Sunday, 11 November 2018

Quiz Books of the Year #1

Don't worry, the series of general books of the year will continue, but just interlaced with that I am going to give an overview of some of the finest Quiz Books of the Year!

I will start with one I worked through at the start of 2018. The BBC released this superb quiz book of tough questions under the Brain of Britain banner. The sets are highly original and ease you in with a few rounds of medium level questions before bringing on the testers thick and fast. No filler, very few chestnuts and a whole host of brain punishing questions!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Books of the Year #4

The next in my series of the my favourite books of 2018, certainly comes under the banner "useful for quizzing". Although  fan of cricket, there are way too many weak spots in my knowledge for my liking and its been catching me out on sport quizzes a lot this year. So when I saw this was released, I thought the timing was perfect! A detailed, hefty well written biography about the sport, with plenty of facts and figures as well as stats about the team.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Books of the Year #3

Next in the series, is actually the first book I read this year and remains one of the best. This biography of Muhammd Ali by Jonathan Eig is not just one of the best sports biographies I have read, but one of the best biographies full stop. A weighty tome, and even though many sports fan will know the career of Ali, the style, detail and approach by Eig makes this an absolute joy!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Books of the Year #2

The next in the series on the books I have enjoyed most, or found the most useful this year. Adam Kays "This is Going to Hurt" is a diary of his years spent as a junior doctor. Informative whilst at the same time very shocking, the book has plenty of useful terminology on the world of medicine, but quizzing facts aside....this is a superb read!

New Pub Quiz in Sunderland - Launches Tonight!

Image result for the pickle sunderland
Quiz Night Launch in Sunderland - Tonight and every Thursday from 8.30pm!
My latest quiz venture kicks off tonight at the Pickle in Sunderland. Located right in the heart of the city centre, the quiz night each Thursday is set to be a fun packed evening with plenty of prizes! Hope to see you there one week!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Books of the Year 2018

Towards the end of the year on the blog, I tend to put together a list of the most useful books of the year, podcasts, apps etc and I have feedback in the past that its also served people as a good guide of what to buy for Christmas for their quizzing obsessed relatives. Today marks the first such post with a Book that has only just been released, but given its quality, is likely to make the list every year...

From the creators of the rather excellent podcast "No Such Thing as Fish" comes The Book of the Year 2018. This is a summary of the first 10 months of 2018 including a raft of major news stories, odd stories and fact and figures, all presented in a fun way. I first got the book in 2017 and it proved a goldmine for those typical "events of the year" rounds that litter quizzes this time of year. Hard to think of a new release book that has been as useful as this....

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Quiz in the North - Wakefield

This Saturday, November 10th, the latest Quiz in the North is taking place in Wakefield. With a set devised by one of the finest setters in the country, a team quiz and more, this should be one of the highlights of the quizzing calendar.

It is open to all, and you can find more details on the links below.

More details HERE and HERE

Monday, 5 November 2018

Fifteen to One is back!

Image result for fifteen to one
Series 9 on Fifteen to One returns to Channel 4 today! There are two series in the can, so hopefully they will air pretty much back to back. Look out in season 10 for a familiar face....

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

New Sunderland Quiz Night launches 8th November...

My next pub quiz venture in Sunderland is kicking off soon! The Pickle is a superb bar in the centre of Sunderland, and I will be starting to host a quiz there on Thursday 8th November. All my usual format with a wide range of prizes and plenty of rounds to test your brain. All starts at 7.30pm.
If you are looking for a pub quiz in Sunderland on Thursday Nights...give it a try. Be sure to say hi!

Monday, 22 October 2018

Mark Mason's latest book...

It is getting to that time of year again when I will soon be posting my annual countdown of the most useful and interesting books I have used for quizzing this year, but there was one book released this week that I must mention. Mark Mason has written several interesting books, and this one is no exception. Packed full of trivia, looking at the people who didn't quite manage to be the first person to achieve landmark achievements….

