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Tuesday 25 September 2012 10.33pm
Channel surfing this evening I landed on a classic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire episode from I guess around 2008-2009.
The guy in the chair was a 32 y.o. headmaster.
I thought, okay, he's young, but as a headmaster, he should be pretty good.
His first question was: In which pantomime does Wishee-Washee appear?
I forget all the options, but I knew that it was Aladdin, so it was a reasonable assumption that he'd know it, but he asked the audience.
Okay, maybe nerves.
Second question: The Mendip Hills are in which area of the UK, N.E., N.W., S.E., or S.W.?
I knew that they were in the Somerset area, but he had no idea, "Can I phone a friend?"
Phoned his father-in-law, who knew that the answer was S.W.
Third question: What is another word for Tortilla?
Welsh Rarebit, Spanish Omelette, French Toast, or German Sausage?
He dithered for a long time, saying "The Spanish and French languages are very similar!?!?", (in which universe?), but eventually went out on a limb and plumped correctly for Spanish Omelette.
Fourth question: The Italian word Primavera refers to which season?
He said "Pri, (not pre), means before, so if vera means Winter then it's Autumn, but if vera means Summer, then it's Spring."
Eventually he went 50-50 and as vera sounded more summery, (he said), took a shot on the correct answer, Spring.
His next question was, in which Dickens book was Inspector Bucket?
I didn't know, and neither did he, so he took the £5000.
I thought, "Jeez, if my kids were at his school, I'd be gutted."
p.s. Maybe pri means before in Italian, I don't know, but then I'm not a headmaster!
Wednesday 26 September 2012 7.29am
That is a concern, Tom, and if he got the job by being the best of a bad lot, then what's more worrying is that the unsuccessful candidates will end up somewhere else.
Wednesday 26 September 2012 7.03pm
Would they not to have basic knowledge questions asked before actually getting on the show?

I often smile and think how easy it is for me to think I know it all, but I know stress of being there must hinder them, But with someone who is only 32 and in theory should have the knowledge and speed of answer not to have answered those questions is beyond me.

My favourite programme at the moment is The Chase, trouble is Bradley Walsh sometimes is not clear when asking the questions, I feel a thrill of personal pleasure when a supposed learned professional gets it wrong!
Wednesday 26 September 2012 8.44pm
I know what you mean, Jan.
In the old days of University Challenge, (Bamber Gascoigne era,) I used to chuckle to myself when I answered a question none of the brainy students knew the answer to.
A classic case of little things pleasing little minds I suppose.
Wednesday 26 September 2012 9.31pm
I quite like "Eggheads" on BBC2 at 18.00, I just live to see that smarmy s.o.b. C.J. get knocked out, Childish?, Moi?
Thursday 27 September 2012 9.46pm
Tom Pepper wrote:
Channel surfing this evening I landed on a classic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire episode from I guess around 2008-2009.
The guy in the chair was a 32 y.o. headmaster.
I thought, okay, he's young, but as a headmaster, he should be pretty good.
His first question was: In which pantomime does Wishee-Washee appear?
I forget all the options, but I knew that it was Aladdin, so it was a reasonable assumption that he'd know it, but he asked the audience.
Okay, maybe nerves.
Second question: The Mendip Hills are in which area of the UK, N.E., N.W., S.E., or S.W.?
I knew that they were in the Somerset area, but he had no idea, "Can I phone a friend?"
Phoned his father-in-law, who knew that the answer was S.W.
Third question: What is another word for Tortilla?
Welsh Rarebit, Spanish Omelette, French Toast, or German Sausage?
He dithered for a long time, saying "The Spanish and French languages are very similar!?!?", (in which universe?), but eventually went out on a limb and plumped correctly for Spanish Omelette.
Fourth question: The Italian word Primavera refers to which season?
He said "Pri, (not pre), means before, so if vera means Winter then it's Autumn, but if vera means Summer, then it's Spring."
Eventually he went 50-50 and as vera sounded more summery, (he said), took a shot on the correct answer, Spring.
His next question was, in which Dickens book was Inspector Bucket?
I didn't know, and neither did he, so he took the £5000.
I thought, "Jeez, if my kids were at his school, I'd be gutted."
p.s. Maybe pri means before in Italian, I don't know, but then I'm not a headmaster!

