Title

A Christmas Quiz For Those Of A Certain Age

Christopher Fowler
I'm fed up with popular quizzes about Taylor Swift, Little Mix and Tik Tok. I for one gave up chasing the Yoof vote long ago. I love the young because the remnants of our world are in their hands and I have a feeling they won't screw up this time, but they get enough coverage, so let's go a bit further back for our questions this year.  

The Questions

1. Alistair Sim is back as Scrooge again this Christmas. Why was George Cole in most of his films? 2. Winifred Atwell, Russ Conway and Mrs Mills were all what? 3. Ena Sharples. Minnie Caldwell. Who makes up this trio of Harpic harpies? 4. Picture Book. The Flowerpot Men. The Woodentops. Andy Pandy. Who's missing? 5. What did you win on Crackerjack? What did you get if you lost? 6. Ernie Wise. Jerry Desmonde. Dean Martin. John May. The link? 7. What did gentlemen in lab-coats do in the window of a building on Great Portland Street until about fifteen years ago? 8. What's the link between Private Godfrey in 'Dad's Army' and the world's least amusing comedian Arthur Askey? 9. Who were still performing sand dances in Leicester Square right up until it was pedestrianised? 10.
'Stone me - what a life.' What day of the week is it?
11. Jubbly. Mivvi. Zoom. F.A.B. Which is the odd one out? 12. Escalado. Spirograph. I-Spy. Spud Gun. What are the four items you need to enjoy these games?    

Comments

Laura Spira (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 09:18

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Lovely. Now I feel *very* old. But 7 has me stumped. (And - a pedant writes - that is Winifred *Atwell*.)
Arthur Askey was a good deal funnier than Count Arthur Strong. But Arthur Daley was much more entertaining than either of them.

Brian Evans (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 11:17

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well, I don't know 7, and have guessed 9 and 12, so look forward to the answers. 2 is a bit of a giveaway.

You are a bit harsh on Arthur Askey, I have always found him rather funny. Years ago, a friend and self went on a day coach trip from Catford Sarf Lunnon, to a matinee of him and Dickie Henderson at the Bristol Hippodrome for a matinee of the panto of "Babes in the Wood" Though, I admit, I would not have liked being stuck in the same room as him.

I could live with the clutter in the picture above-but not the pale blue walls. And in the living room! Blue!

If you look on you tube you will find a brilliant bloke playing the mystery musical instrument in the manner of Winnie Atwell, Russ Conway and Mrs Mills.

Now, about the prize, which you are a bit cagey about mentioning. Please don't make it a holiday for 2 in somewhere exotic as we don't want to travel at present due to the virus. A car, or a new kitchen would be nice though.

Brian Evans (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 11:21

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oo-er, I got so excited remembering the day out to see A Askey, that I said matinee twice.

Brian Evans (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 11:40

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

......and the "brilliant bloke" is called Michael Sands.

David (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 12:37

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I'll attempt some answers.

1 Cole lived with Sim and his wife
2. Pianists
3. ?
4. Muffin the Mule?
5. A toy for winner or pencil for the loser
6. Straight men to comedian
7. ?
8. Askey starred in the film Ghost Train written by Ridley (Pte Godfrey)
9. Holly (?) brothers
10. Sunday
11. Jubbly (not ice cream)
12 ?

Peter T (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 12:50

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Q4. I was trying to remember that set the other day. The one that escaped me was 'Picture Book'. Thank you for the reminder.
Q8. I've bought the DVD as a Christmas present. Perhaps dear old Stinker Murdoch compensated for AA's shortcomings?

Thank you for a most enjoyable quiz.

David (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 12:57

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I find Askey incredibly annoying but I do have a soft spot for that film.

