Britain Loves EntertainmentPub quizzes
It’s not the winning that counts, it’s the thinking up of a suitably daft team name. Yes, it’s a Thursday night, you’re in a pub, huddled around a table and desperately trying to remember the name of the ITV coastal drama featuring Nick Berry. What the hell was it? Arghhh. I know this one. It had Tina Hobley in it. Remember? It was rubbish. Harbour… something?
It’s this delicious blend of inane fact trawling and alcohol which has made the pub quiz such a joyful British tradition. Social historians don’t know exactly how they started, but the first pub quizzes began to pop-up in the mid 1970s, with Lancashire being a particular quiz hot-spot.
It’s believed that having televisions in pubs for the first time was what helped to trigger it off. Drinkers would watch quiz shows on the telly and communally try to answer the questions.
There are now an estimated 22,445 quizzes held in UK pubs every week with most of them held on a Thursday night. The genius of the pub quiz is the perfect balance it achieves between competitive spirit and alcohol-induced acceptance of defeat.
At the start of the night you genuinely think you have a chance. You torture yourself trying to remember the name of that Shakira track used as the official anthem of the 2010 World Cup. You squint and gurn in search of the answer. You furiously fidget and drum your pen on the table. You fight the urge to sneak a peak at Google on your smart-phone.
But as the quiz progresses and you have a couple of drinks, you start to relax. You’re never going to win, and you don’t even want to. How sad do you have to be to know this stuff? Nope, you realise that the real winner of any pub quiz is the team whose name gets the biggest laugh. And at the top of your answer sheet is written: Quiz Team Aguilera.
PS Harbour Lights. I knew that one. Why didn’t you write it down. I said that…
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By Tom Law