The Answer Trap



Anita Rani


Bobby Seagull and Frank Paul (resident trappers)


Objective Media Group Scotland, Triple Brew Media and Motion Content Group for Channel 4, 10 May to 18 June 2021 (30 episodes in 1 series)


A Channel 4 press release said,

Anita Rani will challenge the teams to place answers from a series of lists into their relevant categories. However not all the answers belong in the categories, some are devilish decoys - Answer Traps.
The Answer Traps have been set by iconic quizzers Bobby Seagull and Frank Paul, with the brainiacs competing to see who can catch the most players in their traps.
If the teams can assign the answers to the correct categories and avoid the traps, they get the opportunity to play for a £10,000 jackpot on the final question.

The regulars: Bobby Seagull, Anita Rani, Frank Paul.

Two pairs of contestants play, and hope to build up cash across four rounds.

We start with round one. Our contestants see a board of nine answers, and two possible categories. Are these things hard cheeses, or working dog breeds? (For whatever reason, Anita only reads out a selection of the answers, rather than all of them - which isn't very helpful for visually impaired viewers, and doesn't build in much thinking time for everyone playing along.)

This team have already identified Cheddar as a hard cheese.

Put an answer in the right category, and it's worth £50. Put an answer in the wrong category, and it's worth nothing.

Pick an answer that doesn't fit either category, however, and sirens sound and the studio turns red. They've found an Answer Trap!

Don't mention the Aardman!

Whether Bobby or Frank has set this Trap, it's good for him - and the show - because he can then explain why it's a Trap. It's not so good for the team, though, because if they find both Traps on the board their turn ends there and then. (In the example above, Aardman is a Trap - neither a cheese nor a dog breed, but the animation studio famous for cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit.)

Each team has a board of their own, a good way to meet the player on their own.

Can you identify the remaining cheeses and dog breeds, and the remaining Trap? Answers below.

In round two, each team sends one player to play a board. Twelve answers, two categories, £100 per correct answer. Teams give alternate answers. There are four traps on the board, enough to finish both teams off. And after one board's finished, the other player on the team has a go at a different category.

Round three has the teams playing together again. Sixteen answers in three categories, and £200 per correct answer. Again, four traps on the board. Answers in the wrong category can be passed over to the other team for a £200 bonus.

Bobby likes his waistcoats.

Whichever team has the more money after this board is the winner, and plays the final. (Need a tie-break? Sudden Death Trapping: one answer is true, one is false, first team to pick a false answer loses.)

The final: one category, 16 answers, of which just 10 are correct. Find two traps and the game is over. If the team can find 8 answers first, they win the money from the main game - typically around £2200. The team can stop, or can play on for another answer, doubling their main game money. Again, the team can stop here, or find the last correct answer for the £10,000 jackpot.

Frank likes his shirts.

The Answer Trap works because of its the atmosphere. The questions are serious quiz, everyone is happy to revel in their knowledge and share what they know. There's a gentle contest between the trappers, can Frank fool more people than Bobby today? They've tried to re-create the atmosphere on BBC2's Only Connect, and might well have succeeded.

But Channel 4 is no longer known for studious, joyful afternoon quizzes. The Answer Trap went out at 3pm, and picked up typical audiences for the slot.

The set is a library. Nobody ever goes onto the balcony.

Theme music

Banks & Wag


Where did the Trappers come from? Bobby Seagull is from University Challenge in 2017-18, and Frank Paul from Only Connect in the same years. Frank Paul, incidentally, is the nephew of broadcaster Clement Freud.

The answers: Hereford Hop, Duddleswell and Gallybagger are the cheeses along with Cheddar, while Boxer, St Bernard and Hovawart are the dog breeds. McIntyre is the other Trap, his wheel is not of cheese.

Voted the Best New Show in this site's Poll of 2021, sharing the honour with fellow Channel 4 3pm show Moneybags.

Web links

Channel 4 programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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