Who Dares Wins (22 February 2014)

Last episode of Nick Knowles’ presented quiz show, Who Dares Wins, for this series. It’s a fairly cheap and popular format so I expect it will be back again on rotation before long although I do think they’re running out of interesting and competitive lists.

22 February 2014

1. Ashes Cricketers

England Male cricketers in first team Ashes test teams since 2005. The Champions bid 10, the challengers were not cricket fans, and the champions got them quite easily.

2. Brit Award Nominees

The 199 acts nominated between 2009 and 2013. The challengers bid 12 and got them fairly easily, mainly concentrating on international acts and boybands.

3. Tie Break: Highest Grossing Films of 2013

The top 100 highest grossing films in the US box office. For the 2nd answer, and the Champions’ first, they said Iron Man 2 – but Iron Man 3 was the 2013 film so they lost their crown. New champions.

Money Game: Busiest UK airports

The top 25 airports in the UK according to number of passengers in 2012. Now the UK doesn’t have much more than 25 airports so this was fairly easy if you know their names but the new champions weren’t even confident if Gatwick was correct (which of course it was) or Belfast so they stopped at 9 and £10k.


1. Friends Actors

Any male or female actor who starred in 2 or more episodes of Friends. The bidding was low, despite the fact that 6 answers were automatic, and the new Challengers bid 10 but for their 10th answer, knowing it was probably wrong, they said Julia Roberts  – who was only in one episode.

2. BBC’s A-Z of historical figures

The 371 men and women on the BBC list from the BBC history site including politicans, monarchs, artists, inventors, explorers etc but not classical musicians. The bidding went up to 33 for the Champions but for their 10th answer they said Robert Burns, who was not on the list.

3. Tie Break: 10 least frequently used letters in English

The least frequent letters from the Oxford Concise Dictionary. They were z, x, q, k, v, f, j, b, w, y. The champions said g for the 9th answer but this was wrong (g was the 11th least frequently used letter) and so they were out.

Money Game: Wimbledon men singles winners

The 45 winners since 1930. Fairly easy to do but the new Champions stopped at 9 and £15k and didn’t go on to say people like Connors, Ivanisevic or Becker. But they’ll be back in the next series – whenever that is.

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Who Dares Wins (15 February 2014)

15 February 2014

1. Lord of the Rings Characters

Any of the 58 named characters with individual entries on the Tolkien website’s ‘who’s who’. The Champions bid 10, a low winning and easily won bid, as the Challengers were not Tolkien fans.

2. Songs from Mamma Mia Soundtrack (2008)

17 songs and the Champions bid 8. Unfortunately for their 4th answer they said ‘Take a chance’ instead of ‘Take a chance on me’ and lost the list so it had to go to a tie break.

3. Tie Break: English Monarchs since 1066

Just the first names so Henry and then only once for each first name. The teams did 10 between them and then the Challengers said Alfred, but Alfred the Great was King before 1066 and the Champions won the tie break with Anne.

* Money Game: Blackadder Actors

The names of any actors (male or female) in any series of Blackadder. Both fans they got 9 easily and £15k but then gave up (without saying people like Brian Blessed or Nigel Planer) but now had a running total of £45k so £22,500 each.


1. Artists with 90s UK no. 1 albums

New Challengers and both teams wanted to play this list. The bidding went up to 16 for the Champions but stupidly they said for their 5th answer Coldplay. Who were not a 90s band. They lost the list.

2. Sports Personality of the Year Nominees since 2006

Any of the 49 people nominated for the BBC awards since 2006. The Champions bid 10 and although they talked between themselves about Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and that they should mention 2012 Olympics stars, they failed to discuss Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis (who’s been nominated at least twice) and decided to say Victoria Pendleton for their 9th answer. They were wrong and lost both lists and out of the game.

* Money Game: Capital Cities in the Americas

So without playing any lists there were new champions by default. They had to name the capital cities of the 35 countries in the Americas (including the Caribbean). They got to 9 and £15k and gave up even though they knew others but were too unconfident about their other answers e.g. they knew Havana but didn’t say it. Anyway they will be back on the next episode, which will also be the last of the series.