Cornelia Appleyard (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 13:57

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

3. Martha Longhurst.

I was taken to see Aladdin with Arthur Askey and Cliff Richard as a child.
I haven't been to another panto since.

mike (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 15:05

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

3 Martha Longhurst?
5 wasn't it a cabbage if you lost?
9 Wilson, Kepple and Betty
12 pencil, paper, potato and ?

David (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 15:20

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

9. Hollis bothers (not Holly).

Barbara Boucke (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 16:17

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Since I live "across the pond" I haven't a clue as to the answers to the questions - but that's not a complaint at all! I enjoyed reading them, and I recognize some of the names. I remember a phrase that began a game that didn't need any board or dice or anything like that..."I spy with my little eye -". I also remember seeing some children's books on trips to England with I Spy in the title - guides to things, I think. I also loved Cornelia Appleyard's comment on her attendance at a panto when she was young. I do know what pantos are, even though I've never been in England at Christmas time to see one being performed. Thanks for an entertaining early morning read.

Davem (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 17:16

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

No 7 has definiteiy got me

Theophylact (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 17:47

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Haven't a clue. But then, I'm an American.

Phil Babbs (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 20:07

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

4 - Rag, Tag and Bobtail? Tales From The Riverbank?

Peter T (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 20:24

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Q7. I may be speculating with insufficient data, but men in white coats are likely to be medics. There's a hospital (or two) around there. Could there have been medical examinations in shop windows? If so, I'd hope they were not of a personal nature (or maybe not).

Peter T (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 20:35

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Q4. Pretty sure that it's Rag, Tag and Bobtail were part of the Watch with Mother cycle in my time. Was Muffin? Or was he another in another slot or the shows ran into the weekend? Yikes, this is reaching deep.

Peter T (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 20:36

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

... and exhausting my grammar.

SteveB (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 21:01

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Isnt 4 Bill and Ben?
Didnt know the Cole / Sim connection

SteveB (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 21:04

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oh no they WERE the fliwerpot men werent they...
Picture Book was that annoying girl who got three wishes I think
The missing one is Thursday...

SteveB (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 21:16

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Rag Tag and Bobtail
Got there at last!!!

StreveB (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 21:17

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

And now I just saw PeterT was well ahead of me!
I'll go and hang my head in shame now

Helen Martin (not verified) Fri, 18/12/2020 - 23:59

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Crackerjack was a game? Here it was just the box of candy corn with a prize. Of late the prizes were rather weak, little paper things, but then the cast lead toys of my father's day would not be permitted now. Their home made Monopoly set had crackerjack prizes for tokens so I don't have the funny man in the top hat but we had a cannon with wheels, a pair of child figures (anatomically correct) a dog and I forget the others - they disappeared over the years.
We should remember the sand dance men since Chris wrote about them here. So why don't I?

SteveB (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 02:17

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Helen

It's Friday, It's 5 to 5, and it's Crackerjack!

https://youtu.be/ioTBR2425v0

The game with cabbages for the losers and the famous crackerjack pen and pencil for the winner is just over 30 minutes in

Christopher Fowler Sat, 19/12/2020 - 08:30

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Crackerjack was a variety show for kids that ran forever, like a junior Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Leslie Crowther and Peter Glaze were the comperes. It's not one of the answers.

Jan (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 12:02

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

This morning on Breakfast telly the BBC folk were discussing Crackerjack in what must be it's 3rd or even possibly 4th. format. Between them they discussed the 2nd reincarnation of this show like it was the original. Totally bewildered me Not something that takes much doing admittedly

Have these people never heard of Leslie Crowther or that funny little bloke with bushy eyebrows and thick black rimmed specs who was very penguin like? A possible escapee from London zoo I always thought Peter Glaze just found me own specs in pocket and read admins words ....

Bee (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 13:19

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Worked out everything except Great Portland Street...that has me baffled. Eagerly awaiting the answers.

Peter Dixon (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 13:49

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Crackerjack was a pen and pencil for winners and a cabbage for losers.
10. is Sunday
11. is Jubbly because the rest were lollies on sticks.

Peter Glaze must have had some sort of blackmail going on with the BBC producers because he had less than zero talent - although he apparently was understudy to The Crazy Gang - I rest my case.

