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How Quizzing Got Cool: TV's Brains of Britain
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Here’s an absolute must-watch for Britain’s army of quizzers: a brisk, vastly entertaining trot through the history of television and radio quiz shows, from Wilfred Pickles and Have a Go, with its deadly sing-along theme tune and limp catchphrases (“’Ow do! How are you?”) to the big, shiny all-conquering The Chase, Pointless and Only Connect.
In the early years there were hilariously lofty denunciations of quiz shows that offered cash prizes to the lower orders, including one MP who huffed that such programmes were “socially unhealthy”.
There’s some jawdropping footage, too, of blameless Michael Miles, host of ITV’s Take Your Pick, getting a monstering on the BBC’s Late Night Line-up.
Current quizzers, including The Chase’s Paul Sinha, Shaun Wallace and Mark Labbett, all got their breaks on other TV quiz shows and talk of their love for the genre.
Victoria Coren Mitchell, Judith Keppel, Chris Tarrant, Mark Labbett and Nicholas Parsons help Ben Miller trace the origins of the pro-quizzers; quiz show veterans who have emerged from the crowd of quiz aficionados in recent years to achieve fame and fortune for their general knowledge prowess.
Cast & Crew
Full Episode Guide
How Mastermind was inspired by the Gestapo
Only Connect question editor Alan Connor reveals the unlikely origins of our obsession with quiz shows
How well do you know your quiz shows?
"Oh. He's called Clint!" This contestant's name badge on Pointless had everyone confused
Nicholas Parsons: "Every time I do Just a Minute, I know I might never work again”
Paul Merton reaches Just a Minute milestone
The Chase crew challenge Pointless co-host Richard Osman: "Come on down"
How well would you do in The Chase cash builder?
Can you pass our University Challenge quiz?
EastEnders: Madison and Alexandra play mind games with Louise - will she be tricked?
EastEnders: will Kush take Denise back?
Hollyoaks: Ryan and Kyle caught out next week
University Challenge quiz: answers