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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Are You An Egghead, BBC2

Did we like it?
As fans of the original Eggheads – the questions equate to our level of general knowledge – we did enjoy this, especially as the host was the smarmier but more genial Dermot Murnaghan rather than the priapic pomposity of Jeremy Vine. But 45 minutes is perhaps too long for the sober format.

What was good about it?
• The questions are of a decent standard, as in Eggheads, and so it’s possible to play along at home – which is the most essential ingredient of any quiz show.
• CJ de Mooi’s new haircut that makes him resemble the rhythm guitarist from a mediocre early-90s Indie band.
• The format has been tweaked so that in each programme two aspiring Eggheads compete against one another to advance to the next round, and take a step closer to joining the Egghead team. For each round won, a contestant chooses an Egghead to help them in the final.
• This part of the show deliciously exposed the unofficial hierarchy of the Eggheads that regular viewers are already familiar with. Everyone knows Kevin Ashman is the best Egghead (although contestant Dave chose Chris with his first pick), with Daphne Fowler second just ahead of hip-hop ignoramus Chris Hughes. Judith Keppel is the fourth best, with CJ bringing up the rear.
• Kevin Ashman showed a glimpse that he really is human, and not some insane trivia sponge when he erred on the chronology of Michael Praed and Jason Connery’s stints as Robin Hood. And later was stumped by the name of the lead singer of Scouting For Girls.

What was bad about it?
• The Arts & Books section had a question about Victoria Beckham’s autobiography.
• The 45-minute duration is too long for a quiz show as sedate and sober as Eggheads to endure, unless there are some amusing interludes such as CJ throwing a strop because he keeps being picked last like the lad with two left feet getting picked last at football.
• We also hope this doesn’t mean that with a sixth Egghead, the original show will increase from the optimum half-an-hour to 45 minutes.

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