Askey was appalling, he used to be a judge on a TV talent show in the 70's and used to refer back to his bloody awful 'Bee Song' as a shining example of pop music, lecturing his total misunderstanding of entertainment to a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds who were hoping for meaningful advice. Misanthrope is to good a word for the short-arsed nightmare. 'Ayethangew'.

PS - I think Count Arthur Strong is a genius.

Peter T (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 15:03

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Eamon 'this is your loyf' Andrews presented Crackerjack before Leslie Crowther and Peter Glaze. In those days, they were the resident comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise for those under five.

Phil Babbs (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 17:29

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Does anyone remember TV Whirligig, it featured a character called I think Mr Turnip? Also had the amazing Larry the Lion involved. I believe the human involvement was Humphrey Lestoq. I have a couple of TV Whirligig annuals but no memory of watching it (I was born in 1955 so probably befor my memory banks kicked in).

Phil Babbs (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 17:30

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oh, by the way ....................

CRACKERJACK!!!!!!!!

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Peter T (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 18:09

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Phil, should that be Lenny the Lion or Larry the Lamb?

Phil Babbs (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 18:48

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Peter - my mistake, it's Lenny the Lion!!!

Martin Tolley (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 19:57

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I found Peter Glaze to be way more irritating than Arthur Askey - probably 'cos Glaze was aimed at us kids. Askey (small as he was) was aimed at grown ups. Was Leslie Crowther one of the original Ovaltieenies?

Peter T (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 20:04

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Looking back, it seems strange, but the puppets, though sometimes quite basic, most often out performed the human actors in children's TV. Lenny the Lion and Sooty were good examples.

Peter T (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 20:29

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Sorry, I've commented too much, but wasn't Arthur Askey the Queen Mother in disguise?

Brian Evans (not verified) Sat, 19/12/2020 - 22:41

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I don't think so Peter T, You must be thinking of Alma Cogan-best drag act in the business-next to the Beverley Sisters and Margaret Rutherford.

Ian Luck (not verified) Sun, 20/12/2020 - 03:38

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The only thing interesting about Peter Glaze was that he appeared in the early, but excellent Doctor Who story 'The Sensorites' (1964). He was one of the Sensorites. Other than that, I know him only from 'Crackerjack', in which he was as funny as amoebic dysentery. Even as a child, you would have harboured similar thoughts.

Ian Luck (not verified) Sun, 20/12/2020 - 03:46

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

An entry in 'The Mary Whitehouse Experience Encyclopaedia' reads:
'ASKEY, Arthur. Comedian with no legs. Now dead.'
A perfect summary of a full life.
The 'Fast Show' had a character called 'Arthur Atkinson', an unfunny, unpleasant 1930's comedian, who bears no resemblance whatsoever* to A. Askey, Esq. I have been told the character sits uncomfortably close to the truth.

*This is possibly a lie.

Wayne Mook (not verified) Sun, 20/12/2020 - 05:04

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I remember Don Maclean with Peter Glaze, later Bernie Clifton. But who could crush a grape?

Wasn't there a BBC place on Great Portland St?

Wayne.

Wayne Mook (not verified) Sun, 20/12/2020 - 14:59

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Brian be thankful it's not the 70's orange and brown. We even had orange candles.

Wayne.

Brian Evans (not verified) Sun, 20/12/2020 - 15:29

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Whoops-don't feel bad about this Wayne, but our conservatory has orange walls, and as you enter form the living room. the French window curtains and rug have lots of orange in. It's a colour, like yellow, I am rather attracted to. I think it's due to the fact that through the winter Britain can be a very grey place, so I like the colour.

I have another confession: many years ago when I was a silly yoof, I had an orange face just like D Trump due to artificial sun tan. Thank goodness, that is where the similarity ends.

Wayne Mook (not verified) Mon, 21/12/2020 - 10:19

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

No problem Brian, but do you have the mixed in brown? The orange was almost day-glo. the room I'm in has yellow walls, it makes the room brighter but not sterile like too much white.

