If you ever fancy slacking off work during the daytime, I strongly recommend taking a break at 3pm and tuning in to Channel 4’s new daytime quiz show The Answer Trap, which is hosted by Anita Rani.
The format of the show is simple, but clever. Basically contestants are shown a board of answers, and are asked to sort the items into two (or maybe three) categories.
For example1, maybe you’d get “Current Labour MPs” and “Current Democratic Senators”. So Yvette Cooper would go in the Labour column, Amy Klobuchar in the Democratic column, and so on.
And then there’s a twist: A proportion of the answers fit into neither category. They are traps set by veteran quizzers Bobby Seagull and Frank M Paul. So they might have thrown Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the mix, as she is in the House and not the Senate. Or maybe Jeremy Corbyn, because he is not currently a Labour MP. And if you fall in one too many traps, it’s game over.
It’s a really neat little format that is completely fiendish, as though it rewards good quizzing knowledge, it punishes educated guesses. For example, if you know the name Tracy Brabin has something to do with Labour, but you aren’t sure if she’s an MP, you still may be tempted to guess, thus falling into the trap2. In essence, it is a quiz show format that finally proves that a little knowledge can indeed be a dangerous thing.
Anyway, I mention it because - excitingly - I’m going to be a contestant on it. It will mark my first return to TV quizzing since I was on The Weakest Link thirteen years ago3, and Pointless eleven years ago4. So this is basically the Force Awakens of daytime TV quiz show appearances5.
If the schedules are correct, next Monday's show - the 24th May at 3pm - should feature me and my partner, Liz6.
I won’t tell you how we got on. You’ll have to watch the show for that. But I will also be tweeting along on the day because of course I will7.
So tune in! It’ll be way more fun than the spreadsheet you should be working on at that time.
Honestly the show would probably go for something a bit less lame than this, but this is where my brain went when trying to think of an example.
She was a Labour MP until the local elections, when she was elected Mayor of West Yorkshire, and resigned her seat.
If you’ve met me in real life for more than about ten minutes, you probably a) already know I was on The Weakest Link and b) That I won.
This was a significantly less successful quiz show appearance.
In that it features the same character but they look much more horrifyingly old and haggard.
It will also be available after on Channel 4’s on-demand service if you can face doing battle with it.
You will have to forgive me having the absolutely fatal combination of lockdown hair and male pattern baldness currently working its way through my once beautiful locks.