Donna Jackson and Jackie Spencer from Liverpool are big Beatles fans, but as they told Beatles Examiner Oct. 30 Beatles trivia wasn’t involved in the success they had when they appeared on the popular BBC game show “Pointless” hosted by Alexander Armstrong with help from Richard Osman. They did, however, get to talk about their Beatles work in Liverpool. Spencer is a veteran Beatles tour guide in Liverpool. Jackson teaches history and archeology at the University of Chester and also acts as a guide to visitors at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool where John Lennon and Paul McCartney met.
“We were hoping for Beatles questions, but did all right without!,” Spencer said. She said they weren’t briefed on the questions in advance. “We had no idea what categories would come up until it was announced during the show,” said Jackson. “This is the 12th series, though, so we had an idea of some of the more popular topics. So it’s not too difficult for people to learn things like countries, capital cities, etc, because they’ve come up as categories a lot.”
The point of “Pointless,” so to speak, is to try and get the least popular answer from a category in which 100 people were surveyed. As the show’s introduction says, obvious answers mean nothing and obscure answers mean everything. It’s kind of a reverse of the U.S. show “Family Feud.”
The first category the ladies had to answer was “Countries With a ‘U’ In Their Names.” Two other contestants had answered already. One had missed completely, scoring 100, the penalty when an answer is wrong. The other scored three points, a tough score to beat.
Jackson was chosen to be the spokesman for the first answer and told Armstrong one of her research specialties African foreign policy. She gave her answer as Djibouti. Quizmaster Armstrong said, “That’s a favorite of Mr. Osman’s there.” Osman, who reveals the answers of each of the questions asked of the contestants, quipped, “Well I like the guy who runs it. Sheik Djibouti.”
Alexander then indicated it was time to see if the answer was correct and how many people said it. The lights flashed and first showed it was correct. Then the score starting counting down from 100, going lower and lower and lower and passing three. The answer was zero, meaning no one in the survey had picked it, the best a contestant could do.
The final contestant also scored three. The highest score is eliminated for the second round, and with Jackson and Spencer scoring the best possible score, they moved on with two other couples.
The game continued. The entire show, with the suspenseful finale, is in the video on this page. After watching this episode, it would seem this would be a great show for a U.S. network to pick up. Hopefully one will.