With yellow they usually had purple, a bright vibrant purple. I still remember the coat my sister had ochre yellow and purple fur, not real fur of course. We didn't like real in the 70s.

Wayne.

Brian Evans (not verified) Mon, 21/12/2020 - 10:44

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hi Wayne,

It's not for nothing that the 70s are called "The Decade That Taste Forgot" Highly patterned bold wallpaper, flared trousers and platform shoes you were terrified of getting onto an escalator with. All monstrosities. Bubble perms for men, including me. With my orange face and funny hair I must have looked like Shirley Temple.

Not sure what you mean by the mixed in brown though.

Yes, and your sisters yellow and purple fur, pretty much standard clothing for the 70s.

BTW, I wish someone had told me what a complete prat I looked like with an orange face.

Peter Dixon (not verified) Mon, 21/12/2020 - 12:55

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Brian: see Donald Trump for facial colour. also look up 'Oompah Loompah'

Brian Evans (not verified) Mon, 21/12/2020 - 15:09

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thanks Peter, I just have, and you've made me feel ten times worse. It's Trump on TV that made me remember the orange face and I realised with horror that I must have looked like that. Happily though, touch wood, I haven't lost my marbles yet in the the same way. Not yet...

Helen Martin (not verified) Mon, 21/12/2020 - 20:00

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

You can be hit in the face at odd moments by those 1970s flashbacks. We were watching This Old House talking about plumbing (I think) in the 70s and were treated to a glimpse of the host of that day. Big hair, bell bottoms - it was quite a shock.

Helen Martin (not verified) Tue, 22/12/2020 - 21:00

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Sort of off topic. Was Arthur Askey from the North? I am reading The Mirror and the Light and am in the middle of the Pilgrimage for Grace. The head Pilgrim is a Mr. Aske and I wondered if he might have been a forefather as it were.

Brian Evans (not verified) Wed, 23/12/2020 - 11:27

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Yes Helen, Arthur Askey came from Liverpool, but never traded on the Liverpool sense of humour. As you can gather, he is not very popular on here, and I can see why. However, I did enjoy his act. He used to finish his act with one of his silly little sons, such as "The Bee Song". Here is an example on youtube-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OockiHUZfiA&t=40s

This clip is, I think, pre-war. Though I saw him do it circa 1975. I had forgotten how camp he was! There are a lot of clips on youtube. He also starred in quite a few films and you can see bits of them on there, and also Royal Command Performances. I think he was quite popular with the Queen Mum.

Joel (not verified) Wed, 23/12/2020 - 14:01

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Big question on Crackerjack (original version - that dates me...) One of the 'games' was "The Six Clue Challenge" in which the child contestants had to crack a 'mystery' ahead of the 'Detective Inspector' (in cliche big 'at and belted trench-coat). He also gave hints to the children when they were off-beam or not quite there yet. But (and so far this ain't on the Interweb), what was the name of the Inspector? That's been driving me sane for years.

snowy (not verified) Thu, 24/12/2020 - 02:25

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Joel, a little 'light looking up' suggests that you have 'blended' two shows into one, very, very easily done; esp. in the circs.

When 'Crackerjack' started it would alternate weekly with a show called 'Playbox'.

Also hosted by Andrews, this was a quiz format of which one round was 'The Six-Clue Challenge' with Det-Insp Bruce played by Ivan Owen, [Owen was the inventor/voice of Basil Brush].

[Apart from the foregoing it does sound a bit dull, which would explain why it has receded from memory].

Since we are in the mood for resolving long standing mysteries, there was the 'Riddle of the Spoon'.

Somebody here had a wooden spoon with a hole in it, that was doing sterling service as a spaghetti measure for want of any better use. I can now reveal what is given as the proper answer.....

It's a 'risotto paddle', in theory stirring the rice with it will cause the grains to magically separate and tumble through the hole to be bathed uniformly in the stock/liquid.

I remain unconvinced it would really work as advertised - the starch levels in the rice can vary considerably. [And it seems like far too much work for 'Meaty Rice Pudding' to me].