In case you didn't notice, the other day the boss of Tesco let out a yowl of dismay about the dire state of education here. When a supermarket can't find people smart enough to arrange the fruit and veg, God knows we're in shit.
Just to remind you, among our fond memories of the Great Bliar's "Britain-in-Debris-Before-I- Slope-Off-Leaving-Maniac McToad-To-Arrange-The-Funeral" Programme is that he was committed to "education, education, education" - not, as it turned out, "fuck up, piss off, cash in".
So here is an instructive selection of magic moments from British Quiz programmes to remind us how well he fulfilled his promise.
Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for 'cherrypickers' and 'cheesemongers'?
Jeremy Paxman: No. They're regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.
BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2)
Jamie Theakston:Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Jamie Theakston: There's a clue in the title.
Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: I don't know.
Stewart White: I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?
Stewart White: Correct And if you're not weak, you're...?
Stewart White: Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?
Stewart White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?
LATE SHOW (BBC
Alex Trelinski: What is the capital of
Contestant: Oh, um, Benidorm.
Trelinski: Wrong, sorry, let's try another question.. In which country is the Parthenon?
Contestant: Sorry, I don't know.
Trelinski: Just guess a country then.
THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC2)
Anne Robinson: Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: - Prison, or the Conservative Party?
Contestant: The Conservative Party.
BEACON RADIO (
DJ Mark : For 10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Ruth from Rowley Regis: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?
Bamber Gascoigne: What was Gandhi's first name?
GWR FM (
Presenter: What happened in
Contestant: I don't know, I wasn't watching it then.
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC RADIO
Phil: What's 11 squared?
Contestant: I don't know.
Phil: I'll give you a clue. It's two ones with a two in the middle.
Contestant: Is it five?
RICHARD AND JUDY
Richard: Which American actor was married to Nicole Kidman?
Contestant: Forrest Gump.
RICHARD AND JUDY (AGAIN)
Richard: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er. .. ..
Richard: He makes bread . .
Contestant: Er . ....
Richard: He makes cakes . .
LINCS FM PHONE-IN
Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in
NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1)
Question: What is the world's largest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific.
ROCK FM (
Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Contestant: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN (ITV)
Steve Le Fevre: What was signed, to bring World War I to an end in 1918?
Contestant: Magna Carta?
JAMES O'BRIEN SHOW (LBC)
James O'Brien: How many kings of
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... Er, er .... Three?
CHRIS SEARLE SHOW (BBC RADIO
Chris Searle: In which European country is
Chris Searle: I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er ......
PAUL WAPPAT (BBC RADIO
Paul Wappat: How long did the Six-Day War between
Contestant (long pause): Fourteen days.
DARYL DENHAM'S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO)
Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Daryl Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Daryl Denham: (helpfully) It's a bad line. Did you say
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC GMR)
Phil Wood: What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er. ... ..
Phil Wood: It's got two syllables . . . Kor . .
Phil Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . ..
Phil Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . .. .
Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
LUNCHTIME SHOW (BRMB)
Presenter: What religion was Guy Fawkes?
Presenter: That's close enough.(Sounds like BRMB operates on the same basis as the national curriculum, folks)
STEVE WRIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON (BBC RADIO 2)
Wright: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?
By the way everyone, the headline in yesterday evening's copy of London Lite, a free newspaper, was all about the fact that Louis Walsh was not going to appear as a judge in The X Factor because Stephen Gately, a singer, has died and Louis is too upset to appear.
Now there's a paper that knows the intellectual level of most of its readers.