Friday 23 August 2019

Weighty matters

Not a happy bunny after losing

Is it possible to write a post about a BBC journalist not knowing something that the blogger knows - and that the blogger expected the BBC journalist to know - without sounding smug?



Tonight's celebrity editon of Eggheads had BBC News channel presenter/Panorama journalist Chris Rogers taking the Geography round against Chris from Eggheads. 

You may remember Chris Rogers from such BBC 'events' as that News Channel interview with the North Korea expert whose was interrupted first by his young son then by his baby and then by his wife desperately trying to get their kids out of the room, or for his Panorama from Ukraine about far-right World Cup football hooligans where - away from the programme - he was caught on camera (off camera), giving a Nazi salute and goose-stepping

As such I'd expect him to be good at geography.

But this question - 
Which country lies between Costa Rica and the continent of South America? 
- led him to say "I'm guessing this one". 

The options were: (a) Belize, (b) Nicaragua and (c) Panama. 

He was torn between Belize and Panama and finally plumped for the right answer, Panama (famous for its canal and for being between the link between Central America and South America).

To me that was obvious and something a star BBC journalist ought to just know, straight-off. 

Later came a 'sudden death question':
Latvia shares land borders with Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and which other country? 
As someone who so-famously reported from Ukraine, I'd have expected Chris to have been a dead certainty to have given the right answer, Russia (famously, Latvia's most troublesome neighbour). But, no, Chris misfired and said 'Ukraine'.

Why do I expect better from high-profile BBC journalists? 

At which point I'll now end the post...


  1. Would be nice if we could see Harrabin's knowledge about climate similarly tested.

  2. Guessed Panama but with no certainty that I could visualise them all correctly on a map so thanks for the map. Knew Russia - I have met a Latvian or two so it wasn't hard.

    Something else I saw in the programme notes for the Saturday programme on Radio 4 is much closer to home: 'He was the official artist for the Tour de Yorkshire 2019 and collectors of his work include the actor Tom Hardy, JK Rowling and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth.'


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