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Who Dares Wins (8 February 2014)

Apparently the week before with a 52 list (words in Bohemian Rhapsody) was the longest list every played on Who Dares Wins. This week’s episode had some more interesting lists and contests – you need teams who are going to dare and go for lists to make it interesting for the viewer….

8 February 2014

1. UK’s Richest Sportsmen

According to Sunday Times’ Rich List – the top 100 richest sportsmen in 2013 who live in Britain, so don’t necessarily have to be ‘British’. The new challengers wanted to challenge so bid for 15. Unfortunately they didn’t think about what the question was about – wealth in terms of assets etc and only the top 100 in the whole country in all sports. They concentrated on football players and the Liverpool fan said Luis Suarez (even before a better suggestion of Steven Gerrard – who was on the list) for their 6th answer and lost.

2. Star Wars Actors

Neither team was a particular fan but tried to push the other up. The Champions had to name a list of 8 and it wasn’t that hard after all as it included all male and female actors in all six films. So the Champions won 2 lists and continued to another money list.

* Money Game: Artists with a UK Top Ten Album or Single in 2013

Now this was a top 10 chart placing – band, singer or duo with a top 10 single or album in 2013. The team said they weren’t into chart music but really there are names like Adele, Lady Gaga etc that they should and could have named. They got to 6 anyway (including One Direction and Justin Bieber) and got £10,000 before bailing.


1. African Countries with a coastline

Both teams wanted this list and the bidding was relatively fierce for a finite number. The Champions bid 12 and got them, including good answers like Madagascar.

2. UK’s most borrowed authors

400 most borrowed authors between July 2011 and June 2012 from UK public libraries. Nick Knowles gave a hint that most of them were non-fiction, adult and children, from C20. The Champions didn’t want the list but pushed up the bidding as the Challengers did. They had to do a list of 22, which was always going to be difficult to tell. They went through all the ‘romantic’ female author types and for their 11th answer said Jilly Cooper. Surprisingly she was not on the list and they lost both lists and the reigning Champions continued (Hayley & Ranjit).

* Money Game: Kate Winslet Films

The Champions could only think of Titanic. They then said Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and then The Holiday. They got three answers and therefore £5000 and then gave up. But they’re back for the next episode.

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Line of Duty, Series 2, Episode 1

It’s back – Jed Mercurio’s BBC 2 drama about an anti-corruption police squad – AC12 – in a new, second series of Line of Duty. Last time we had Lennie James, Neil Morrissey and Gina McKee but this time it’s a new story of corruption, or possible corruption, but still includes the AC12 gang of Arnott (Martin Compston) and Fleming (Vicky McClure). The main character though this time is Detective Lindsay played by Keeley Hawes, who has a track record of coming in as the lead of a second series of a cop-based show….

The episode begins with a gripping start. Lindsay takes two police officers on a call – she needs ‘gold’ clearance from a higher-ranking officer first – and then takes just her car to a house where there is a witness under witness protection (hidden under a blanket) and their police handler (Akers) who says they need to go to the police station for protection, but to take the back streets. The two male policeman are the driver and front passenger of the car with Akers and the witness while Lindsay leads in her own car. They take a turn, the police officers question the turn on the radio, and the suddenly there’s a big black range rover which runs them off the road. Two people get out, shoot at the car and the passengers and set it alight. Lindsay calls for back up, but the car is aflame. Somehow the witness and Akers roll out of the car, aflame. Cut to the hospital where Akers dies, but the witness is still (barely) alive and Lindsay has whiplash.

So the AC12 team come in to investigate how the details of the convoy for the witness were leaked. Fleming excuses herself from the case because she’s having an affair with Akers’ husband. So Arnott gets a new partner called Georgia (Jessica Raines) who is an alcoholic. They interview Lindsay. In the interview she blames Akers for the route they took when we know that Lindsay chose the route. We find out that she’s in lots of debt because her mother had to go to a nursing home. But she’s also a goody two shoes who everyone hates. Her squad now hate her even more because they blame her for the death of their two colleagues – for not taking firearms or backup. They waterboard her in the toilet…

