World’s quiz experts ready for Celtic nations test

Host Ewan McNaught is swotting up ahead of the championships. Picture: PHIL WILKINSON
Host Ewan McNaught is swotting up ahead of the championships. Picture: PHIL WILKINSON
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Seven of the world’s top quiz competitors have signed up to take part in the inaugural Celtic Nations Quizzing Championships at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms on April 27-28.

They include Capital-born world number three Barry Simmons, 64, who is the current Brain of Britain champion.

The tournament will feature a series of international matches involving Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The local pub quizzers will also get the chance to take on the likes of Barry – a star of television show Eggheads – when a qualifying event places at the Cambridge Bar, in the New Town, on April 15.

Voodoo Rooms owner Ewan McNaught, himself a member of Scottish quiz champions the Dude Abides, said he was “delighted” to be welcoming some of the world’s best pub quizzers to the city.

He said: “It’s a privilege to be able to help host this inaugural Celtic Nations quiz
weekend.

“Attracting some of the UK’s best quizzers to the Voodoo Rooms is a great honour.”

He added: “The Voodoo Rooms is a venue which strives to enrich the cultural fabric of the city and to attract the best talent across a broad spectrum of the arts.

“The Celtic Nations fits in very well with our diverse 
programme.”

Egghead Barry is equally honoured to be returning to the city of his birth – where he hopes things will run a little smoother than another recent challenge.

Now living in Leeds, he was recently involved in 
controversy after the BBC allowed him to take part in the radio quiz Brain of Britain – with several listeners complaining that the veteran brainbox was just too good.

He said: “There are always a few moaners. The weird thing was I wasn’t even the highest-ranked contestant and none of the people I was up against complained.”

The former IT consultant has won thousands of pounds in prize money in quiz shows and has recently been installed as a paid panellist on BBC2’s Eggheads.

He added: “Eggheads is recorded in Glasgow, but I have never done a quiz in Edinburgh before. I am delighted to be returning, it’s a beautiful city.”

Quizzers will be jetting in from all over the Celtic world, with strong contingents from Ireland and Wales. The Irish side will also be strengthened by Edinburgh-based quiz-masters Dave McBryan (world number 20) and Dave Murphy (number 61), who both run a string of regular pub quizzes across the city.

Try these

TEST yourself on ten questions faced by Barry in the Brain of Britain final.

1: Which TV reporter’s piece on the Ethiopia famine led to Band Aid?

2: What is the capital of Montserrat?

3: Who wrote about The Wild Swans at Coole?

4: What was the original name of Tom from the Tom & Jerry cartoons?

5: Which of his co-stars from the Carry On films did Kenneth Williams insist on accompanying on honeymoon?

6: Which country is Graham Bell Island a part of?

7: Who is the only one of Henry VIII’s wives to be buried in Westminster Abbey?

8: With which club did Sir Stanley Matthews begin his career?

9: In which decade did JJ Thompson discover the electron?

10: What is an accumulation of sand in a desert, and also a unit of energy?

ANSWERS: 1. Michael Buerk. 2. Plymouth. 3. WB Yeats. 4. Jasper. 5. Barbara Windsor. 6. Russia. 7. Anne of Cleves. 8. Stoke City. 9. 1890s. 10. An erg.