Oh do shut up.

Last night I sat in a pub function room with about ten other people sitting a written general knowledge quiz originating from Croatia. Last Saturday I was sat in a pub function room in Liverpool answering 150 questions as part of something called Quiz in the North. Three days previous, the boyfriend and I  both made our debuts in the Merseyside Quiz League. And for quizzers, December is the off season.

Like all the Chasers I live and breathe quiz. Outside the “glamour” of the show, quizzing could not be more different, a world of early travel in freezing weather, spending the rest of the day hoping your brain will overcome sleep deprivation. And for what? Outside of telly the most reward we get is the quiet, grudging respect of our peers. And we work really hard to achieve that.

With all due respect to screeching online wall of sound that routinely emerges every time we, god forbid, take advantage of the hard work and play well, why the devil would I or the others, risk all that hard earnt respect to take part in a fix?

I was there at Jenny’s recording that was broadcast last night. When I recognsied Charlie from 15-1 and University Challenge, I knew they had to be favourites to win, but was not expecting 24. I too thought they had won. But guess what? Sometimes completely deserving teams do not win, in the same way that sometimes we play so badly that nondeserving teams do win. Just because it feels unfair does not mean it has been engineered.

Unlike most of the complainants, I have watched both chases again. They were really well matched. Both teams had a selection of really hard ones, and Charlie’s answer of “Patrick Dempsey” was the star answer. And here is the key. Both teams had a selection of easy questions. Both. Not just Jenny.

Because that is the way it has always been. That is why even average teams score more in 2 minutes than a lot of Mastermind champions score in 2 1/2 minutes. But whereas people scream when the Chaser is asked what the “T” in “T Rex” stands for, people cheer when the team get asked “How many vowels in the word vowel”.

I had never heard of the concept of “confirmation bias” until a few years ago. Now it seems to inform everything I read about the show, egged on by the bottom feeders of a rancid online press who seem to believe that a couple of dissenting comments is a “meltdown”. People have undoubtedly made their own minds up and are too arrogant and stubborn to countenance the possibility that their world view might possible be based on nothing.

I’m tired of it all, and at the same time accept that this is the side effect of being in the limelight. But I will say this hand on heart. With the exception of Mark, none of us are geniuses. What we all are are successful, respected, hardworking trophy-winning quizzers, who, at the end of a two hour record, sit in a chair and have a barrage of questions fired at us under pressure. Sometimes we’re shit, most of the time we’re good, and occasionally we’re exceptional. Yesterday Jenny was exceptional. It is telling who agrees………..  https://twitter.com/CharlieRowland8/status/943274654969552897




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