Tuesday 4th August 2009



It's now an open secret that I recently took part in The Weakest Link,  so here's a chance for folk to have a bit of fun guessing how I did, and to raise a few bob for Cornwall Hospice Care - see attached.  Full details and entry forms can be found in the pub - or direct from me when I return on 5 September (after my summer visitors have gone home).  - Charles Morgan



“Here are another 9 contestants preparing for the Weakest Link. They don’t know each other but if they want the prize money” (blah, blah.....)


Charles is sworn to secrecy after facing Anne Robinson earlier in the summer but if you’d like to speculate as to how he got did all you need do is decide which of the 27 scenarios below (three for each round) determined his fate. Just ask for the Weakest Link Form at the bar of The Ship Inn and enter your selection, name and contact details. You may make as many selections as you like providing you pay £1 a go. Proceeds will go to Cornwall Hospice Care.


A cash prize is offered, £10 or 10% of the money raised whichever is greater, but as Anne says “There can only be one winner!” This means that if there are several correct selections there will be a draw. If nobody guesses the correct answer then Cornwall Hospice Care will do even better.  


No definite transmission date has been set yet but it will probably go out some time in the autumn. Will give you an update as soon as this is known.  


So , here are all 27 scenarios. All are utterly bogus except one. So now let’s play “Guess how Charles did in the Weakest Link!”


Round 1


a)        Charles made one stupid mistake by saying the primary colour of custard was orange when any fool knows it is yellow, so was promptly voted off.


b)        One of two players who got an answer to this easy first round wrong, the casting vote of the strongest link sent Charles swiftly on his way.


c)        After a faultless first round with all 9 questions correctly answered in rapid succession, Charles emerged as the strongest link after banking the first £1000 - even so the team decided otherwise and he was voted off, but at least this saved him making a fool of himself later. He also absolutely refused to whinge after the Walk of Shame and was entirely philosophical about his fate. (Anyone remember “Happiness - is a cigar called Hamlet”?)


Round 2


a)        After a poor first round in which only a pathetic £200 was banked, Charles thought he’d play safe so banked £100. Even so his caution annoyed the team and he was rapidly sent on his way.


b)        After a successful first round in which £1000 was banked, it looked for a while as if Round 2 would be equally successful. However all the money was lost when Charles failed to provide the correct answer to a question about the Spice Girls. This went down like a lead balloon with the team so at this point Charles went down too!


c)        Mental arithmetic has never been Charles’ forte, and even though he did answer correctly that 74 – 17 = 57, he took such an inordinately long time that this failed to impress his generally brighter-than-average team mates, so he was voted off.


Round 3


a)        A pretty bad round for the whole team, most got three questions wrong but Charles’ assertion that Robin Hood had been active in The New Forest stuck in the team’s mind as a particularly stupid answer, so his walk of shame was particularly well deserved. (He also fears that this may well be picked up in Private Eye’s Dumb Britain column!).


b)        A good round - no player got more than one wrong but just as it seemed there was going to be a reasonable sum in the pot, Charles failed to bank before time ran out, so the team voted him off.


c)        In Round 2 Charles had actually managed to make the whole team and Anne crease up (the producer had to call for a retake) after she had fixed her gaze on him and asked “what do you do?”. Explaining the concept of Sudoku Word Search he gave an example where ACERBIC, IRASCIBLE, BASIL and SYBIL could all be fitted into a standard 9 x 9 Sudoku grid - OR with a minor adjustment, ANNE could take the place of SYBIL (and wouldn’t she like to go down to Torquay and sort Basil out?). But unfortunately after this minor triumph Charles’ concentration lapsed and he went to pieces in Round 3, which fellow team members definitely noticed!


Round 4


a)        In round 3 Anne had commented upon Charles’ scruffy appearance and he admitted to being a “natural born scarecrow”. Even so in Round 4 he forgot that the character played by Una Stubbs in Worzel Gummage was Aunt Sally, and had also forgotten that hyacinths are predominately blue, so the team voted him off.


b)        It was uncanny that so many questions on personalities and the media were put to Charles, definitely his weak area. Until now he had got by more by luck that judgement but he was stumped here by failing to know which American rock star was planning a farewell concert in London this autumn. (The programme was recorded on 4 June just before Michael Jackson’s untimely demise). This, and a mental arithmetic question gave Charles two wrong answers, and after the casting vote of the Strongest Link he was voted off.


c)        Charles had managed to survive into Round 4 after some real micky-taking by Anne in Round 3 when she picked upon his single status and tried to pair him off with the busty blonde on the next rostrum. (Like his late Mum, Anne really was trying to help him find a partner but unfortunately she doesn’t share his taste in women. Bless!) But these “either / or” questions can be devastating! Still flustered, he managed to give the wrong answer to “Is Wellington on the South of the North Island or North of the South Island of New Zealand?”.He also failed to identify King James I as the main target of the Gunpowder Plot, but made light of his failure by marching rather than walking off, singing “Always look on the bright side!”