Fleming is suspicious though – she listens to the tapes and thinks Lindsay is covering something up. Lindsay has been moved to her own unit on missing persons and noone wants to work with her but Fleming goes undercover to work for her. [We even see a shot of Gina McKee’s character from the last series, Jackie Laverty, on the missing person’s database that Lindsay flicks through]

And the series needs to work if there is suspicion. Throughout it seems that Lindsay is a model person – lives alone with her cat, quiet, works hard etc. But then we see her smash in the head (but not kill) her noisy neighbour. And then she runs out to make a secret phone call from a payphone that goes to the hospital where the witness is staying. Arnott and Georgia go to the hospital (they’ve heard that the witness is waking up but also about the phone call) and the police guard have disappeared while a guy in a blond wig is administering a lethal dose of something to the witness. He knocks Arnott over and then tussles with Georgia before throwing her out of a window.

Surely she can’t survive the fall? But then why spend so much time setting up her character and her alcohol addiction? And can Keeley Hawes really be a master actor who is hiding the ultimate corruption? Looks like we’re in for another great ride.

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Who Dares Wins (1 February 2014)

The appeal of the National Lottery quiz show (which has nothing to do with the National Lottery except that the draw takes place in the middle) Who Dares Wins is that you can shout at the telly as you play along with naming lists of things – trying to get as many as the teams bet they can get and trying to get more money than they would. You need interesting and varied lists for that to work and this week we were back on the right track with some good lists but also some good ‘daring’.

Saturday 1 February 2014

1. Largest Australian Cities

The top 25 cities, towns and urban areas in Australia as of December 2012. The new challengers (2 blokes) bid for 10 and got them relatively easily as one of them knew Australia quite well.

2. Most Common 2-letter words in English

The top 22 words used in English with 2 letters, but not including ‘is’ as it is often used contracted (into he’s; isn’t etc). The new challengers really wanted to play the game and to win another list so they pushed the bidding up to 19. All was going swimmingly and systematically but on their 6th answer they said ‘is’. A moment too late, they realised that ‘is’ was one of the exceptions that Nick Knowles had mentioned at the start but they had already said it and so lost the list.

3. Tie Break: England World Cup Football Opponents

With one list each it went to a tie break – a penalty shootout as it were where each team has to say an answer. The list was for the 37 teams that England football team (male) had played against in World Cup finals between 1950-2010. Now the tactic on this should be to say the easy ones first to prevent the other team saying the easy ones and keep the harder ones up your sleeve. Neither team did that, trying to prove themselves by saying some relatively minor teams towards the beginning and not saying Germany or Italy until later. Anyway they both did well, got to about 17 but then the reigning Champions said Costa Rica – which though England are playing in 2014 have not played before. So they were out.

*Money Game: Avengers Actors

Actors (male or female) credited in any of the Avengers films – including Thor, Iron Man and Captain America films. Most people have seen some of these films, one of the pair had seen most of them – easy if you know them – the new Champions went for all 15 answers and got £50,ooo.


1. A-Z of Male Celebrities

From Heat Magazine’s A-Z database of 259 male celebrities. The Champions pushed the bidding up to 25 and were doing well. But then decided to mention football stars rather than film/music celebrities on their 17th answer with Wayne Rooney. He was not on the list.

2. Words in Bohemian Rhapsody

Both teams really wanted to name this list. The bidding was going up in 10s and went to 52 when the Champions let the Challengers name them. And the Challengers named 52 quite easily. New Champions twice in one show.

* Money Game: Countries Beginning with B

Sometimes with these money lists there are loads of answers and sometimes there are just 15 (the maximum for the money game) or around that. This was the case with this list. The new champions said 9 correct answers, but couldn’t go further. They got £15k and they’ll be back next week.

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Who Dares Wins (25 January 2014)

So the long-standing champions were finally defeated in last week’s episode of the ‘lists’ quiz. Could their conquerors continue to win any more, having won no money last week? Some interesting lists this week that were easy to play along to at home.

I must say that I used to love this game show, but it has become bit tired now. When there is no competition and the lists aren’t challenging then there’s no entertainment for the viewer.

Saturday 25 January 2014

1. British Summer Olympic Gold Medalists since 1980

Any British man or woman, as an individual or part of a team, who won a gold medal at the summer olympics since 1980. The Champions bid 23, and with so many famous names in the 2012 Olympics (where the majority of their answers came from) they got it relatively easily. 1-0 to the champions.

