Me, The Archers and Mastermind

On 17 May, I was a contestant in the eighth (and last) first round heat of the 1999 series of Mastermind, now broadcast on Radio 4. Two contestants from each of the first round heats were to go through and my specialist subject in this round was no real surprise to anyone, really.

I did ask the Beeb for permission to put up a recording and, well, they didn't respond. I don't want to antagonise them and while I have got real audio, mp3 and MiniDisc recordings of the event they're not freely available. Sorry. Copyright is copyright and I don't own it in this instance.

Below you will find the questions I was asked (as transcribed in a usenet posting by Dan Gordon

Bankruptcy attorney
) and, further down (in case you want to play along) you'll find the answers and, even further down, you'll find out how I did .... if you scored more than I did, well, I apologise for taking the opportunity of using this subject from you!

The Questions

  1. Which farmer in the series has recently planted an experimental crop of genetically modified oil seed rape?
  2. What name did Kate Aldridge eventually give to her daughter born at the Glastonbury festival last year?
  3. What was the maiden name of Peggy, a stores orderly in the ATS, before she married Jack Archer and later Jack Woolley?
  4. Edward J. Mason co-wrote the first episodes of the Archers with which other writer with whom he'd also work on Dick Barton?
  5. Since their creation in 1951, until her death in October 1980, which character was played by the actress Gwen Berryman?
  6. Who's buried in an oak coffin, in a spot near the golf course, under a tomb stone which reads "Well done thou good and faithful servant"?
  7. When Shula as a teenager gave up her dream of becoming a show-jumper, she became a junior clerk with which Borchester estate agents?
  8. The death of Grace Archer in a stable fire in 1955 coincided with which major media event?
  9. Which market town is one of Ambridge's main sporting rivals and is also the site of the village's nearest railway station?
  10. Who fell in love with and later married an attractive girl with blond urchin-cut hair whom he filmed with his cine-camera at the village fate?
  11. What is the name of Jennifer Aldridge's eldest son whose father was Phil Archer's dairyman Paddy Redmond?
  12. Which character was frequently heard from the earliest episodes saying "Me old pal, me old beauty"?
  13. The Reverend Jerry Buckle who'd served as a lieutenant in the grenadier guards in Nairobi, left Ambridge to work as a missionary in which country?
  14. Whom did Eddie Grundy almost marry in 1979 calling the whole thing off, the day before the wedding, because he thought that his bride to be was too flighty?
  15. Who was commissioned to take the official photographs of Shula and Mark Hebdons's Wedding?
  16. A campaign to free the Ambridge one was launched in 1994 after the imprisonment of which character?
  17. Who sang the Boyzone hit "Father and son" at the 1996 summer festival?
  18. Which member of the royal family attended the Borchester NSPCC centenary fashion show in 1984?

The Answers

  1. Brian Aldridge
  2. Phoebe
  3. Perkins
  4. Geoffrey Webb
  5. Doris Archer
  6. Captain
  7. Rodway and Watson
  8. The starting of ITV
  9. Hollerton
  10. Phil Archer
  11. Adam
  12. Walter Gabriel
  13. Mozambique
  14. Dolly Treadgold
  15. Lichfield
  16. Susan Carter
  17. Edward Grundy (I said Eddie Grundy)
  18. Princess Margaret

Pass Incorrect

The Outcome

My 16 first round points left me in second place and, scoring ten points in the second round, my 26 was, again, enough for a runners-up spot. (The winner scored 27, third and fourth were in the low twenties.)

The semi-final was an all together harder affair. My specialist subject, "The American War of Independence", was my third-choice subject (they'd rejected my second choice because it had been taken relatively recently). Obviously my bibliography was a little too different from the question-setters' and the general knowledge questions were not to my taste either. My third place was respectable (it was a semi-final, after all) but disappointing ...

So, what next? If anyone wants to offer me a place on a high-earning game show ....

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