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Quiz night

Images, clockwise from top left: CAPTAIN ROGER FENTON 9th.WEST MIDDLESEX VRC. 1860, via Flickr; History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0], Financial Times [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. By Grace Eliz for Research Professional News

Ivory Tower: an evening’s online entertainment with the Johnson family

Leo: Is everyone here?

Rachel: Of course not.

Jo: Dad is trying to say something.

Leo: Dad you are on mute.

Rachel: He needs to press his microphone.

Leo: Dad you need to press your microphone.


Jo: No need to shout, Dad.

Leo: What were you trying to say?

Stanley: I was asking if everyone is here?

Rachel: Of course not.

Leo: Wait a minute, here he is now. I’ll just admit him.

Boris: Salutations Johnsons!

Jo: There’s no need to shout.

Boris: I wasn’t shouting, I was just being ebullient. It’s Friday night and the world is our oyster in this free and sovereign nation.

Jo: Locked down plague island.

Rachel: Dear God, this is the 40-minute version of Zoom isn’t it?

Leo: No, I’ve paid for the upgrade.

Jo: Why on earth?

Boris: Don’t be such moaning minnies, has the quiz started yet?

Rachel: Where have you been?

Boris: Is that part of the quiz?

Stanley: I’m sure he’s been very busy with affairs of state.

Boris: No, I was cycling in the Olympic Park.

Rachel: Is that allowed?

Boris: It’s an Englishman’s sovereign right to ride his bike in London 2012’s Olympic Park.

Jo: What about the rules?

Boris: I was wearing a helmet.

Rachel: Makes a change.

Stanley: It’s not against the rules to ride your bike, is it?

Jo: if you are the prime minister who makes the rules, some might think that riding from Downing Street to Stratford was not in the spirit of lockdown.

Boris: Tosh and piffle, my security detail who drove there said I was in essential exercise.

Leo: Look, can we get this quiz started?

Rachel: Is Nut Nuts not coming?

Boris: I’ve got a note from her. “They are all a bunch of”, terrible handwriting, can’t quite make that out, “shots” maybe. She’s not drinking at the moment. Anyway, you are all a bunch of shots, “and there is no force on earth which would make me spend an evening with your miserable family.” This might be the wrong note, think this one is for the cleaner. Oh wait, there’s a PS. “PS. Do not read this out to your family”. Maybe, it’s for Allegra.

Stanley: I’m not miserable.

Rachel: I am.

Jo: Can we start the quiz, please for the love of God.

Rachel: Amelia not coming Jo?

Jo: She says she doesn’t speak with extremists online.

Stanley: That should make meetings at the Guardian difficult.

Boris: High five dad, the Staninator is on fire.

Stanley: But seriously, can we start the quiz, I’ve got to revise for my French citizenship test.

Boris: Bully for you pater, it is an Englishman’s sovereign right to err…

Rachel: Become a Frenchman?

Stanley: Well, things are just going to be so much easier with a European passport, aren’t they?

Boris: Seriously, can we start the quiz.

Leo: Ok, I’ve got the University Challenge quiz book here, so fingers on buzzers.

Jo: I don’t have a buzzer.

Rachel: Lucky you.

Leo: If you want to speak raise your hand.

Boris: Gosh, it’s just like being back at Eton, or in a meeting with Priti Patel.

Leo: I meant your electronic hand.

Stanley: Boris has got a robot hand, wow, is that new?

Leo: No, your Zoom hand, the icon is on the bottom of your screen.

Rachel: To think I gave up two hours of phone calls on LBC for this.

Jo: Please make it stop.

Rachel: LBC?

Leo: We haven’t started yet, fingers on…err hands, as it were.

Rachel: I need a drink.

Leo: Your starter for 10.

Rachel: I’ll need at least 10.

Boris: Why can’t I be Paxo?

Stanley: Is that one of those Greek brandies?

Jo: No, he’s the quizmaster, used to be on Newsnight a lot. Jeremy whatshisname…

Stanley: Corbyn?

Boris: Paxman

Stanley: Isn’t that a video game?

Jo: I need a drink too.

Leo: Fingers on bloody buzzers or bloody hands or whatever the hell you want to do. Here is your bloody starter for 10.

Boris: Even Paxo isn’t that rude.

Leo: Shut up, just shut right bloody up for one damn minute, while I read this bloody question right!

Rachel: Maybe you should have drink, too, Leo, takes the edge off it.

Leo: Which is the oldest university in Europe still in continuous operation?

Boris: Oxford!

Leo: You are supposed to put your hand up.

Boris: Poppycock, it’s Oxford.

Leo: That’s wrong, you lose five points.

Rachel: He only loses five points if he interrupts the question.

Leo: He didn’t put his hand up.

Boris: I pressed my buzzer.

Leo: You don’t have a buzzer.

Boris: I didn’t interrupt the question.

