On a Tuesday evening last month, in a corner of North London, the high street was festooned with unusually expensive automobiles. On one block was a Rolls, a Jaguar, and a Porsche. What's more, one pub in the center of that neighborhood was rammed. It turned out that the all-Britain Pub Quiz League was on hiatus, and some of the top players in the nation had turned out for the competition.
But those cars... they made me wonder whether pub quiz players the new footballers.
Well one might ask. Then comes this in a recent Evening Standard's Londoner's Diary:
Spotted in North London... taking a kind of busman’s holiday... Shaun Wallace, a barrister and the “Dark Destroyer” on ITV’s Quiz Show “The Chase,” slipped in last night to the Prince of Wales to keep his instrument keen. The pub’s quiz night has been deemed by the Telegraph Britain’s “most respected,” and is even the subject of a 2006 book. To general dismay, Wallace was however pipped to the post by a local team led by Observer writer, and former Review Editor, Tim Adams. Given that Adams’s team had never before placed higher than seventh a scoring recount was demanded but the results stood.
When next in Los Angeles I may speak with a cable television exec about bidding for live coverage of these events. But which channel? ESPN, or Bravo?
In any case, in another corner of London, on local quiz night there was a general predominance of heels. At the local bistro restaurant, tables of small groups of women on their own. Apparently, the Wives & Girlfriends of the pub quiz players... or playas as they sometimes styles themselves... had arrived.