TV quizzes used to be great. The hosts would indiscriminately fire questions at contestants like a Gatling gun with diahorrea. The likes of 15 to 1, Blockbusters and University Challenge knew their audience and pitched questions perfectly and quickly, so if you got one wrong, another would soon be on the way that you could have a stab at. However, with only University Challenge around these days, those of us who like to shout as many random facts at the telly as they can in 30 minutes don’t have a lot of options beyond the general knowledge round of Mastermind.
Perhaps the worst culprit of this is Eggheads. I guess it’s aiming at people who like pub quizzes where you get time to chat with your mates about the answers before putting it down on paper. However, on TV it’s just dull and gives too much time to the contestants to pretend not to know the answer before, low-and-behold, they do. The Eggheads themselves are the absolute worst at this.
Personally, I lay the blame squarely at the door of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, with its three questions every 30 minutes format. Why should they get endless thinking time, phone a friend, or a lifeline? Its multiple choice, how many chances do you want? It would be great to see some guy or girl rock up, bang out nine or ten correct answers in a couple of minutes and walk of with a cool million quid in the back pocket: “Sorry Chris, I don’t do cheques, can you stick it in my account if I give you account number and sort code. Cheers.”
As this post is about quizzes I refuse to include anything on the Weakest Link which isn’t a quiz, just an excuse of Anne Robinson to be able to afford plastic surgery.
It is high time 15 to 1 made comeback. It was the perfect quiz. Many, many questions on a variety of questions, which were asked by the perfect quizmaster, William G. Stewart, who stood in the centre, with his immaculate suit and hair, holding a big stack of questions on cards. No desk, no monitor, no fuss.
I bet if it was brought back though they’d try to modernise it and it would be presented by George Lamb and called 15-2-1. Eurgh.