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Finger on Buzzers

Image result for fingers  on buzzers podcast lucy porterSee the source image
Fingers on Buzzers Podcast
As quite a fan of podcasts, I was very interested to hear of the launch of a new podcast all about quizzing at the back end of the summer called Fingers on Buzzers. The podcast is hosted by the comedian Lucy Porter, a keen pub quizzer and the Chase's own Jenny Ryan.
There have been about 8 episodes so far with a wide range of sections including guests from the world of quizzing, both contestants and producers, tips on quizzing, teasing questions on common quiz themes and general chit chat about quizzing itself.
Always worth a lesson and a fun 40-45 minutes each week. Available on all pod casting services (I happen to like Pod Bean!)….

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Pub Quizzes in Sunderland...hosted by me!

As mentioned earlier in he year, I never really saw myself as a quiz host but having jumped at the chance to host a quiz night back in May I have never looked back. I am currently running two quiz nights with a further two set to come. Here are the details of the current nights. If you are in the Sunderland area looking for a quiz.....then I'd love to see you there!

See the source image
The Albert, Sunderland
Running since May, we have a good team of regulars now at the Albert with different winners most weeks. The quiz starts at 7.30pm with a picture round, leading into a News, Entertainment, Music, Connectons, Themed Rounds, Gamble questions, Top 5s and General Knowledge rounds! In addition we have a jackpot which is growing by the week and up to around £170 this week. At the end of the month we also do a Last Team Standing game which is another chance to win!
See the source image
The Peacock
A slightly newer venture is the Peacock in the heart of Sunderland City Centre. A unique pub which is a superb setting for a quiz. Same format as above and growing every week!

Friday, 19 October 2018

Sunderland Echo Quiz League

The 2018-2019 season of the Sunderland Echo Quiz League gets underway next week. Ashbrooke claimed the title last season, and almost did the double, narrowly missing out to Penshaw in the cup final last week.

If you are in the local area and would like to take part in the league, please let me know and we can arrange for you to come down to one of the games and see how the league works,

The fixtures for the first rounds are below

Sunderland Echo Quiz League 2018-2019


Round 1 – 24th October

Prior v Ashbrooke
Penshaw v Chaplins
Newbottle v Navy Club

Setters:  Ship Isis


Round 2 – 31st October 2018

Ship Isis v Chaplins
Prior v Navy Club
Penshaw v Newbottle

Setters: Ashbrooke


Round 3 – 7th November 2018

Newbottle v Prior
Navy Club v Ship Isis
Chaplins v Ashbrooke

Setters: Penshaw


Round 4 –14th  November 2018

Navy Club v Penshaw
Chaplins v Prior
Ashbrooke v Ship Isis

Setters: Newbottle




Round 5 – 21st November 2018

Ashbrooke v Navy Club
Ship Isis v Newbottle
Prior v Penshaw

Setters: Chaplins


Round 6  - 28th  November 2018

Chaplins v Newbottle
Ashbrooke v Penshaw
Ship Isis v Prior

Setters: Navy Club


Round 7 – 9th January 2018

Penshaw v Ship Isis
Newbottle v Ashbrooke
Navy Club v Chaplins

Setters:  Prior


Thursday, 18 October 2018

Only Connect Returns This Monday

Fans of Only Connect will be pleased to know that the series returns this Monday on BBC 2 for another mammoth series. 

Friday, 28 September 2018

The Albert Quiz- This Sunday - Sunderland City Centre

20 weeks in and the Albert quiz remains strong with a great cohort of teams and different winners all the time! With rounds including pictures, news, connections, entertainment, music, alphabet rounds, Top 5's and General knowledge, in addition to our Jackpot which is now £140 ish, its a fun quiz night.

The Albert itself is a great bar in the heart of Sunderland City Centre on Fawcett Street. Ideal for transport links, great drinks and a friendly atmosphere...what more can you need?

The quiz kicks off at 7.30pm with the picture round and with a rolling jackpot, cash prizes and beer tokens to give away, you are in for a treat!

This Sunday is also the last of the month, meaning we do our special last team standing game to win a £20 beer token!

Hope to see you there one week....if you are looking for a Pub Quiz Sunderland, then The Albert is your best Sunday choice!

See the source imageSee the source image

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Pub Quiz in Sunderland

At the time of writing I am currently running 2 quiz nights in Sunderland City Centre with a 3rd to be added very soon. For anyone in the Sunderland area and keen on a pub quiz, here are the details...

