In episode 3 of the 3rd series, Nicola has to prepare a speech for a party conference in which resort?
In episode 5 of the 3rd series, Nicola clashes with Peter Mannion on whose radio show?
Who is the Housing Campaigner whose suicide leads to the Lord Justice Goolding enquiry?
What is the title of the online webisode series which ran concurrently with the third series?
Which derogratory term is applied to the supporters of Prime Minister in waiting, Tom Davis?
In which category was Peter Capaldi twice nominated for a BAFTA for his role in the series, before finally winning in 2010?
Gordon Brown’s appointment as Prime Minister
In the Loop
Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship
Out of the Thick of It
Best Comedy Performance – Male
Clapton was enrolled three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – as a solo artist, as a member of Cream and which other band?
Which whom did Clapton play immediately after leaving the Yardbirds?
Which award did Clapton receive for his services to Music in 2004?
Which centre for recovering substance abusers was founded by Clapton on Antigua in 1998?
What was the nationality of his father, Edward Fryer?
Which German make of guitar did Clapton receive for his 13th birthday?
After leaving Hollyfield school in Surrey, Clapton to went to study where?
With whom did the 16 year old Clapton first begin playing as a duo?
IN the first half of 1963 Clapton joined his first band. what were they called ?
Clapton and the Yardbirds first came to prominence when they inherited the Rolling Stones’ residency at which club?
Who did Clapton tell Ray Coleman had first coined his nickname of Slowhand?
In 1965, Clapton left the Bluesbreakers for a few months to tour Greece with which band?
IN which Manchester club did Clapton and Cream play their first gig in 1966?
While a member of Cream, Clapton was affected by a critical review in which publication?
With whom did Clapton co write the Cream single Badge?
On which Beatles’ song from the White Album did Clapton play guitar?
Clapton joined super group Blind Faith after Cream broke up. How many songs were on their album Blind Faith?
With which act, who had opened concerts for Blind Faith, did Clapton act as sideman ?
What was the provisional name of the group that became Derek and the Dominos?
Which part did Clapton play in the Ken Russell film version of the Who’s rock opera Tommy?
Which album featured Clapton’s first number 1 solo single “I Shot the Sheriff”?
In which benefit concert did Clapton make his first stage duet with Jeff Beck?
At which Minnesota Centre did Clapton receive treatment for alcoholism in 1982?
On which Roger Walters solo album did Clapton perform in 1984?
Who worked with Clapton on the production of the Albums Behind the Sun and August?
Clapton won a BAFTA award for his work on the soundtrack of which BBC TV thriller?
Who was the mother of Clapton’s son Connor, tragically killed by a fall from the window of his apartment?
Which was the only album featuring new material that Clapton released during the 1990s?
Who is Clapton’s second wife?
In 2004 which magazine placed Clapton at 54 on its list of greatest musicians of all time?
The Road To Escondido was a collaboration between Clapton and which other guitarist?
In 2006 Clapton played at Highclere to support which cause?
Who ghost wrote Clapton’s official memoirs?
In which Dire Straits album does Clapton receive a credit for lending Mark Knopfler a guitar?
In 2010 Clapton started appearing as a spokesman for which mobile phone company?
Who gave birth to Clapton’s oldest child, Ruth Kelly Clapton, in 1985?
In 1976 Clapton caused controversy with his voiced support from which controversial politician?
Between 1993 and 1997 Clapton served as a director of which drug and alcohol dependence treatment centre?
4 times Clapton has organised guitar festivals to help which centre on Antigua?
Which town in Surrey was Clapton’s birthplace?
John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
Kingston College of Art
Twisted Wheel Club
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Delaney and Bonny
Del and the Dynamos
461 Ocean Boulevard
The Secret Policeman’s Ball
The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
Edge of Darkness
Lory Del Santo
The Countryside Alliance
Christopher Simon Sykes
Brothers in Arms
British Poetry (This is derived from the Wikipedia pages on English poetry – Scottish poetry – Irish Poetry – Welsh Poetry )
Who was accorded by Bede as the writer of the earliest English poem?
Which anglo saxon poem is partially inscribed on the Ruthwell Cross?
Which is the only heroic epic to have survived from the Anglo Saxon period in its entirety?
Who wrote Brut, based on Wace’s anglo norman epic?
Patience, Cleanness and which other poem also appear in the same original manuscript as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight?
Which friend and contemporary of Chaucer wrote the Confessio Amantis?
Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess is written to console whom on the death of his wife?
Which of the Scottish Chaucerians wrote The Testament of Criseyde?
