Dom Joly: Two turtle doves, and a labrador on the quiz team

Share
Related Topics

I always like the idea of a pub quiz. What could be better than getting together in a pub with like-minded people to exercise the old grey matter over a couple of hearty ales? Well, quite a lot, if the truth be told.

A new, dynamic young publican has taken over the village pub and given it a bit of a revamp. By this I mean there are actually people in it. The old publican, a dour Mancunian, was never enormously keen on visitors. He would sit behind his bar, curiously shaped like a fortress and watch Channel 4 News. Woe betide anyone coming in and trying to get served.

It's a difficult balance, the whole country pub thing. You either go very poncy and price out the locals while unsuccessfully attempting to provide what you think a night out in London might look like. Or you do the American Werewolf in London theme where only locals (and by that they mean you must have had ancestors in the village before the year 1200) may drink. It's tricky to find that elusive middle ground.

Our new publican, John, has had a very good stab at it. He knocked down the fortress and opened up the bar. He welcomes families, dogs... even ramblers sometimes. He has decent beer and a chef who informs you, if asked, that everything on his menu is "minging" when it's actually very decent fare. John also does his best to attract people to the pub – he has curry nights and pie nights and... quiz nights. That's where we came in.

News had spread that I had recently filmed Celebrity Mastermind, and I was much in demand. Friends organised two teams, and I was inveigled into one of these. Confidence was high. We had myself, a barrister, a scientist and two avid Grazia readers. What could go wrong? At first, nothing. We had already tackled the most tricky issue – our name. We went for Losers Keepers, a terrible play on the name of the pub, The Keepers Arms, but we were quite chuffed with it, until we marked another team called 664 The Neighbour of the Beast and realised that ours was a bit pants.

For the first three rounds, however, things went well and we were actually in the lead. Beer flowed freely and spirits were high at our table. Then the fall – a couple of rounds involving football and Christmas songs – and we were scuppered.

The real torpedo to our festive Belgrano was when we had to fill out the lines from "The Twelve Days of Christmas". We managed five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree, but got all the rest hopelessly out of order. The problem was (try it) that whatever order we chose, it sounded right. We eventually came second to last. How the mighty had fallen.

Fortunately for us, there was an even thicker team called Team of Fun. At least we weren't right at the bottom. We couldn't see this other team as it was in the next room, but a lone golden labrador kept staring at me intently through the door. I prayed that he wasn't the Team of Fun, congratulating himself on how well he had done.

The quiz over and the beer drunk, we all staggered out of the pub into the freezing night. The dog bowls had iced over and the Team of Fun had to smash one with his nose to get a drink. Everyone hugged and kissed and laughed before retiring to their cosy Christmas beds.

This was the kind of thing that I moved down here for, eight years ago. It just takes a little time to fit in. We'll be allowed into the shop in 2015.

Celebrity Mastermind is on BBC1 on 6 January

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Hampshire

£25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Essex

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Hertfordshire -Large Established Business

£22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicola Sturgeon could have considerable influence over David Cameron in a hung parliament  

General Election 2015: What if Cameron were to end up in hock to the SNP?

Steve Richards
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before