Our Saturday evenings have taken an exciting new turn for the better recently. At 6 p.m. every Saturday on Red TV (Sky channel 186) we tune in to Mike Read's Pop Quiz. This is a new version of Mike's old BBC show, featuring two teams of three. The contestants are not pop stars like in the old days, though. They're members of the public with varying degrees of knowledge about the history of pop music.
We missed the first few episodes but were soon hooked on the extremely amateurish production, muffled sound and chronically embarrassing credits featuring Danny Devito, Mark Knopfler and a clowned-up Elton John.
The questions range from the easy to the impossible. The impossible include clips of 1950s stars playing chicken in a basket shows in the 1990s. Obscure doo wop is not my forte.
One of our favourite rounds is the Hangman Round. And it was the Hangman Round a few weeks ago which seems to have done for Mike's show. I think he's given up as the last few weeks the programme has either been cancelled or they've shown repeats of earlier shows.
What follows is a transcript of the show that destroyed one of a generation's greatest deejays. I have not transcribed the whole round, just the pertinent parts. The evil team named themselves Scallywags. And they certainly were...
Mike closes the previous round. The back left hand side of his "hair" is sticking up alarmingly.
MIKE READ: ...there it is, yes, Cliff Richard and Carrie. So two points there...We head onto the Hangman Round now...So, Scallywags, would you like to pick a letter for the first act/artist/singer, male, female, could be anything?
SCALLYWAGS: S for syrup.
MIKE READ: S. OK, well, there we are. Some S's in there. A whole bunch of S's.
A LITTLE LATER...
MIKE READ: ...as we go into number 3. Come on Scallywags, er, pick a letter this time. I'm sure you can actually balance this out nicely. What letter are you going for first? If you pick one letter in here it might give you a lot of help.
SCALLYWAGS: Er, I'll have a W for wig, please.
MIKE READ: A W! No, there is no W but always worth going for a crazy letter. No W.
A LITTLE LATER...
MIKE READ: ...let's see if you can do it with this next one as well. Er, we'll let you go off first this time, so if you want to pick a letter for the last Hangman?
SCALLYWAGS: Er, can I have a haitch for, er, hairpiece?
MIKE READ: OK, an H. An H, OK...
MIKE READ: ...No H's.