Like anyone, I love a good quiz show. In fact, I love a bad quiz show as well. Sitting idly on your rump answering a few questions is a hobby that is hard to beat. Why anyone would humiliate themselves by going on a show is beyond me as I’m happy to be a coward and answer only the questions I know… or take random stabs at others without fear of national red-cheekery.
However, there is one show that I repeatedly tune in to that drives me insane… and that’s Eggheads (BBC Two, most afternoons at various times). It features some of the best quizzers in the world… and also, some of the most unbearable smuggery ever witnessed on TV.
The quiz champions who compete on the show are Kevin Ashman (winner of British Quiz Championship, European Quiz Championship, World Quizzing Championships, Fifteen to One, Mastermind, Brain of Britain and Mind Sports Olympiad), CJ De Mooi (winner of BrainTeaser, 100%, The Weakest Link and Mensa chess champion), Daphne Fowler (winner of Fifteen to One, Brain of Britain and Going for Gold), Chris Hughes (winner of Mastermind, International Mastermind and Brain of Britain) and Judith Keppel (first British winner of one million pounds on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?). An impressive list eh? Are they humbled by their success? Are they fu…
Looking at each Egghead in turn, you begin to understand why the show is so good at making anger. Kevin Ashman, with his haircut of a mass murderer is a dour bugger who really needs to cheer up. I have never seen him smile. If he did, the sky might crack and flood blood. CJ De Mooi is a rare one. Although I fear he may be harshly edited on the show, he doesn’t help himself by wincing and pursing his lips everytime a contestant answers a question. He’s got a shed at home where he keeps his superfluous smugness.
Daphne is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On the surface of things, she looks like a nice lady. She also looks like she really wants everyone to win some money. However, catch her in a wide angled shot and you’ll see peevish little looks when things go against her and her team. Chris Hughes is a mountain of smug. He’s an amazing man. Like the others, there is no doubting his great knowledge, but by God, you don’t have to ram it down our throats you great dolt! What he has in general knowledge, he lacks in people skills. Then we’ve got wonky mouthed Judith Keppel who, for all the world looks like someone who has been plonked on the show thanks to her celebrity status (after …Millionaire) and is completely resented by the rest of the Eggs.
Once you get over the incredibly annoying Eggs and sidestep your fury, you begin to notice the questions. When it comes down to it, at crucial moments in the game (be it a sudden death play-off thing), the Eggheads’ get mind numbingly easy questions. Some pub team from Rotherham get a question like “How many matches have been played in professional football since time began… as this is sudden death, you won’t get the options…”. Then the Eggheads will get “Who was Prime Minister in 1964?” You may not know the answer, but a regular quizzer laps that stuff up. I’m not even going into those giant screens behind each team that makes you feel like you’re watching some giants quizzing with dwarves. In short, I keep watching this show thanks to some unkind scheduling… but the fact remains… I WANT AN INQUEST (that, or a life would do me nicely).