Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Cloud of Unknowing

The Minister of State for Higher Education, the Rt Hon David Lammy MP, took part in BBC TV's Celebrity Mastermind in December 2008. This is a complete transcript of the questions he was asked, and the answers he gave, in the general knowledge round.

Q: What was the married name of the scientists Marie and Pierre who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 for their research into radiation?

A: Antoinette.

Q: Cockpit Country is a rugged, inaccessible area on which Caribbean island?

A: Pass.

Q: Which fortress was built in the 1370s to defend one of the gates of Paris and was later used as a state prison by Cardinal Richelieu?

A: Versailles.

Q: In February 2008, which Tottenham Hotspur player scored the first goal of Fabio Capello's reign as England football manager?

A: Aaron Lennon.

Q: James Gandolfini played a Mafia boss called Tony in which American television series?

A: The Godfather.

Q: What name is used for the highest gallery of seats in a theatre?

A: Pass.

Q: Which organisation was founded in 1909 as the Home Section of the Secret Service Bureau to counteract the threat of German spies?

A: MI5.

Q: Which American military award is given to those who are wounded in action and bears the inscription "For Military Merit" on the reverse?

A: Pass.

Q: Chris Martin is the lead singer with which award-winning British band?

A: Coldplay.

Q: Which variety of blue English cheese traditionally accompanies port?

A: Leicester.

Q: What term for a top-floor luxury flat originally meant a shed or outhouse?

A: Penthouse.

Q: In 2006 Sandi Toksvig replaced Simon Hoggart as presenter of which topical Radio 4 quiz show?

A: Pass.

Q: Who succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine on the death of his father Henry VIII in 1547?

A: Henry VII.

Q: In chemistry, which French word is used for a tube for transferring measured amounts of liquids?

A: Pass.

Q: Which country's so-called Rose Revolution of 2003 led to the resignation of its President, Eduard Shevardnadze?

A: Yugoslavia.

…making a grand total of three correct answers (MI5, Coldplay, Penthouse), as this irreverent video confirms: