CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV show: Quizmaster Richard has all the right answers to keep us on our toes
Richard Osman’s House of Games
Hornby: A Model World
Every celebrity quiz show should award extra points for virtue marks. Then we would see a real competition for points.
Itinerant real estate agent Jasmine Harman slammed her rivals in Richard Osman’s House Of Games (BBC2) by using the slightest pretext to declare, “I’m vegan!”
Jasmine, best known as the host of A Place In The Sun: Home Or Away?, answered one of the tongue twisters in the final round.
House Of Games airs its 500th issue this week, and each episode ends with a puzzle called the Answer-Smash. Players get two clues and win points by combining the two solutions in one word.
Osman’s House Of Games offers different mind-bending challenges every day and is a great show to play along at home
For example: What is a major golf tournament in the States and who played Margo in The Good Life? It is . . . the US Openelope Keith. This is a delightfully silly game that will have players stuttering as they try to say the answer.
Jasmine proved to be faster than any other celeb – professor Suzannah Lipscomb, actor Dave Johns and sports presenter Jason Mohammad. They scratched their heads as the image of an exotic fruit flashed beneath a half-finished nursery rhyme: “There was an old lady who . . .’
‘Flychee swallowed!’ exclaimed Jasmine. Everyone stared at her, including Richard. You may have remembered the old woman who “swallowed a fly” — but who knows what a lychee looks like?
“I’m vegan, so fruits and veggies are kind of my area,” crowed Jasmine. She got the next one too: a picture of a shiny black eggplant, including a question about a French pantomime. Answer: Marcel Marceaubergine.
With its daily changing tricky challenges, House Of Games is a great show to play along at home. The effortlessly brilliant Osman keeps viewers engaged, turning to the camera and asking us how we’re doing and congratulating us when he suspects we’re winning.
Maybe there’s a little magic in the editing, or maybe celebrities are slow to answer, but no one ever spoils the fun by guessing too fast. There is always a second or two of silence before someone answers after each question.
However, you’ll have to be quick if you want to brush up on your credentials faster than the pros. A question (“When was the Communist Manifesto published?”) gave three of the celebrities a chance to tell us what they studied at university. However, none of them have the correct date. It was 1848. Pat yourself on the back if you knew that back home. . . as Richard would say.
All round pats on the back for the toy train executives in Hornby: A Model World (Yesterday) as they literally came up with a new line. As vintage steam locomotives ran out of miniature replicas, product director Simon Kohler had the brilliant idea of building all the same trains. . . but even smaller. Listening to his staff planning the launch felt strangely exciting, like being an office spy.
All round pats on the back for the toy train executives in Hornby: A Model World (Yesterday) as they literally came up with a new line
Traditionally, Simon’s famous range of absolutely faithful replicas has been in 1:76 scale. However, the latest models are even smaller, at 1:120 scale, also known as TT or tabletop scale.
That means smaller lanes, smaller accessories and (with a bit of luck) more sales. It seems like a counterintuitive choice: I would have expected enthusiasts to demand larger models with more visible detail. . . but on the other hand I’m not a collector.
However, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the work of professional model maker Kathy Millatt in Solihull as she built a diorama of Port Dinorwic station near Anglesey using rolling stock made with a 3D computer printer. A very newfangled way of celebrating old-fashioned technology.