See the source image

Sunday Nights - 7.30pm - The Albert - Fawcett Street, Sunderland City Centre

If you are looking of a pub quiz on a Sunday night in Sunderland look no further than the Albert. Only opened in December 2017, The Albert is a fabulous new bar which is perfect for the quiz. A great group get in every week, good regular competition and most teams usually end up with a prize!

See the source image

Tuesday Nights - 7.30pm - The Peacock, Sunderland City Centre

The Peacock Tuesday Night Quiz is currently in its third week and starting to build nicely. New teams every week, a nice range of prizes and a good set up in the pub itself giving us our own little area to quiz! If you are seeking a pub quiz in Sunderland on a Tuesday Night, look no further than The Peacock!

Coming Soon....

Monday Nights at Yates in Sunderland!


It has been about a month since I managed to post anything up on the blog, but with the Quiz League in full flow as well as my own new Quiz Night ventures launching across Sunderland, it has been a bit of a struggle to find the time. I do intend to post up some of the pub quizzes I have been producing on a weekly basis on the blog at some point....

Thursday, 30 August 2018

My latest Quiz Venture

I will be starting my next quiz as host on Tuesday September 11th at the Peacock in the heart of Sunderland City. After getting into hosting about 16 weeks ago now, I have started looking for a few extra nights as I am finding it much more enjoyable than I imagined!

Would love to see you there....

Monday, 6 August 2018

Gaby Roslins Talking Pictures

Radio 4 Extra is a treasure trove of shows which had limited runs on radio, and one I have just discovered, that I still haven't worked out if its newly produced or a repeat, is Gaby Roslins Talking Pictures which is a fun and interesting quiz on the subject of films. Worth checking out HERE

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Sunday Nights at The Albert Sunderland

Image may contain: Darren Wood, Daniel Fullard and Galvatron Cartman, people smiling, people sitting and indoorImage may contain: nightImage may contain: 4 people, including Daniel Fullard, Gary Gamblin and Kelly Breed, people smiling, people sitting and indoor
Quiz Night - The Albert - Sunderland - Sunday at 7.30pm
My quiz night in the Albert enters its 3rd month now and continues to go from strength to strength with a great core of regular players attending, producing 6 different winners in the past 6 weeks and a jackpot prize of £175 given away recently!
If you find yourself in Sunderland on a Sunday, the pub is located just opposite Wilkos and the Post Office on Fawcett Street, and we start at 7.30pm until around 10pm!
Hope to see you there one week. We are getting busy now so if you want to ensure you have a seat, please pop me an email to and Ill get one sorted!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Are you a pub owner in Sunderland?

Are you a pub manager in Sunderland? Do you want to fill your bar on a Wednesday night with a bunch of thirsty quizzers? Then you may want to consider adding a team into the Sunderland Echo Quiz League!

The League has been running for over 50 years and having recently taken over as league secretary, I am keen to get some new players in the league. All you need is a team of up to 6, a venue and you are set to go.

If you are keen to enter a team or indeed are an individual looking to join in some tougher, google free quizzing, then this could be a good chance to get involved. Pop me an email to

Friday, 3 August 2018

Book Suggestions

A couple of books I have been working my through lately by Mitchell Symons. 800 plus page tomes of interesting facts that are ideal for quizzers and questions masters alike. Of the few I have read, I would suggest the two to go for, and the ones with least repetition, would be the ones below!

Quiz Britain

I may have mentioned the rather excellent Quiz Britain app in the past but its certainly well worth mentioning again. The app and site is a guide to quizzing in the UK, and simply typing in your location will provide a comprehensive list of quizzes in the area.