Tom,

I'm very shocked as all these years I've been labouring under the misapprehension that there no question could stump a licensed London taxi driver!! ;-)
Friday 28 September 2012 9.45am
marcusm wrote:
Tom Pepper wrote:
Channel surfing this evening I landed on a classic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire episode from I guess around 2008-2009.
The guy in the chair was a 32 y.o. headmaster.
I thought, okay, he's young, but as a headmaster, he should be pretty good.
His first question was: In which pantomime does Wishee-Washee appear?
I forget all the options, but I knew that it was Aladdin, so it was a reasonable assumption that he'd know it, but he asked the audience.
Okay, maybe nerves.
Second question: The Mendip Hills are in which area of the UK, N.E., N.W., S.E., or S.W.?
I knew that they were in the Somerset area, but he had no idea, "Can I phone a friend?"
Phoned his father-in-law, who knew that the answer was S.W.
Third question: What is another word for Tortilla?
Welsh Rarebit, Spanish Omelette, French Toast, or German Sausage?
He dithered for a long time, saying "The Spanish and French languages are very similar!?!?", (in which universe?), but eventually went out on a limb and plumped correctly for Spanish Omelette.
Fourth question: The Italian word Primavera refers to which season?
He said "Pri, (not pre), means before, so if vera means Winter then it's Autumn, but if vera means Summer, then it's Spring."
Eventually he went 50-50 and as vera sounded more summery, (he said), took a shot on the correct answer, Spring.
His next question was, in which Dickens book was Inspector Bucket?
I didn't know, and neither did he, so he took the £5000.
I thought, "Jeez, if my kids were at his school, I'd be gutted."
p.s. Maybe pri means before in Italian, I don't know, but then I'm not a headmaster!

Tom,

I'm very shocked as all these years I've been labouring under the misapprehension that there no question could stump a licensed London taxi driver!! ;-)

Very astute marcus, and thanks for the "big-up."
All jokes aside, a lot of people would be quite surprised at the range of intelligence that permeates London's finest.
In my particular case though, my intelligence is in marked opposition to my abysmally low amount of common sense.
Inspector Bucket I learn via Google featured in Bleak House.
I'm afraid Mr. Dickens was rather low down the scale of my "must read" authors.
I knew from an early age that if I was to maintain the high conversational standard
set by licensed taxi drivers who did "The Knowledge" before me, then I must devour the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Carl Jung, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
The possession of an analytical brain akin to that of Sigmund Freud was also a distinct advantage when dealing with some of the a**holes who have graced the back seat of my cab.
When René Descartes said, "Je pens, donc je suis," he could have added, "un chauffeur de taxi en Londres!"
Friday 28 September 2012 10.01am
Reminds me of the very old joke from the 'hippy' era.
Two young women talking in a bar. One says to the other, "Do you like Dickens?"
The other one said, "I don't know, I've never been to one."
Friday 28 September 2012 11.58am
Tom Pepper wrote:

I knew from an early age that if I was to maintain the high conversational standard
set by licensed taxi drivers who did "The Knowledge" before me, then I must devour the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Carl Jung, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
The possession of an analytical brain akin to that of Sigmund Freud was also a distinct advantage when dealing with some of the a**holes who have graced the back seat of my cab.
When René Descartes said, "Je pens, donc je suis," he could have added, "un chauffeur de taxi en Londres!"




Tom, that's blown your working-class, cheeky- chappy persona out of the water!
Sunday 30 September 2012 3.58pm
I doubt this is the case but one possibility is that the head master is very intelligent. Whilst there are obvious exceptions, very intellingent people are often poor at trivia. Very intelligent people are unlikely to be good at gerneral knowledge quiz shows.
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