Friday 6 November 2015

Friday blog quiz

Not in the slightest bit bias-related (or so you might think), but worth recording for posterity on a blog somewhere in the universe (lest alien civilisations are curious about BBC historians)....

This week's The Quizeum took its viewers to Glasgow and its fabulous Burrell Collection. 

The first question provided one of those delightful moments when the viewer gets to feel intellectually superior to some of the assembled BBC experts. 

Here's how it began:
Griff Rhys Jones: First, have a look at this. Fingers on the buzzers.
[Buzzer rings] 
Dr Janina Ramirez: It's behind us.
Kate Williams (pointing to the door behind them): It's there.
Griff Rhys Jones: OK. I'm fascinated by this because I haven't delivered any question of any kind whatsoever, but you have an answer.
Dr Janina Ramirez: We have the buzzer.
Griff Rhys Jones: What is the answer? You're only allowed to give me one answer.
Dr Janina Ramirez: Oh no!
Kate Williams: Is it Hornby Castle?
Griff Rhys Jones: No. (Turning to the other team, consisting of Muriel Gray and Lars Tharp). OK, so you get the full question...
Kate Williams: ...and we've given them the information!
So what's the actual question Griff?
Griff Rhys Jones: What country does this portico come from? 
And, dear reader, having followed the above exchange between Kate and Nina, which country would you guess that portico comes from?

Well, here's how Muriel and Lars answered: 
Lars Tharp (to his team-mate Muriel Gray): OK, France or England?
Muriel Gray: I'd go for France.

Curiously, given Kate Williams naming it as 'Hornby Castle' and saying "and we've given them the information", 'France' never entered my head and I laughed at poor Muriel. My answer was 'England'.  
Was I right Griff? 
Griff Rhys Jones: France? I'm afraid not. It's English. 
Woo-hoo! In. Your. Face. Muriel!

I had insider knowledge there though. 

Hornby Castle, as the whole world ought to know, is the magnificent castle in the delightful village of Hornby in north Lancashire, close to the UK's favourite seaside resort (Morecambe). I have to say that I didn't know the Scots had its portico though and, frankly, am considering gathering a Lancastrian army to march on Glasgow to get it back for the red rose country....

Er, sorry Griff, there's a follow-up question, is there? 
Griff Rhys Jones: OK. So can you tell me...fingers on your buzzers again...which county it comes from? 

Dr Janina Ramirez: Yorkshire.
Griff Rhys Jones: Correct. This is the portico to Hornby Castle, which is near Wensleydale.
Bugger! And I was so enjoying feeling schadenfreude at Muriel's expense.

I shall have to console myself with the fact that Lancashire's Hornby Castle looks so much more like a proper castle that its Yorkshire namesake:

The Lancashire one

The Yorkshire one

[Ed: Look, this is a blog about BBC bias. You're not supposed to behave like a BBC online editor here, Craig. Your pro-Lancashire bias is getting out of hand. Post the correct images without bias, please.]


The Lancashire one

The Yorkshire one

P.S. And which of the above did J.M.W. Turner choose to paint? 

There's only one such a stupendous painter could possibly have painted, isn't there?

(Clue: It ain't in Yorkshire):


  1. Take a look at the TV historians' performance in the history sections on Pointless Celebrity recently! That was p poor too...I guess we can all sound knowledgeable with the help of a team of advisors and an autocue... :)

  2. Yes, Turner may of painted 1 picture of Hornby in Lancashire but he produced about 8 sketches of Hornby Castle in Yorkshire, which are now in the Tate collection!


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