You will find the site

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Quiz Review: River Bar Washington

See the source image

Location: Fatfield, Washington
Nights: Tuesday
Time: From 7pm
 Last night, for the first time in quite a while, I sampled a new quiz night in the local area due to the fact that my cousin happens to work behind the bar and alerted me to the Tuesday quiz. With over 50 players in the bar across 10-12 teams it is certainly one of the most packed quizzes Ive been to in a while. The pub itself is in a prime location, with easy parking and Tuesday nights are also 50% off food, which we of course took advantage of.
The quiz has 8 rounds of 6 questions, including a music round, as well as pictures and two "Who am I Style rounds". The questions were pretty straight forward standard pub quiz style, and the quiz rattles along at a pacey rate...all over by 9.30pm. The "Who Am I" rounds, both worth up to 10 points, do mean the quiz balances a lot on how well you do in that (which I suppose encourages different winners every week). Plenty of prizes, a jackpot round and a well run quiz all around.
Certainly worth a look!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Sunderland Echo Quiz League

It is that time of year again when the Sunderland Echo Quiz League's knockout cup commences. Not quite a knockout as such, but with a new format in play it might be an interesting season. Here are the fixtures if you fancy coming along to any games. Pop me a message if you do.

Gown Scott Memorial Rounds – Knockout Rounds

Week 1
August 1st
Setters -  Ashbrooke
Free Week – Newbottle
Ship Isis vs Navy Club
Penshaw vs Prior
Week 2
August 8th
Setters -  Navy Club
Free Week – Prior
Newbottle vs Ashbrooke
Penshaw vs Ship Isis
Week 3
August 15th
Setters -  Newbottle
Free Week – Penshaw
Prior vs Navy Club
Ship Isis vs Ashbrooke
Week 4
August 22nd 
Setters -  Ship Isis
Free Week – Ashbrooke
Navy Club vs Penshaw
Prior vs Newbottle
Week 5
August 29th
Setters -  Penshaw
Free Week – Navy Club
Ashbrooke vs Prior
Newbottle vs Ship Isis
Week 6
September 5th
Setters -  Prior
Free Week – Ship Isis
Navy Club vs Newbottle
Ashbrooke vs Penshaw
Week 7
September 12th
Week 8
September 19th
Setters - TBA
Free Week – N/A
Navy Club vs Ashbrooke
Prior vs Ship Isis
Penshaw vs Newbottle
Week 9
September 26th
Semi Final
Setter: 6th Place in Knockout Group Stage
Team 1 vs Team 4
Team 2 vs Team 3
Team 1 and 2 have choice of venue. Home team must provider quiz master

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Sunderland Echo Quiz League

Are you a keen quizzer in the Sunderland area or indeed a bar owner looking to boost business on a Wednesday night?

Then perhaps you may want to consider entering a team in the Sunderland Echo Quiz League. All you need is a venue and a team of up to 6!

If you want any more information please pop me an email to

This Weeks Jackpot Question...

The Jackpot in my pub quiz on a Sunday at The Albert, Sunderland remains in tact after another week on no one taking the big prize. Could you have done better? Here are the questions you would have had to answer...(1 correct answer would have won you close to £160)

Pop Music
What was Robbie Williams first UK Number 1 single as a solo artist?
The European Union
Which country is the Southernmost member of the EU?

Reality TV
Who was the first act, who appeared on the X Factor, to have 5 UK Number 1 singles?

Royal Weddings
Which British female singer performed the song for which Prince William and Catherine Middleton had their first dance at their wedding reception?



Monday, 2 July 2018

Sunday Night Quiz - The Albert, Sunderland

We are into Week 8 now of the Pub Quiz at The Albert in Sunderland city centre. The Quiz keeps to build week on week, with new teams coming in all the time. Once I get round to it I will begin posting up the full sets I am writing for the quiz week.
If you are in the Sunderland area, and are looking for a Sunday Night Pub Quiz, then get down to the Albert for 7.30pm! £175 up for grabs this week on the Jackpot

Sunday, 1 July 2018

World Cup Fever

It has been a while since I managed to post anything up on the blog, and have a back log of content to add so apologies....but like many people reading this, I have developed a bit of World Cup Fever....

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Jackpot still rolling...

The main jackpot still was not won this week at the Albert, so looking at around £130 next week. It was good to see some new teams in the quiz on Sunday, and it continues to grow and grow. Hope to see you there Sunday from 7.30pm!

Jackpot questions this week - (Answering one of these right could have won you £120)
As featured on every book published in the UK, how many digits are there in an ISBN number?

