Weaver's Week 2001-03-27

Weaver's Week Index

27th March 2001

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.


One Oxford team, and one Oxford team only, will make this year's final. This week, in the first semi-final, we find out which Oxford side makes it.

University College comfortably beat Sheffield Hallam, Birkbeck and Magdalen Cambridge, and is going for the unique third win.

St John's has come through as a highest scoring loser after falling to Birkbeck. They defeated Edinburgh in the play-off, and has accounted for Queen's College Cambridge and Bristol in the knock-out phase.

I like St John's a lot, but fear they'll lose by 30 or so. Especially as they don't get the secret identity of Penrose Pooch [1]. But they do share their first four starters equally, allowing Univ just one. Indeed, Univ seems to have left their considerable knowledge behind. It's not that St John's is particularly fast on the buzzer, it is that SJ really knows more.

And guesses well. "Enkik and Puick (sp?) are the Malay equivalent of which common titles?" [2] "How did you know that?" "I didn't," replied Laird. They don't need the guesses; this is a team that has politely, if slowly, earned a place in the final.

Box scores Person (starter) total


Callaghan (30) 49

Gunatillake ( 5) 18

Gerrard (15) 31

Graham (-5) 7

ST JOHN'S OXFORD (19 bonuses)

Bell (25) 50

Linham (20) 42

Finglass (30) 51

Laird (50) 77

UCO 20 10 20 55 = 105

SJO 55 75 50 40 = 220

[1] Hong Kong Phooey. [2] Mr and Mrs.


This show is not rocket science. It's going to offend a few prudes, such as those who run the Daily Mail. The premise is to find a mate from amongst a group of people chained to you.

Think of Cilla Black on "Blind Date." Now take away the appalling puns, the cheesy music, and the host. Replace them with real life situations, a length of chain, and Melanie Hill, the second Big Brother contestant to make a decent fist of hosting a game show.

This is a bit silly, but major fun, mostly thanks to Hill's controlled presentation style. A Hit, I think.


Hull upset Birkbeck in the shock of the QF; Imperial downed defending champs Durham and then Manchester by a whisker last time out. This looks to be a great semi, and I wouldn't care to call it by 10 either way.

Hull gets the first starter, but Imperial takes the next four. It's a marathon, not a sprint, and "Always On My Mind" levels the sides just before half time. Ding-dong goes the lead, before Imperial pulls 40 ahead. But that's hardly anything, and it's down to 5. Then it goes up and up and up. Hull hardly gets a look in as Campbell sets the buzzers burning.

Purbrick gets the First Mrs Keppel question correct (the one about Alice, Edward VII's floozie; not the one about Judith and a million.)

HULL (11 bonuses)

Shepperson (10) 22

Clamp (25) 39

Crawford (10) 22

Purbrick (45) 62

IMPERIAL LONDON (27 bonuses)

Hodgson (10) 38

Douglas ( 0) 27

Estcourt (15) 47

Campbell (100) 148

HU 10 85 40 10 = 145

IL 75 15 65 105 = 260

Next week: the final.

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