Anorak News | Quiz? Ego!

Quiz? Ego!

by | 25th, January 2007

quiz-ego.jpg“HIYA! Thanks for calling. What do you think’s the answer. Remember the question: “Name ten things you find in a schoolboy’s satchel.”

Caller: “Is it a drawing of Peter Pan having a dinner of strawberries with the Mad Hatter and Noel Prize winning chemist Peter Agre?”


“Sorry caller, that’s not the right answer.”

And so the ITV quiz carries on. The host waits for the next caller. And there is, as the Times says, only a one in 400 chance of a contestant (paying between 75p and a £1), making it through to the contest proper.

And then there is the question. And our question was not all that farfetched, not when compared to the real one: “What items might be found in a woman’s handbag?” There are 13 things. Can you name them?

Not everyone could. You have to think outside the magic box. Viewers complained after two answers were revealed to be balaclava and Rawl plugs.

Along with the Rawl plugs (colour unspecified) and a balaclava (ditto), other answers included rubber band, directions, false teeth, contact lenses, driving licence and plane tickets.

As we say, the challenge is not an easy one. And it has come to the attention of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Select Committee, which has condemned some show’s “unscrupulous practices”.

Indeed, Ofcom, the media regulator, has ruled that ITV Play, which asked that handbag question, was in breach of the broadcasting code.

That’s the crime. But how to prevent a repeat of it? The Government could regulate what a woman can keep in her handbag, so forming a list of approved items and increasing the chances of fair play. Items to consider might include a pedometer, a bus pass and an ID card.

Or as, as the Guardian reports, operators of such shows could display call volumes on screen and tell viewers their chance of getting through, two ideas proposed by the Commons Committee.

Says John Whittingdale, the Committee chairman: “I fully recognise that many people get enjoyment from watching and participating in TV quiz programmes but we do believe that there needs to be greater transparency and consumer protection.”

And an answer to the bigger debate: What woman keeps a balaclava in her handbag?

Posted: 25th, January 2007 | In: Uncategorized Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink