The latest series of Only Connect came with a confusing change to the rules which basically meant each team would get more than one game, but the specifics of it sounded convoluted and reminded me of The Adam & Joe Show‘s Quizzlestick sketch and That Mitchell & Webb Look’s Numberwang. Insert your own “Victoria Coren is married to David Mitchell” joke here, reader. She is now credited as Victoria Coren Mitchell.
A lot of the enjoyment from watching this show are her quips and observations. She noted that there seems to be a lot of crossover with real ale drinkers and quizzers, and the common confusion many people have with Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone in Arthurian legend. They are two seperate swords, Excalibur is given to King Arthur by the Lady of the Lake. She also made a reference to Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame. “We revere our forefathers here at Only Connect”.
When talking to a team of Cat Lovers, she suggested that unlike many domesticated animals you can’t really own a cat as such. The team captain gave the standard reply that the cat owns them, but Victoria Coren Mitchell’s take on it was perhaps the most accurate. She once had a cat and it came and went as it pleased. “We didn’t discuss ownership”. I think my favourite of her jokes this series was when talking about economic groups N-11, BRIC, E7, G20. “See, I thought they were all boybands”.
One of my favourite questions was a on a sequence round of successive line-ups of the Sugababes. The Francophiles team thought the last in the sequence would be Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Siobhan Donaghy, which has to date not happened. It’s kind of fun for Sugababes fans to mix and match until we get our ideal line-up. I think mine would be Siobhan Donaghy, Amelle Berrabah and Mutya Buena. Being a Sugababe fan I should have got that question right, but technically I didn’t, because I confused Jade Ewen’s name with Jade Eden, who was a beauty queen and a contestant on some Big Brother series I’ve half-forgotten. Mind you, I wouldn’t be too shocked if she joined the Sugababes at some point.
Of the rare times I got questions right, the best one was that I manged to get a link after one clue in a Connections round. I knew that the former president of ArmsTech was referring to a character in Metal Gear Solid called Kenneth Baker, and guessed that the connection was that they all had that name. The other Kenneth Bakers were with a former Tory M.P., a trumpeter in Ted Heath’s orchestra and the actor who played R2-D2. I also got that what connects The Green Knight, an electric toothbrush, Kryten and Worzel Gummidge is that they all have detachable heads.
On the Sequences round I was also able to guess on a picture round showing various drinks that the last one would be cider, because it was referring to ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba (“He drinks a whisky drink, he drinks a vodka drink, he drinks a lager drink, he drinks a cider drink”). There was also one which the team didn’t get but many of the audience would have which was referring to the aerials of the Teletubbies. One time this series on the Sequences round it went Orville, and my first thought was of the green puppet duck, Abraham, and then I thought of the famous American president, but when it got to Homer I knew the last answer would be Bart, as it was male generations of The Simpsons.
On the Connecting Wall round I got the X-Men link (Storm, Cyclops, Rogue, Angel) but fell for the Gambit red herring, and similarly I got the link for three of the Michael Buble songs (‘Home’, ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’, ‘Lost’) but fell for the ‘Hollywood’ red herring. I managed to correctly get a group of songs by The Cure though (‘Friday I’m In Love’, ‘The Love Cats’, ‘Lullaby’, ‘Catch’).
In the Missing Vowels round over the course of the series I got four French actresses (Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Brioche, Brigette Bardot, Audrey Tautou), three of the animated villains (Dick Dastardly, Cruella DeVill, Lord Farquad) and the two most obvious Audrey Hepburn films (My Fair Lady, Breakfast At Tiffany’s) . One thing I learned from the Missing Vowels round is that Tarzan, the Lone Ranger, Dr. Watson and Rambo are all named John.
The show is getting very creative with its questions, which I hope coninues. On a missing vowels round they had bands overlapped with author’s names (R.E.M Forster, Steely Dan Brown, All About Evelyn Waugh, Right Said Frederick Forsyth). In the semi-final there were two questions which I didn’t get right, but thought they were fantastic questions. One was Latin-Greek words translated into Greek-Latin words, so Television = Remotoptic, Automobile = Egokinetic, Hexadecimal = Sexadekal, and Monilingual = Uniglossal. Then there was cartoon characters of the Zodiac. Bully the bull from Bullseye (Taurus), Patty & Selma, twins from The Simpsons (Gemini), Mr. Krabs, a crab from Spongebob Squarepants (Cancer), and Simba a lion from The Lion King (Leo).