Great Big British Quiz

Last week’s cold (just as I was starting to feel better!) turned into infected sinuses. Not much fun… in fact, it was surprisingly painful, and left me pretty much useless for a couple of days.

This is all by way of an excuse for why I ended up laid out on the sofa this afternoon watching The Great Big British Quiz on five US. I’ve not seen it before, and as it was about the only thing I’ve done today, I thought I’d mention it.

If you’ve not seen it before, here’s how it works: on screen you can see a question, a premium rate phone number, and an over-enthusiastic presenter. The question was “How many pence?” above a photo of two 50p’s, two 20p’s, a 10p, a 5p, two 2p’s, and two 1p’s. It looked like they had been going for a while when I channel-hopped over. A viewer had rung in and was about to give the answer live on air for £1,000. A thousand pounds? For adding up a handful of change? I was thinking that this was the easiest quiz ever.

The viewer gave their answer: “£2.76”. I nearly fell off the sofa.

How did they end up with that? And thats leaving aside that the question was ‘how many pence?’ so answering in pounds would be technically wrong anyway… It started as channel-hopping, but now I was intrigued.

The next caller gave their answer: “45”. Erm…. huh?

To cut a long story short, this continued. Each time someone would give a bizarre answer, then “TRY AGAIN” would flash on the screen and the over-enthusiastic presenter would do his cheesy smile again. Before I knew it, I’d been watching it for half an hour. But just as I was starting to lose faith, a caller gave the answer I’d been shouting at the telly: “161”.

‘Finally’, I thought! I couldn’t believe it had taken over half-an-hour for someone to get it.

“TRY AGAIN” flashed up on the screen. Huh??? But… what?

They carried on as if it was just another wrong answer. I really was missing something here. The answers continued, and ranged from 4 to the 400s. I was watching it for nearly two hours. (Time flies when you’re not well!) Five people gave ‘161’ – either not realising someone had already tried it, or hoping that the nice people at the Quiz misheard the previous callers or would just realise their mistake and give them the prize.

Maybe the people giving answers like “5” saw some trick part of the question that I’d missed – like how many times was the word “PENCE” visible in the photo? But, on more than one occasion, smarmy presenter guy explained that they were looking for a “numeric answer stating how much money, in pence, is shown in the photo”. It seems too explicit to allow for that sort of trick question, doesn’t it?

I eventually gave up and channel-hopped away, watched some other rubbish, and forgot all about it.

At 3.55pm, I was channel-hopping again, and happened to land on five US again. They were still going with the same puzzle! A timer said that there was only 5 minutes left to go on the question (presumably because 4pm is when the real programs start!). So, I thought I’d wait and see what the answer was.

The prize money was now £2,000, and a flurry of callers gave another wide variety of answers – including another two who gave “161”. Each one got the same “TRY AGAIN” response.

At a minute to 4, times up. The presenter explains that this question is over, their time was out for today, and the credits begin. No answer, no explanation… nothing.

No! “How many pence?” I need to know! I gave up over two hours of my afternoon for this rubbish!

A google for “Great Big British Quiz” turns up some interestingly similar experiences:

A productive use of a Saturday afternoon!

7 Responses to “Great Big British Quiz”

  1. Jon says:

    Funny, I was up for a good couple of hours watching British Channel Five last night, January 6th, when exactly the same picture was being used for a quiz. All I wanted to know was the answer. Finally turned off at 2.30 p.m.

  2. sandra wray says:

    I too was watching the same question, but last night (6th) and at one stage the prize money went up to £40,000, then later £50,000. At this point I did have to have a few goes and I was convinced my answer was correct (same as all the other losers)

    If there is anyone out there who listened long enough to hear the answer, I would love to know.

  3. adam groom says:

    please please tell me we can find the answer to this puzzle?? me and my friend both had exactly the same experience and was up till 5am trying to find out how many pence! It has bugged me all day now. Is there an answer?

  4. Andrew says:

    The whole thing is a con, should be against the law what these shows are doing. I watched and the answer is either 160p due to them being added together or 3 as the word pence appears three times on the coins or 163 if these two are added together. If the answer is anything other than those then the whole thing is a con and the building where this show is filmed should be burnt down live on air. I just want to smack that blonde guy anyway.

  5. Andrew says:

    whoops 161p or 3p or 164p even

  6. Daniel says:

    I also suffered this experience in the early hours of Jan 6th/7th. I just wanted to know the answer!! My girlfriend suggested 8 pence because there were 8 coins which had the word pence on them (and, I think, two 1p coins with the word ‘penny’).

    Nevertheless I’m thinking of suing Channel 5 for stealing two hours of my life.

  7. nathan says:

    mate thats wellweird same thing just happened to me i have been shouting at the tv for 2 hours and people giving stupid answers ie question: king fox and queen fox taketheir kids to the park. kids bring 10 fox freinds and 25 fox footman each. what a palaver! how many fox? my answer: 72 im thinkin wel theres 25 footmen and and 10 freinds per fox so theres atleast 35 sum people said 1 and 2 where the hel did they get that from. at one point i thought they were taking the piss anyway i watched it to the end 4 a.m im sad lol didnt give me an answer after all that!!!!! sorry about the long message i just had to say it because i had exact same thing (write back)