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Only Connect: The Official Quiz Book: Jack Waley-Cohen

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Those who stumbled across the show have stayed and I think that’s because it has a sense of fun that isn’t a natural part of the appeal of other Monday night quiz favourites – University Challenge and Mastermind.” It’s hard for me to go to a normal pub quiz now because people expect me to know everything and I can’t risk them finding out the truth. I won’t go on Celebrity Mastermind for much the same reason. Every year, I do the brilliant Christmas pub quiz run by my friends [comedy writers] Shaun Pye and Alan Connor, as part of a team that goes by the hideous name of The Funnymen. It was a stupid joke name we took 20 years ago but I get terrified now that newcomers will think we’ve chosen it with some level of genuine self-description, especially now my husband’s joined the team. It sounds awful. And yet we can’t possibly change it because, I don’t mind telling you, that name is engraved on the cup. SEVERAL TIMES OVER. It depends what you mean by “famous” and what you mean by “best”. Phil Ivey is one of the most famous players in professional poker and probably the best I’ve played against, in terms of skill and flair. Of the people I’ve played who are famous for other things, Zac Goldsmith was probably the best at poker. But in terms of sitting across the table and thinking “Wow” for other reasons, that would be Steve Martin. Or perhaps Roger De Courcey [ventriloquist of Nookie Bear fame]. You haven’t asked who was the worst but I’ll tell you anyway. It was [darts player] Eric Bristow. And you can interpret that any way you like. No, this was pre-internet. It was nothing that awful. I enjoyed it. I have rarely laughed as much. Certainly not while being simultaneously mildly aroused. Like any gambler, I’ll bet on anything at all. There is absolutely no way to answer the second bit without getting in trouble.

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You’re one of the top professional poker players. Who’s the best famous person you’ve played against? So limber up your frontal lobes, and get ready to pit your wits against the toughest quiz on TV. Read more Details April 1st-12th [the numbers are the positions of the first and last letters in the alphabet of each month. January: J is 10th; Y is 25th in alphabet.] I’m not at all competitive, which surprises people because I play high-stakes poker. But that’s a very particular endeavour. I don’t have a competitive soul in general. I play all sorts of games with friends and family for the sheer joy of the thing and I usually want others to win so they feel happy and up for playing again. What I enjoy is playing. The thing I badly want to win at is poker.

And for the show’s new found fans, being able to lose themselves in a gentle and unashamed celebration of geekery, discovering Only Connect might just be one of the few upsides in a year when we were all forced to stay at home. I don’t think so. Those are quite serious shows with authoritative, grownup hosts. I love Only Connect deeply but also find the trappings of a TV quiz inherently silly, which our contestants and viewers never mind me making clear. If I hosted one of those big beasts, I’d end up undermining them and upsetting the audience. With a healthy dose of trivia between games (What are the greatest ever Only Connect questions? Who is the best team of all time?) and an introduction by presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell, The Only Connect Quiz Book will take you skills to a new level. I don’t think any of those particular ones are for me. I’m a big fan of Strictly as a viewer. This year, we’re very nervously and proudly watching Robert Webb in it, but he’s a fantastic dancer. I’d be awful and not even in a fun way. People would just pity me and look away awkwardly. So limber up your frontal lobes, and get ready to pit your wits against the toughest quiz on TV. Read more Look Inside Details

Only Connect - Penguin Books UK

It forms part of a quiz triple bill on Monday evenings , with Mastermind and University Challenge . Would you fancy hosting either of those some day? Dennis Taylor (World Snooker champion) -- Bon Scott (Lead singer of AC/DC) -- Ken Livingston (Mayor of London) -- Lincoln and Kennedy (US presidents) Blue Whale [This is the sequence of specimens that have occupied the Natural History Museum’s famous Hintze Hall] I came across a great work of literature recently which I hadn’t realised was split into multiple volumes, so if I can find another three of those that might work,” he says. You used to review hardcore porn for the Erotic Review . Are you scarred for life by the things you saw?You have a huge fanbase from hosting Only Connect . What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever done? Only Connect is the ultimate test of knowledge and lateral thinking. Since 2008 the fiendishly difficult quiz show has been challenging contestants to find connections between apparently unrelated clues.

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