2 items from 2016
• Plus: they put you to the test
It’s 36 years since Stephen Fry appeared on University Challenge as a grey-blazered, Lego-haired young brain in the 1980 Queens College team. How times have changed. Back then, TV quizzes were largely the preserve of beige-looking megabrains with a leather-bound encyclopedia and college scarf for a pillow.
Today, quizzes are as much a staple of pub life as crisps, coke and multicoloured carpets and, thanks to Qi, Fry spent 13 years as the one asking the questions. From coin-operated quiz machines in suburban boozers to millionaire-making TV formats, the world of quizzing has seen a seismic shift since the squeaking black leather days of Magnus Magnusson on Mastermind. According to new BBC documentary How Quizzing Got Cool, »
- Nell Frizzell
Anchor of the innovative programme Tonight in the 1950s and 60s
The broadcaster Cliff Michelmore, who has died aged 96, was the trailblazing anchorman of Tonight, the first nightly television programme to blend current affairs with light entertainment, which ran on the BBC for eight years from 1957. For 45 minutes at 6pm on weekdays – filling the space that came from abandoning the teatime “toddlers’ truce” break – Michelmore worked with idiosyncratic reporters, among them Fyfe Robertson, Trevor Philpott, Alan Whicker, Macdonald Hastings, Polly Elwes, Chris Brasher, Julian Pettifer, Magnus Magnusson and Derek Hart, bringing in stories from all over Britain.
A virtue was made of the live studio setting, with TV cameras in sight, and Michelmore sometimes perched informally on the edge of his desk, directing the flow of items till signing off with: “And the next Tonight will be tomorrow night. Goodnight.” Technical breakdowns were negotiated unflappably, and in the early years »
- Dennis Barker
2 items from 2016
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