Which actor is also a member of the band “Hollywood Vampires”?
Which country voted to remove the Union Jack from their flag in 2015
The Peace of Westphalia ended which war?
Which fashion designer was responsible for Liz Hurleys infamous “safety pin dress”?

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Hosting at The Albert, Sunderland

I am now in my third week of hosting a weekly Pub Quiz in the centre of Sunderland at the Albert pub. Prior to the last month or so, I have never taken a fancy to hosting quizzes but when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance and find myself really enjoying it.

The pub itself is in a superb location right in the heart of Sunderland City Centre, and having only opened in December, is great on the inside too. There is a nice crowd building in there now and each week we are adding new teams. The Jackpot has rolled over for 3 weeks, and is over £100 next week, which is kind of what I wanted and the bar are very supportive with Prize Money and Beer Tokens to help get the night launched well.

If you are in the Sunderland area, let me know and I can reserve a table for you as we are starting to get busy!

Lightspeed Quiz - Football Special

Last month, I began to attend Lightspeed Quiz events once again after a few months off. The Lightspeed events themselves have developed into a fun day of quizzing with the main event, a QU12 qualifier for the end of season £500 game as well as a special set by one the players. I particularly enjoyed Brenda Curtis' Football themed set below....

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Next Series of 15-to-1

For those of you waiting for Series 9 and 10 of Fifteen to One to begin, it looks likely that the show has been pushed back until later Summer. I believe the original plan was to air it this week starting with Series 9 and going straight into Series 10 afterwards.  As a contestant on Series 10, we weren't given any indication of the air dates but roughly suggested it could be July. Either way, they have two series in the bag so hopefully it will come to air sooner rather than later.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Pub Quizzes in Sunderland

I have set up both a Facebook group (HERE) and a Twitter account (@PubSunderland) intended to promote quizzes in the local area. It is very difficult round these parts finding an accurate quiz listings or any information so I am hoping these two groups will help that cause :)

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Sunderland Echo Quiz League Champions - Ashbrooke

Congratulations to Ashbrooke who last night sealed the Sunderland Echo Quiz League title, edging out the champions of the past three season Newbottle.

The 2017-2018 season has been another tight affair for us (Chester's) and we managed to win the final game giving us a winning season, as well as the third highest points average in the league.

The Sunderland Echo Quiz League now takes a break for the Summer and we will back in August-ish time for the start of the Knockout Competition. If any local players are reading this then get in touch if you are interested, whether you are an individual or a team! It would be great to see more players in the League.

TEAM P W D L Total AV PTS Ashbrooke 18 15 0 3 661 36.7 30 Newbottle 18 14 0 4 740 41.1 28 Ship Isis 18 10 0 8 560 31.1 20 Chesters 18 9 1 8 566 31.4 19 Penshaw 18 6 1 11 555 30.8 13 The Prior 18 5 0 13 501 27.8 10 Chaplins 18 3 0 15 477 26.5 6

Monday, 14 May 2018

The Albert - Sunderland and Jackpot Rounds

Last night, I held my first Quiz in the Albert, a pub located in the heart of Sunderland City Centre. Congratulations to Quizzy McQuizFace who managed to win with an impressive 72 points. After trailing by 1 point in round one, they fought back and due largely to a clear victory in the Sports Round, managed to take home the prize

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

The Jackpot round was not won, giving us a roll over for next week so make sure you get yourself down at 7.30pm on Sunday! Ill post up the questions later in the week

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Tomorrow Night - The Albert Pub Quiz, Sunderland

Just one final shameless plug for my quiz taking place in The Albert in Sunderland tomorrow night! 7.30pm start and I have a great quiz planned with a chance to win money, beer and the all important jackpot!