Leo: Which is the oldest university in Europe still in continuous operation and lends its name to a process to ensure comparable standards across higher education.

Jo: Bologna

Boris: That’s baloney!

Jo: Baloney is also named after Bologna, do I get an extra point.

Boris: That’s not fair, dad, tell him that’s not fair.

Stanley: That’s not fair Leo.

Leo: What’s not fair? He got it wrong.

Stanley: Stop teasing him, you know what he’s like, he’ll start crying in a minute, tell him it’s Oxford.

Leo: It’s not Oxford.

Boris: It is so Oxford, I’m going to look it up on the internet.

Leo: You can’t use the internet in a quiz.

Rachel: Maybe, I could go onto straight gin.

Leo: While the king of the world checks Wikipedia. Here are your bonus questions Jo, they are on the past names of universities.

Rachel: Are all the questions about universities? Because if they are, I think Jo might have an unfair advantage.

Leo: But that’s the game.

Rachel: What is?

Leo: University Challenge, you ask questions about universities, don’t you?

Jo: Have you ever watched it, Leo?

Leo: God no, it’s really boring.

Boris: Damn, it is Bologna.

Leo: Right, thank you.

Boris: I wonder if Gavin can get that changed on the internet. Obviously, a British university should be first.

Rachel: Gavin can’t send out fruit and veg in a box, what makes you think he could reverse time and ensure Oxford was founded before Bologna?

Jo: Can I have my bonuses please?

Leo: Right, which present day university was once Battersea Polytechnic Institute?

Boris: The LSE!

Leo: It’s not your question.

Boris: I didn’t interrupt the question that time, tell him dad.

Stanley: Be fair Leo, he didn’t interrupt that time.

Leo: It’s not his question.

Boris: Bet I’m right though, 10 points to me.

Leo: It’s not your question, it’s Jo’s, and it’s only worth five points.

Boris: I’m going to look it up on the internet.

Leo: Jo, what’s your answer?

Jo: Surrey.

Boris: Damn, it’s Surrey.

Stanley: Sorry, I missed the question, whose Surrey now?

Rachel: I definitely am.

Leo: Next question, which present day university used to be called Acton Technical College?

Boris: Are they all about universities?

Leo: It’s not your question.

Boris: Stupid game anyway.

Jo: Is it Brunel University?

Leo: Correct.

Boris: That’s not a real university, tell him dad, he’s making it up.

Stanley: That’s not a real university, Leo.

Boris: See, dad says so.

Jo: It’s in your constituency, Boris.

Boris: Is it? Gosh, what’s it called again?

Rachel: Brunel, as in Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Boris: Well quite right too, that a great Englishman should have his own university in my borough. Brunel and I have a lot in common.

Jo: Well, his father was French.

Stanley: I’m as English as marmalade.

Rachel: That’s Roman.

Boris: From the Latin “melomeli” meaning to boil with sugar for 10 hours.

Leo: Can I just finish these bloody bonuses? Thank you. Jo, which university used to be called the Bristol Trade School?

Boris: Bristol!

Leo: It’s not your ruddy question.

Boris: Bristol, five to me. Am I winning?

Stanley: Not since you were about eight.

Leo: It’s not bloody Bristol, right. Jo, what’s your answer?

Boris: I’m going to check it on the internet.

Jo: Is it Bath?

Leo: Correct.

Rachel: How did you know that?

Jo: Boris’s constant interruptions gave me time to look it up on the internet.

Leo: You can’t use the internet during a quiz.

Boris: Damn, it’s not Bristol.

Stanley: Look Leo, can you just ask a question that a simple Englishman like me can answer.

Leo: Right, fingers on buzzers, starter for ten, which King of France was the last crowned monarch of the House of Bourbon?

Boris: Louis the Sixteenth!

Leo: No

Boris: Louis the Seventeenth.

Leo: No

Boris: Louis the Eighteenth.

Leo: No

Boris: Oh give us a clue

Leo: No

Rachel: Yes, let’s play Give Us a Clue instead.

Stanley: Hold on, I know this one, it’s in my citizenship test book, where did I put it? Back in a mo.

Rachel: I’ll go first, two words and it’s a film.

Jo: Is it Charles the Tenth?

Rachel: That’s three words.

Leo: Oh, I give up, sod the lot of you. [Leaves]

Rachel: Thank goodness, bye everyone [Leaves]

Jo: I think err…dinner is ready now, bye [Leaves]

Boris: Wait, aren’t we going to play Give Us a Clue? I want to be Aspel.

Stanley: It’s in here somewhere…ah, got it, is it Louis the Sixteenth?

Boris: No

Stanley: Louis the Seventeenth?

Boris: Night, dad [Leaves]

Stanley: Louis the Eighteenth?

Terms of use: this is a free email for fun on a Friday afternoon, it should be shared widely like the floor plan of the capitol building in Washington. Want to borrow our copy of the University Challenge Quiz book? Want to say hello email ivorytower@researchresearch.com