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British Pub Quizzes

9 kwietnia 2018, poniedziałek,

If you like trivia and game shows on TV which test your knowledge on a wide range of topics you would most certainly be a fan of a typical British Pub Quiz.  Pub Quizzes have been an integral part of British (Pub) culture since the 1970s and a 2009 study reported that on any given week in the UK there were as many as 2,209 pub quizzes scheduled to be held.  Even in major cities across Poland it is possible to find English pubs that have regular Quiz Nights. In this blog we’ll have a brief look at the history and roots of the British Pub Quiz and finish with a mini version of a quiz itself.

Published under CC BY 2.0 license. Author: Ben Sutherland, Source: flickr.com

Pub quizzes began in the UK in the early 1970s when a game company called Burns and Porter started to prepare and distribute the questions in a popular format for pubs in an attempt to generate more business on typically slow pub nights.  Sharon Burns and Tom Porter had a monopoly on this niche market and managed to even produce a few books of questions and answers.  As many as 10,000 Pub Quiz teams were rumoured to be playing at any week during peak seasons in the UK.

The Format

Typically groups of 3-6 players are organized into teams and given sheets of paper on which to record their answers.  A quizmaster is in charge of reading out the questions.  Teams are often encouraged to think up funny names for themselves and write it on their answer sheets.

The quiz itself is divided into several different rounds.  Usually there is a General Knowledge Round, a Sports Round, an Entertainment Round, a Picture Round where contestants need to identify who is in a photo. There can also be a Music Round where teams have to identify songs or finish lyrics.

Often the questions are taken from the realm of the absurd leaving one to think: who would know such a thing? This has led to a few heated pub quiz controversies and may leave teams feeling tempted to cheat.

The main manner in which to cheat is to quickly and discretely check one’s phone.  The rapid development of technology has made it very simply for participants to check answers but quizmasters are always on the lookout and as a general rule any player caught cheating has their team immediately disqualified from the game.  Most pub quizzes even have serious rules about going outside and coming back in once the quiz has commenced.

So what’s at stake? Well pub quizzes usually have an entry fee for participants and this goes towards the prize for the winning team which may be drinks from the bar, prize money or a trophy.  But it is the honour of being called Pub Quiz Champions that is the real prize for hardcore Pub Quizzers.

Are you ready? Do you think you have what it takes to try our British Council Mini Pub Quiz? Try it with your team mates and then check the answers below.

General Knowledge

  1. What is the chemical symbol for lead?
  2. What is the capital of Venezuela?
  3. Name the current Prime Minister of Canada?
  4. Who was the last British Prime Minister to NOT have a wife?
  5. What kind of art is an Italian word for ‘scratched drawings’?

Music Round

  1. In which country was Freddie Mercury born?
  2. How old is Katy Perry currently?
  3. What is Eminem’s real name?
  4. Ed Sheeran is from what English town?
  5. What jazz trumpeter was known as ‘Satchmo’?

Sports/Games Round

  1. Name 4 London football teams.
  2. The Olympic torch is lit at what Greek site?
  3. The TV show Celebrity Squares was based on which popular/universal children’s game?
  4. What NBA team does Polish player Marcin Gortat play for?
  5. Where is the next World Cup going to be held?

You can find answers below…

Published under CC BY 2.0 license. Author: Nick Webb, Source: flickr.com


General Knowledge

1. Pb
2. Caracas
3. Justin Trudeau
4. Theresa May
5. Graffiti


1. Zanzibar (now Tanzania)
2. 33
3. Marshall Mathers
4. Born in Halifax, UK but raised in Framlingham, Suffolk so you decide
5. Louis Armstrong

Sports and Games

1. There are numerous but: Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Westham, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers would be an impressive start
2. Olympia
3. Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe)
4. Washington Wizards
5. Russia