Monday, 7 May 2018

This Sunday - My Quiz in Sunderland

This Sunday night, my new regular quiz night kicks off at the Albert in Sunderland (located in the city centre in what used to be The Vestry). The picture round will be given out at 7.30pm with the quiz starting around 8 and including rounds on News, GK, Sport, Connections, Top 5's and Entertainment as well as a Music Round and a Jackpot. The bar have been very supportive with prizes and I have put together what I think is a really solid quiz, so I hope if you are in the Sunderland area, it would be great to see you there!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Pub Quiz Review

See the source image
The Blue Bell, Sunderland
Tuesday Nights - 9pm
Our search for a new quizzing home on Tuesday Nights continues (due to a rather harsh ban on two of our team from playing the quiz we have attended on Tuesday for the past 6 months) and we headed to the Blue Bell this week which is based in Fulwell, just outside of Sunderland City Centre.
I had been to this quiz a couple of times before, but it had been probably 3 or 4 years since my last visit. The quiz kicks off with a straight forward picture round, followed by 10 questions on current affairs, 20 on General Knowledge and a jackpot round. The quiz is hosted by a member of the local quiz league and thus the question standard is higher than you would expect elsewhere, with a nice range of questions and a handful of ones that had us thinking.

Prizes on offer include money and beer tokens and there were 12 teams in attendance which is a good figure for this area. The quiz itself is well worth attending if you are in the area, and although it is perhaps a bit on the short side, it is certainly somewhere I would return again. (Especially as we now have vouchers for free beer!).
Tony (the host of this quiz) himself has also written a quiz book, containing 4000 quiz questions across a range of subjects. All the kind of things you are likely to come across at your local quiz night and well worth a look.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Lightspeed Quiz - April 2018, Oxford

It has been a while since I last attended a LightSpeed quiz for a variety of reasons, but when I heard Chris Curtis was hosting one in Oxford, I made the effort to take the four hour drive there last weekend. The whole event was fun, above is the first video of the initial rounds and Ill post up all specials etc as they are uploaded to the site by the organiser.

Very high standard as always, and some fantastic questions by Chris!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

QLL Brain of London Finals Night

Last week was the Final of the Quiz League of London's individual Brain of London contest. For the past few years, they have been streaming the finals live on Facebook. Well worth a watch if you want to see how high quality questions and a fantastic range of questions. Available to watch HERE

Pub Quiz Review - The Chequers, Oxford

Image result for chequers inn oxford
Last Friday of Each Month
The Chequers, Oxford
Last Friday, I took the long drive down to Oxford for a mini-weekend of Quizzing. The main focus of the trip was to attend a Buzzer quiz event (LightSpeed quiz....more on that later) but as it transpired there was a quiz happening nearby the night before which a group of us tried out. The quiz is ran by Dale Collins, of whom I had heard great things, and hence I jumped at the chance of attending.
The pub itself was pretty much full to capacity and they would have struggled to get any more teams in, so my advice if you wish to attend is to book in advance. As well as our table of keen quizzers, a Mastermind champion was in attendance and the standard throughout was very high.
The quiz differed to anything I played in the past in one key area....there is no overall winner. Every round is separate with prizes for the winners. There were picture rounds, music rounds, forward thinking (in which you got 5 bonus points if you predicted your score), entertainment and sport rounds meaning everyone could get involved, and the standard of questions was very high.
The highlight of the quiz was perhaps the final round in which Dale issues each team with a buzzer and you score 3 points for a correct answer but lose 3 if you are wrong. Considering our team consisted of regular buzzer-quiz players, I fancied our chances and sure enough we strode to victory, enabling us to play the jackpot game first. This was basically a list based game where we had to identify the top earning Sportsperson from 2017 from a given list (harder than you think).
Overall a great night, being perhaps the best team I have been a part of inside a pub quiz, making it a very unique experience. Yes, it would have been nice to have an overall points total and winner, but it hardly detracts from a very fun pub quiz experience and I would certainly urge anyone to visit a Dale Collins quiz if they are nearby (I will try and get a full list soon).

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Brain of Britain Appearance

Before I start, it is worth mentioning that this post contains Spoilers about yesterdays episode of Brain of Britain. If you want to listen to the episode you will find it HERE









Five years ago, I made my first appearance on Brain of Britain. It was shortly after I had taken steps towards competing in more competitive quizzes and I was full of enthusiasm and trying to enter as many broadcast shows as possible. Things didn't go to plan and I ended up bottom of my heat with 3 points. I was determined to come back 5 years later (the necessary waiting period for re-application) and do myself more justice.