2. Graham Norton Show Guests

Since October 2009 as it has aired on BBC1 (and including musical guests). The Challengers bid for 17 and one member was doing well until her partner suggested that she should say some comedians. For their 6th answer they said Al Murray, which was wrong. 2-0 to the champions and they went on to the money game.

* Money Game: Songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals

One member of the Champions is a piano teacher and musicals fan, especially it seemed of Jesus Christ Superstar. Naming various obscure songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, they got 15 correct answers and therefore the maximum of £50,000.


1. James Bond Actors

Now this list was for the top-billing male actors in the 23 official James Bond films – where top-billing meant being in the top 15 actors credited on the film. The Champions bid 11, the new Challengers were stupid and let them name them, and the Champions got them easily.

2. Capital Cities of Six Letters Long or Less

The Challengers had to bid for a list so bid for 13. It was quite an easy list and they were doing well until their very last answer. They said Beijing, because they can’t spell and didn’t realise it was seven letters long. So the reigning Champions won both lists and continued to another money game.

* Money Game – Open Golf Winners

Any male winner of the British Open since 1945. Though neither were massive golf fans, they knew enough to get to six correct answers and therefore £10,000 giving them a running total of £50k and they’ll be back next week.

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Who Dares Wins (18 January 2014)

The highest jackpot won by a pair on Who Dares Wins so far has been £170k. With £155k would the current reigning champions continue to dominate this week and earn more than that? Who Dares Wins is a game of trust – you have to trust a complete stranger when they suggest an answer you’re not sure about and when they suggest they know a lot about a certain topic when you don’t. Or it’s just about knowing trivia – which Joe, the current dominant half of the reigning champion pair knows a lot of.

18 January 2014

1. British Boxing World Champions since 1963 (male)

In any weight category and anyone representing Britain since 1963 who has become world champion. The Champions bid 8 and got them (just). Chrissy wanted to say Henry Cooper but her partner stopped her.

2. Artists who Recorded BBC Radio 2’s Top 100 Albums

From Radio 2’s 2013 Top 100 Favourite Albums poll. The Challengers bid 15 but this was always going to be a tricky one. For their 10th answer they said Jimi Hendrix, but this was wrong. So the Champions won both rounds and continued to another money game.

* Money Game: Countries visited by Michael Palin

The countries visited by Michael Palin in his 7 BBC travel shows (not including Brazil – but including Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Sahara, Himalaya, Hemingway). This was one of those rounds where the pair could have made various educated guesses from the programme titles (which they were given) but stopped at 6 and £10k to get to a running total of £165k.


1. London Stage Productions 2012

Any of the 325 shows performed in 2012 in London’s major venues (including the Royal Opera House). At the start Joe (one of the champions) tells Nick that he thinks this new pair look clever and will beat them. It was obvious then that he, at least, had had enough and probably wanted to lose and get back to his life rather than keep on playing this game show. The Challengers bid 14 and were doing well until one of them said, for their 9th answer, The Man with Two Guvnors. It was of course ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, and so they lost the list. The face of his partner at this – as she hadn’t wanted to say that answer – was a picture!

2. Live at the Apollo Comedians

Any comedian who has appeared on the BBC show ‘Live at the Apollo’ since Sep. 2004 until November 2013 – with their real full names. The Challengers bid 12 and got them quite easily.

3. Tie Break: Ball Sports at the Summer Olympics

Games incuding balls at the 2016 Rio Olympics (not counting shot put). This was a tie break as each team had won one list – so like a penalty shootout each team had to say a correct answer until one got it wrong. After football, basketball, handball, hocket, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball and waterpolo the champions could not think of any more. They said polo, knowing it was wrong and they were out – out with £82,500 each to take home. [The other remaining answers were rugby, gymnastics and golf]

* Money Game: 25 Greatest Horror Films

According to a 2012 Time Out poll. With only 25 correct answers, this was always going to be hard but the pair gave an incorrect answer for their second answer with ‘Friday the 13th’, which was not even in the top 100 – and so they did not win any money. But they defeated the reigning champions and might be back to play another money game next week.

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