Weaver's Week 2001-09-11

Weaver's Week Index

11th September 2001

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.

This week...

- University Challenge

- Foreign news

- Real-life quizzes


This week, Wadham Oxford takes on the University of Cranfield.

Cranfield lost heavily to Nottingham in the first round two years ago, and lost heavily to Imperial in the opener last year. It's Wadham's first appearance in the Paxman era.

This show swiftly into Conor O'Neill (Wadham) -v- Andrew Gregory (Cranfield) - the two split the first six starters. Wadham takes the lead, only for Cranfield to briefly draw level. Wadham pulls ahead again, leading 110-40 going into the music round. At this stage, Wadham has just 7 of 24 bonuses; Cranfield has 8 of 9. Not answering bonuses correctly doesn't hurt Wadham, as they're getting the lion's share of the starters. Cranfield does narrow the gap to 65 points with a few minutes to play, but can only lose heavily, 235-120. We won't be able to discuss the finer points of apple packing with Paul Dauny, Cranfield captain and PhD researcher into that field.

For Wadham, O'Neill got 9 starters and credit for 116 points, just under half the team total. Alex Carroll didn't buzz on a starter. The team got 16 of 48 bonuses. Cranfield finished with 12 of 21.


News reaches my ears that HISTORY IQ, the only American quiz show that deserved to be picked up in the UK, is to be cancelled. It "doesn't fit the [History] channel's pattern of programming," argue execs. Yet when I was in the US earlier in the year, it was far more attractive than the staid local news, and persuaded my room-mate to watch more History Channel than any other cable network. Even ESPN.

The show was unashamedly intellectual, challenging its contestants to spot the mistake (for 50 points) and correct it (for another 100). I didn't notice that the show has a dress code, expecting contestants to appear in a shirt and tie. I did notice that it's a fabulous format, one that could easily fit on the BBC's promised "unashamedly intellectual" channel, BBC4.

www.tvbarn.com brought this to my attention.


The email box at Weaver Towers fluttered into life this week, with this missive from Mr Will Jones.

"The British Quiz Association recently launched as the organisation intended to become the national body to assist and represent quiz players and promote quizzing in the United Kingdom.

"Among the things we have planned, the association will be running the 2001 British Quiz Championship which is to be held on Saturday 10 November 2001 in Oxford. More information and a history of this competition is available via the web site, together with joining instructions for the association itself.

"There is more information on the web site than I can put in this e-mail, so to find out more, visit: http://www.bqa.org.uk/


US Millionaire host Regis Philbin reckons that teachers are amongst the worst performers in his hot seat. They're worrying about how stupid they'll look in front of their pupils. Weakest Link Daily (round maximum: £1000) put this to the test last Friday, with a Teachers' Special. Anne Robinson commented: "Round 2, team, and so far you've banked £70." The winner left class with a quite respectable £2620.

Judith Keppel, Millionaire's First Millionaire, has been doing the rounds on the chat shows recently. She's put her name to a quiz book, and a quick flick shows the standard of questions is rather high. 6 pounds or less from all good bookstores.


After the false start of Celebrity Millionaire last Tuesday (actors from soap CORONATION STREET play for charity) the real thing returns Saturday night at 8:15 (11:15 ITV2), Tuesday at 8 (11 ITV2). Before that, Ulrika Jonsson's DOG EAT DOG is back for the second series in a few months at 7 on BBC1; at 6:05 is Jim Davidson's GENERATION GAME, included here for completeness.

ITV debuts THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN at 1:35 Monday. The blurb: "Three contestants play for the chance to win £5000, and viewers at home can also join in and try to win the same amount." Daily. Repeats of CATCHPHRASE at 2:35 in most regions.

The final WEAKEST LINK CELEB SPECIAL airs Wednesday at 8 on BBC1. It's TV Medics, actors from medical dramas. They can't do worse than the footballers, surely. Followed by WINNING LINES. ITV responds with FAMILY MISFORTUNES on Thursday at 8, the strangest moments from twenty years of the show.

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