Trivia Test Match



Brian Johnston


Team captains: Willie Rushton and Tim Rice


BBC Radio 4, 16 July 1986 to 1993


Quiz game with a scoring system based on the rules of cricket, hosted by longtime BBC cricket commentator Brian Johnston as the "umpire."

Team captains Tim Rice and Willie Rushton were joined by another celebrity from showbiz or cricket. The teams are offered a choice of question for 1 or 4 runs - the single being an easier question than the boundary. The batting team receives up to six questions (or an over) before questioning turns to the other team. The questions usually revolve around trivia and unusual facts.

However, there are ways in which a team can win back the questioning more quickly. If a team doesn't give the correct answer, the opposing team can shout 'Howzat!' and offer the correct answer to score a wicket and win the questioning. If they challenge the answer unsuccessfully, the batting team receives 2 runs in overthrows as compensation and keeps the batting.

Each team also has three bouncers. They can say 'Bouncer' before the next question is asked. All the bouncers are very difficult (often estimation questions or "how the hell was I supposed to that?"-type comedy questions) which score six runs if successfully answered. However, a wicket is lost and the batting goes to the other team if the answer is wrong.

The winning team is the one which scores the most runs by the end of the programme (the fewer number of wickets splitting any ties).


Peter Hickey and Malcolm Williamson


Trivia Test Match was also broadcast in the BBC World Service. A listener wrote,

I don't know why this programme is broadcast to this part of the world. People I have spoken to here in Hong Kong could not make head or tail of it.

Welcome to our world; people at the recording in Uxbridge could not make head or tail of it.


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