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For those who were paying attention ...

Quiz time again! Yes, this is our traditional Christmas quiz and this is the traditional time of year when you cut out this special topical Christmas quiz and put it to one side, then spend most of Christmas Day looking for the Christmas Quiz you cut out on December 19th and haven't seen since!

The questions are all based on a knowledge of what happened in 1996, which means for instance that if you have been doing a lot of research into 1929 you'll be at a bit of a disadvantage, so we've put one question in specially for you.

Here we go then with our Grand 1996 Topical Quiz!

1. Who said the following in 1996?

a) "Well, done, Brian - everything seems on course for the next election!"

b) "Yes, John - as chairman of the party I've done everything possible to ensure we get back in power!"

c) "Just a mo, just a mo, Brian - I thought I had told you that the whole point of the campaign was to make sure we handed the whole mess over to Labour?"

d) "I thought you were joking, John."

e) "I never joke, Brian. Why do you think I've kept Michael Howard in office so long? To court popularity? We're trying to lose the election!"

f) "Well, I'll be doggoned!"

g) "Very possibly, Brian, very possibly. Incidentally, are you a real doctor?"

2. Organisation was so laid-back at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, that a bus drew up yesterday, December 18th, at the Olympic stadium and disgorged the French volleyball team six months after they were due to be delivered!

True or false?

3. Ernest Saunders, once thought to be suffering from senile dementia but now not thought to be, had his trial declared unfair by the European Court of Human Rights. On what grounds?

a) The judges are all suffering from senile dementia;

b) to give John Major another humiliation;

c) because Guinness now owns over 51 per cent of the shares in the European Court of Human Rights.

4. When the farmers were asked what they thought of the Government's policy on BSE, to which part of which animal did they compare it?

5. Investigators into the TWA crash off the coast of America now think that the most likely cause was:

a) bad design;

b) bad luck;

c) OJ Simpson.

6. The fire in the Channel tunnel which put it out of action was caused not by a train at all but by a burning lorry, yet it is seen by everyone as a train accident not a road accident. Do you think this was:

a) Fair?

b) Reasonable?

c) Put there secretly by the ferry operators?

7. What was the name of the film that was so violently blasphemous that the European Court of Human Rights refused to give it a clean bill of health?

a) "St Teresa Gorman and her Battle to Get Mock-Tudor Planning Permission"

b) "The Erotic TV-induced Nightmares of Virginia Bottomley"

c) "Madonna's Baby's First Interview"

d) "Matinee on the Bounty"

8. Explain how the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, is related to Lord Noel Annan.

9. Under the new voting procedures in Parliament, which the Labour and Lib Dems have forced on the Tory party, David Mellor MP is now paired with:

a) an elderly Tory MP who died several years ago;

b) a small arms firm in Dusseldorf;

c) a large roundabout near Darmstadt.

10. What is Crash?

a) A new book about the next election?

b) The sequel to Trainspotting?

c) A controversial film about a French lorry driver?

d) Beryl Bainbridge's new novel about the Wall Street Crash.

More Christmas Quiz questions coming soon! Keep your eyes open for them! And, meanwhile, if a tall dark stranger offers you emergency pairing arrangements - have nothing to do with him!