Who is widely believed to be the subject of the Thomas Wyatt sonnet – Whoso List To Hunt?
Who wrote Arcadia?
Which term is traditionally applied to poets such as John Donne, George Herbert and Andrew Marvell?
Which was the first major work of poetry to appear in England after the restoration of King Charles II?
Which two rivals were attacked in Alexander Pope’s DUnciad?
With whom did William Wordsworth collaborate on the Lyrical Ballads?
Which poem by Shelley was often quoted by Mahatma Gandhi in its statement of nonviolent protest?
Who wrote the verse novel “The Ring and the Book”?
Which term was applied to the Victorian poets such as Swinburne and Wilde
Which group came to prominence in the 50s through Robert Conquest’s anthology New Lines?
Which welsh poem is actually considered the earliest example of Scottish literature?
Which is the earliest surviving major text of Scottish poetry?
Who wrote the extended poem The King’s Quair?
Which scots poet led a "vernacular revival", the trend for pastoral poetry and developed the Habbie stanza?
Who claimed to have found poems by the ancient bard Ossian?
Which scots poet was born Christopher Murray Grieve?
Which welsh poet of the 6th century is sometimes credited as the brother of St. Gildas?
Which 6th century welsh bard is also a character in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King?
Between 1100 and 1500 welsh poetry is divided into two periods, the later being the period of the poets of the nobility. Which term is applied to the earlier?
Who is regarded as the first important welsh born poet to write in the English language?
The Dream of the Rood
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Sir Philip Sydney
Theobald and Cibber
The Masque of Anarchy
John Barbour’s Brus
The Period of the Poets
What was Lawrence’s middle name?
Which Irish baronet was Lawrence’s father?
Where was Lawrence born?
What was the name of the house where he was born?
By which diminutive was Lawrence known to his family in his younger days?
Who was Lawrence’s friend with whom he made cycling trips visiting every church in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire?
In which Oxford College did Lawrence study History?
What was the subject of Lawrence’s thesis?
Lawrence abandoned his postgraduate studies at which college?
In December 1910 Lawrence joined D.C.Hogarth in his excavations where?
Trained originally as an archaeologist, Lawrence was coopted by the British army in January 1914 to undertake a military survey in which desert?
What was the name of the American journalist whose sensationalised account of the Arab revolt greatly enhanced Lawrence’s reputation?
On his formal enlistment in 1914, Lawrence was appointed to the General Officer Command where?
Which officer trained Lawrence in the use of explosives?
Who commanded the Arab irregular troops with whom Lawrence fought during the Arab revolt?
In December 1916 Lawrence enlisted the help of the Royal Navy to turn back an Ottoman attack on which port?
One of Lawrence’s great achievements was in persuading the Arabs not to make a frontal assault on the Ottoman stronghold in which city, and concentrate their efforts on attacking the Hejaz railway?
To which rank was Lawrence promoted after the capture of Aqaba?
Lawrence was awarded the DSO for his leadership in which battle?
Lawrence sustained several injuries in a 1919 air crash in which type of plane?
In 1922 Lawrence enlisted into the RAF under which name?
Which writer was the recruiting officer who interviewed Lawrence and initially rejected his application to enlist in the RAF?
Under the name T.E.Shaw, which unit of the armed forces did Lawrence join in 1923 after leaving the RAF?
Lawrence’s residency in Chingford is commemorated with an obelisk on which hill?
At different times Lawrence owned 8 examples of which motorcycle?
Following his death in 1935, Lawrence was buried in the family plot of which family of his cousins?
Who sculpted the effigy of Lawrence in the church of St. Martin, Warham?
During his lifetime Lawrence published a translation of which work of Greek literature?
Lawrence wrote the Seven Pillars of Wisdom during a seven year research fellowship at which Oxford College?
Lawrence was forced to rewrite The Seven Pillars of Wisdom after losing the manuscript while changing trains at which railway station?
The Preface of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom thanked which writer and his wife for their help in editing the book?
Once the debts in the production of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom had been repaid, the Seven Pillars trust set up by Lawrence ensured that profits would go to which cause?
What was the title of Lawrence’s unpublished memoir of his experiences in the RAF?
Which honour did Lawrence decline in 1918?
Sir Thomas Chapman
The Influence of the Crusaders on European Military Architecture
Battle of Tafileh
Handley Page Type O
Thomas Hume Ross
The Royal Tank Corps
RAF Benevolent Fund
Well, there we are – that’s about the length of my wiki research. I’ll be interested to see how many extra points it brings me in tonight’s show. Watch this space.