Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mastermind Verdict?

Not yet

I would love to comment on what transpired on Friday night, after all a fellow quiz team-mate was vying for the title and - believe it or not! Sometimes even I am a tad unsure - I did compete in the series, but iPlayer was being distinctly sluggish and slow due to my temperamental dongle and I have not been able to watch it beyond Nancy's SS round and her St. Louis zoomaround. I bet the directors really love spreading their wings a little. It's a pity quiz show viewers don't actually care and just want to see a quiz; not fancy, circling camera movements and eyesight-scarring fade-outs and ambient mood music more suited to a bad Ibiza chill-out bar, which ultimately adds up to a okay-ish corporate video.

But sometimes I think my participating on MM seems more like a hallucinatory fever dream in the memory. This is because of the time-lag between the series concluding and my recording my round one ambition crash 16 months ago. Yes, that right SIXTEEN months gone. A lot of life has happened since then, and in my own case, at least three different hairstyles.

Reading Nancy's Sunday Express interview, I snorted in pathetic amusement on seeing the incidental detail - "She was already seven months pregnant when she auditioned" "Her daughter, Imogen, is now nearly 14 months old - and adding it up to that magic 16 number (Yeah, even if I did know the long, long gap already. I was empathising with the not so quizzed-up regular Sexpress reader joining the dots. Obviously). That's nearly half the queen-ship of Anne Boleyn. It's a long time. Ok, I've beaten that particular ex-horse. Cease.

You have to wonder if BBC2 are showing the right kind of love for a programme, which was so much of a big deal in the Magnus Magnusson days. The perfect solution would be to return it to its quiz hour with UC, because ratings would undoubtedly be boosted by its clasping the beefy paws of its quiz-for-prestige cousin.

Only at the moment, MM seems fated to be wander around the evening schedules aimlessly, looking a bit lost and bumping into the furniture, while being subject to the whim of the station controllers, who think it can always make temporary way, like an affable old chap pushover - ("Go on take a fortnight off. Put your creaky knees. We going to put a cooking thing with that bloke with the nice hair on instead") - for something a bit more zippy, lifestyle-y, you know something that's got a bit more pep and isn't in its thirties.

I heard from a current series contestant that they were planning to change the the chatty bit and do the contestant interaction up front "like an iPod advert". Yes, that's right. iPod ad. It sounds so insane and so hilarious precisely because I have no idea what that actually means.

Surely, they won't be donning all over black body suits and dancing against primary colour backgrounds to whichever new single a rather dull yet popular band want to whore off to the world? What a time to be alive.

Of course. the said contestant may have fed me a complete lie and I must congratulate him/her by creating a vessel of deceit believable enough to make me write some blog rubbish about it. But even if it is a fabrication, it was fun pondering such brazen madness for a couple of minutes.

Sometimes, I just think the makers and schedulers should just trust it on the original basic merits that propelled it into the national consciousness. I trust that I don't have to spell them out, but you know old-fashioned has never ever been the fashion on TV. A show must always evolve, forward not backwards, higher not lower, louder not quieter, shinier not duller, spunkier not chunkier, funkier not ... oh why oh why oh why.

1.The root of the word means 'to permit', though another derivative means 'ear'. Recited by the muezzin, what is the Islamic call to prayer?
2. Which Aldershot-born South African romance writer (1903-73) is said to be the second most profilic author ever? Her 904 books - written under 11 pseudonyms - include such titles as There is No Yesterday and Wind of Desire.
3. The brainchild of the late Saudi prince Faisal ibn Fahd, which tournament started in 1992 as the King Fahd Cup?
4. A 15-mile stretch of which road between junction 13 of the M65 and Long Preston is said to be the most dangerous road in the UK, with over 100 deaths in the last decade? It is a favourite with motorcycle enthusiasts, especially early on Sunday mornings.
5. Its trade name came into use in 1912 and is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word for 'head covering'. The original factory that made them was founded in the early 1870s by Benjamin Dunkerley, the inventor of a machine that removed the hair tip from rabbit hair for use in the making of felt hats. Which Australian brand of hat's wide-brimmed styles have become a part of the country's culture and are especially popular in rural areas?




Answers to FE:XXXXIV
1. Adhan or Azan
2. Kathleen Lindsay (the 1986 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records refers to her "Mary Faulkner" pen name)
3. Confederations Cup
4. A682
5. Akubra


Anonymous David B said...

>I just think the makers and schedulers should just trust it on the original basic merits that propelled it into the national consciousness.

Surely you mean "The scheduling change caused by Mary Whitehouse's outrage that caused it to be thrust into the spotlight"?

7:00 PM  

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