Monday, September 01, 2008

Mike Read's Pop Quiz

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.


MIKE READ: 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.


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.


  1. Blimey, I'd forgotten about Mike Read. Curses. You've been and gone and made me remember him again. Still, this programme sounds all right. At least it's not full of celebrity contestants. And with Mike Read in charge, it must be a good show to RELAX in front of. (Oops, now it's me who's dragging up the past.)

    Tell you what: I can't wait for Pop Quiz to start being reshown on 'Dave'.

    PS - Couldn't quite make out from the photo, but has Read had 'work' done. Have another look at the nose...

  2. Pat Butcher would go ballistic!

  3. Frumps - I think the Scallywags may have been old Frankie fans, getting their own back. Mike Read does not wear a hairpiece and he has not had plastic surgery. His naturally youthful looks are a result of sharing genes with his great uncle Cliff Richard and a vigorous love life performed to the accompaniment of the Icicle Works songbook.

    Murph - Runaround....NOW!

  4. Well it's no Saturday Morning Superstore, is it.

  5. W - WOW what a crazee letter!

    My mate and I used to video 'Pop Quiz' and do it at work on Monday.
    We trusted each other not to cheat.
    I didn't but he usually won!

  6. Boz - It's more Pound Shop than Superstore.

    Kaz - We record the current Pop Quiz and pause before the answers. We need a third member to go on the show. Fancy it? :)

  7. And there I was thinking Mikey had suffered enough.

  8. It's fucking disgraceful that Boris Johnson hasn't called on Mike's experience and expertise to get London up and running again. A man who has written songs for Cliff Richard, Donovan, Leo Sayer, Don McLean, Steve Harley, David Essex, Colin Blunstone, Jon Anderson, Gene Pitney, Alvin Stardust, Captain Sensible[citation needed], Annie Haslam, Matchbox, Kym Mazelle and Justin Hayward surely has something to contribute to this great city of ours. I've heard he's been working on some grime tunes which he's willing to contribute to a young persons' music making project ("Read On!") but Boris doesn't give a shit about the youth and won't cough up the funding.

  9. What a refreshingly amusing blog. Sarcasm and Irony abound.. I laughed out loud while identifying with some of the pathos.

    Well worth a link.