Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

A piece about Gail Trimble. Everyone else has written one.

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The green room at Granada Studios in Manchester before the filming of University Challenge can be a disconcerting place. For a start it isn’t green. It’s more beige. With a dash of burgundy in the soft furnishings.

And then there are intense pockets of poindexters poring over the Periodic Table. Or with their eyes screwed shut reciting sonnet 113 while their colleagues gurgle their approval. The air is thick with the smell of trivia.

And if you aren’t nervous enough by then, in He walks.

The Paxman. The man with the face of a rottweiller and the reputation of a baboon. I’m getting mixed up. Sorry I’m nervous, I’m having flashbacks to my own time in the green room.

But this year there was something more intimidating for the fearful contestants. A woman with all the facts of the cosmos sucked in through her ears and lodged in her cranium for her to retain as she pleases.

Gail Trimble has crossed over in royal fashion. The Observer and the Today programme are one thing. But the tabloids and BBC Breakfast are quite another. I nearly spat out my Coco Pops when I saw her flirting with Bill Turnbull.

It’s been a momentous week for quizdom. Not only did we have Trimbo stepping up over here, but the night before in LA, a film about a man who cleans up on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire dominates proceedings at the Oscars. It seems that maybe the geeks are eventually about to the earth.

There is the faint suspicion that behind the placid facade of Trimble there is an evil genius intent on global domination. So what? I say good luck to her. The world would probably be a better place. It would certainly be less ignorant. She could retain her three minions: Marsden, Schwartzman and Kay. The latter exudes the faint air of Igor: the imagination doesn’t stretch too far to picture him hobbling behind Ms Trimble lisping “master, master.”

So here’s to you Gail Trimble. Watching you shift through the gears on Monday night to take the UC laurels was a genuinely thrilling televisual experience. And it’s not often you can say that about a quizzer. I should know.


Written by harrisharrison

February 25, 2009 at 11:55 pm

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