Course teaches you how to be pub quizmaster

Colin Cruikshank's course will teach his students how to be a successful pub quizmaster. Picture: Greg Macvean
Colin Cruikshank's course will teach his students how to be a successful pub quizmaster. Picture: Greg Macvean
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HERE’S a question for pub quiz fans: where can you gain a qualification in how to be the quizmaster at your favourite local watering hole?

The answer: at Wester Hailes Education Centre where bosses have announced the city’s first ever course on pub quizzes – compiling them, hosting them and, most importantly, getting better at them.

Run by veteran pub quiz aficionado Colin Cruikshank, 60, the twice-weekly hour long adult education classes will answer everything you ever wanted to know about being the annoying man who knows all the answers – and holds the key to that week’s top prize.

Former secondary school teacher Colin, who was the last winner of TV show Superscot in 1990, believes – despite the rise of mobile phone cheats – we are in a golden age of pub quizzing.

“The course will concentrate on everything to do with pub quizzes from making up questions to running them yourself,” he said. “Pub quizzes and quiz shows are always popular, I run numerous quizzes at various pubs such as The Corstorphine Inn, the Ye Olde Inn in Davidson’s Mains and The Livingston Inn and there’s always a good turnout.

“I think this is a really innovative idea – people can gain a qualification while getting better at the same time.”

With an estimated 300 pub quizzes held each week across Edinburgh and the Lothians, the course is expected to be popular with people who know their Capital cities from their periodic table.

Colin added: “Pub quizzes are a great way of bringing a community together and it can only be a good thing to have more of them.”

He also revealed that the course will be based around general knowledge and not trivia. He said: “I like good old-fashioned general knowledge. My quizzes have questions on history, geography, literature and sport, not trivia. Those who come to my quiz want something that will challenge them.”

The education centre’s community learning manager, Alan Ness, said he likes to offer courses that are relevant to peoples’ lives.

He said: “We sit down each year and look to add a course which reflects whatever’s popular at the time. Last year we had Strictly Come Dancing classes and this year we decided on quizzes. Over 700 people enrol in our adult classes each year, we only began advertising this class last week but have had lots of phone calls and emails already.

“Of course part of the class will result in having to attend a few quizzes so I imagine it will be a hit with many. I can’t think of any other adult education classes which require a trip to the pub.”

In April the News revealed how quizzers jetted in to take part in the inaugural Celtic Nations Quizzing Championships at the Voodoo Rooms.

Teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales fought it out for the crown with the home nation emerging triumphant led by current Brain of Britain and city-born world number three, Barry Simmons, 64.

The one-of-a-kind WHEC course, Who Wants To Be A Quiz Expert?, runs from September 24 to December 5.

Colin’s quiz: Give it your best shot

Here are Colin’s favourite pub quiz questions ... the answers are here. No cheating.

1: Since it began in the 1880’s Shetland’s Up Helly A Festival has been cancelled three times. Twice for the two world wars, but can you work out the other time?

2: Which fictional character writes a weekly column for the New York Star entitled Sex In The City?

3: At Ronnie Barker’s memorial service in Westminster Abbey in 2006 as the choir proceeded down the aisle what were the vergers carrying?

4: Which Roman emperor was the subject of two novels by Robert Graves?

5: Which 1980 No. 1 single was named after a type of spotlight?

6: What was invented in the 1950s at the Cats Whiskers club in Soho which was too small for proper dancing?

7: What must someone have if they are to become a member of the Handlebar Club?

8: In which part of Edinburgh would you find the Witches Well?

9: There are two books of the Bible in the Old Testament which begin with the letter P, and so for a point each, name them?

10: Name the four Scots who have won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award?

• Click here for the answers