The show you heard yesterday, was only recorded last Monday (16th April) at the BBC Radio Theatre in London. During the audition process I had stated I was happy to travel to either venue (Salford being the other) and having been to Salford for the recording in 2013, it was nice to go somewhere different. The Radio Theatre itself is a fantastic venue, and as always with these recordings, was full to the brim.


My main ambition going into the heat was to better my performance from 5 years ago. In that time I have done a heck of a lot of quizzing and improved my scores in the GP’s dramatically from where I started (although still highly inconsistent). Despite nerves getting the better of me at a recent TV recording, I felt quite relaxed, until the theme music hit. I wasn’t as nervous this time around, but still had the “blank mind” issue that has plagued me before.

I must admit, the first priority was to score a point. I think the “fear of zero” needed wiped out, so was happy to pick up the Sampdoria question on a bonus. I made a couple of schoolboy errors…..When asked for a character for the Lolita questions, I somehow managed to get in my head they were looking for a historical figure and when it came to the Dennis Meanace questions, I was completely down the wrong tracks looking for a cartoon-duo for some reason!


The annoying questions were the Right Said Fred/Taylor Swift question which I only recently read but couldn’t recall in the time, and the Great Expectations question which just didn’t come to mind. Salt N Peppa too is something I will have answered right before, but by that point in the show I think even if they asked me my own name I would have passed!


Even on my best day, I would still have been nowhere near to Mark Coopers commanding score. The way Brain of Britain works, it helps if you haven’t got other keen and experienced quizzers in your heat, and Mark gave a masterclass. Anthony Fish too, I later found out, is a keen GP attendee and regular quizzer which explains his stellar comeback towards the end of the episode.


However, I have no complaints and again the whole experience was fun, meeting great people and taking part in one of my favourite broadcast quizzes. I will still be under 40 the next time I am eligible to re-apply which will hopefully work in my favour, and I would love to have another stab at doing my self-justice. Somehow I need to master quizzing under pressure, and despite leaving Brain of Britain terribly disappointed I didn’t do myself justice (especially with recent GP scores), it certainly hasn’t put me off!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Albert, Sunderland - Hosted by me!


Image may contain: text

Although I write questions for various pubs, companies, apps and such like on a regular basis, I have never until recently had the fancy to run my own quiz night. But a stroke of luck landed me in contact with The Albert Pub, located in Sunderland city centre, and after a brief discussion I have agreed to host a quiz on Sunday Nights.

If you are in the Sunderland Area, The Albert is a superb location and the quiz will commence on 13th May with a nice jackpot to start us off, and prizes galore. I will post more details nearer the time.


Friday, 20 April 2018

Quiz Review - Music Quiz, The Grange Sunderland

Image result for the grange sunderland
Location: The Grange, Sunderland
Time: Sundays, from 8.30pm
Lying around 1 mile outside of Sunderland City Centre, the Grange is part of the Sizzling chain and probably the closest pub to my home. I have know about the existence of the Sunday Night Music Quiz in the venue for some time, and eventually managed to get round to attending last weekend. I am usually quite strong on music quiz questions, not so much on audio rounds, so didn't know what to expect. I convinced my other half to come along, and we were one of about 8 teams competing for a prize of a meal voucher for the pub itself.
I will start with the positives....the format is great with a lot of different styles of rounds to keep players occupied. Pictures, themed audio rounds, traditional audio rounds, list rounds...clearly effort is made to putting together a fun quiz. In all there are around 20 music quiz questions, 16 pieces of audio, 10 pictures in the picture round and a handout round. Last weeks was a list of Oscar Winning songs and you simply had to identify the films from which they came. I did enjoy it on the whole, and my other half also did (which is a rare when it comes to quizzing)....however there is one big criticism.
It was pitched at far too low of a level....this isn't me being arrogant, but we scored 57/60 and came 5th. There was a 4 way tie for first place on 58/60 and the lowest score was 54/60. I am all for an easy first half to get people suckered in and thinking they can win, but a harder second half is a must if thats the style. I personally would much rather come 5th with 70% of the points and have learned a think or two, than be 5th with only 3 points dropped. It is very easy to write an easy quiz.....the skill comes in writing a quiz that is going to produce staggered results.
I will give it another go, and if you are in the area it is well worth attending. If it is always so simple though, I maybe will look elsehwere