Round 5


a)        Charles stumbled and was eliminated in Round 5 on a question about football, losing a rather large sum of money in the process, which everyone else regarded as a gift question. This followed a rather unsuccessful exchange with Anne in Round 4 in which he started that he was developing Sudoku Word Search with his partner Kim, whom Anne immediately took to female! When Charles put her right she then assumed it was a gay relationship until Charles made it clear Kim was his business partner and he was married to a lovely lady called Gillie! Unfortunately Charles was subsequently unable to talk about Sudoku Word Search in any detail.


b)        An appalling memory lapse meant that Charles was unable to answer that Dundee was the city just to the North of the first rail bridge over the Silvery Tay on which doggerel poet William McGonegal had written so ineloquently after its catastrophic collapse in 1874. To get any question to do with railways wrong was deeply humiliating for Charles - he lost concentration, misheard his next question and was deservedly eliminated.


c)        Anne had her customary dig at Wales and the Welsh in Round 3 when Charles revealed that one of his hobbies was volunteering on two famous narrow gauge railways, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland; and she went on to say “so I suppose you really do need an anorak because it’s always so wet and miserable there?” He then managed to sail through Round 4 as the strongest link, but then had a disastrous Round 5 getting all his answers wrong.


Round 6 


a)        After the Fawlty Towers allusion in Round 2 Charles managed to survive through to Round 6, but when Anne said “...or has Charles gone faulty? Time to vote off the Weakest Link!” this turned out to be the unanimous verdict of the other three remaining players after he had given the wrong answers to questions on music, media and sport.


b)        One question Charles really should have got right was “Tintagel is supposed to be the birthplace of which legendary king?” and he answered “King Alfred”. This appalling gaffe (another likely contender for Dumb Britain) together with his failure to identify Kylie Minogue as the antipodean singer of “I should be so lucky!” ensured that he didn’t get beyond Round 6. 


c)        Charles had actually been the weakest link in Round 5 in which everyone did pretty poorly, but they failed to spot this after the busty blonde whom Anne had tried to pair off with Charles in Round 4 staggered everyone with her ignorance by saying that the North Sea was the stretch of water separating Great Britain from Ireland. (Dumb Britain, Dumb Blonde?).


Round 7


a)        Having been the strongest link in three of the last four rounds by effortlessly answering questions on history, geography, religion and politics; Charles seemed set to sail on to Round 8 as yet again, he got the most correct answers. However with two very smart ladies also surviving into Round 7 (one a lawyer, one a psychiatrist) it seems they thought they would be better off facing each other in the final two rounds, so Charles became a victim of tactical voting.


b)        Charles felt pretty dopey when after being given the names of six of Snow White’s dwarves he was unable to name the seventh. Also, he failed to bank at the end of the round after someone had completed a chain of 6 correct answers and also forgot to, or was too slow banking in several previous rounds. Both the other players felt he just had to go!


c)        Three remaining players and a vote each! Neither the strongest nor weakest link, it was the casting vote of the strongest that put him out of the game.


Round 8 (Charles goes on to leave with nothing in Round 9)


a)        A fast and furious Round 8 Charles found himself against a lady lawyer whose general knowledge was most impressive. She answered all her questions correctly in Round 8 whereas Charles only managed three. She was equally impressive in Round 9 but Charles only managed to get one right, but at least he left the show happy not to have done the Walk of Shame. 


b)        Charles was amazed to find himself in the final two rounds against a very pretty young lady studying history at Oxford having done rather better than expected in all previous rounds. However as the stronger of the two in Round 8  he paid dearly  by letting her go first in Round 9 - Sod’s law determined that he knew the answers to most of her questions and fewer of his own. In this case chivalry didn’t pay, but Charles was still delighted to have made the final against such a worthy (and attractive) opponent!


c)        Charles found himself in Round 8 against a drama teacher whose general knowledge was pretty good and had an in-built advantage over TV, films and the media. Between them they managed to bank £200 in Round 8 giving total prize money of £2,780. Round 9 was very tough but the lady concerned managed to get 3 points against Charles’ 2. At least when Anne said “Charles, you leave with nothing!” he managed to quip “except expenses!” (The BBC does at least stand players their transport costs and one night in a hotel).


Round 9 (Charles triumphs)


a)        Charles was rather alarmed to find himself in Round 8 against a pub landlord who knew a lot about music and football (and was a regular quiz organiser himself). He thrashed Charles in Round 8 with further questions on these subjects but incredibly in Round 9 the questions shifted more in Charles’ favour and it was in the bag when he answered with confidence that the Stone of Scone was the Scottish icon repatriated from Westminster Abbey in 1996 - and won a modest £980. Charles felt many of the other players had been very weak - some banked too soon and others lost large sums by getting gift questions wrong, but at least the money would come in useful for going to a big family reunion in Canada next year which he was more or less under a three line whip to attend!.


b)        Charles thought he was going to up against another Fred Housego in the last two rounds, another taxi driver coincidentally also named Fred who seemed to be pretty well rounded in general knowledge. Indeed, he got 4 correct answers in Round 8 against Charles’ 2. Round 9 seemed to be more evenly matched, both players getting three wrong questions each in succession and then their fourth questions correct. But while Fred failed on Nova Scotia being the piece of North Amercan territory named after Scotland,     Charles finally pipped him at the post by answering that Richard Wagner was the opera composer who had put Bayreuth on the musical map, and won a respectable £2,770.


c)        Charles never thought he’d be the strongest link in five of the previous rounds, but this turned out to be the case. The male IT consultant he faced in Round 8 turned out to be a worthy opponent and incredibly, both players answered all of their five questions in Round 9 correctly, so it was Sudden Death. This turned out to be one of the longest drawn-out Sudden Deaths in the programme’s history but finally after no fewer than 10 correct answers each, the IT man stumbled by failing to identify Jim Callaghan as the last Labour Prime Minister before Tony Blair. So it was in the bag for Charles, a staggering £6,880, one of the biggest wins ever on the Weakest Link..    


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