Watney Mann quizzes 1972
In the early 70s, UPITN had made a film for Watney Mann concerning their introduction of Watney’s Red (A rebranding of Watney’s Red Barrel). We had also made programmes on the Watney Cup for several seasons. These productions had been a great success, so it was understandable that the company should return to us for other programmes.
Watney Mann decided that they would like to have some quizzes to use in their tied pubs.
We had a long discussion about it and I set out my ideas for such a quiz. I knew that I could get sporting material from London Weekend Television (LWT) and some from our own archives. We covered a range of sports and a mixture of periods, so that we might ask one question of an event ten years earlier and then one that was ten months earlier. (We found, after the quizzes had been used, that the fans had more trouble with the most recent questions than they did with the old ones).
For example, ask them who had won the cup in 1970 and nine out of ten would answer correctly. Ask them what horse won the previous year’s Derby and only three out of ten would get it right.
We went through the libraries of ITN and London Weekend Television and we arranged a screening of all the material selected. We selected, at least, three times the amount of material than we could use.
We made the programmes half an hour long and we used Dickie Davies to ask the questions. Dickie was the anchorman for LWT’s World of Sport. He did a fine job and the audience were to be somewhat impressed that such a well-known personality was presenting the quiz to them.At the screening, we had members of the Watney’s Public Relations team as well as Dickie Davies. We had a good deal of fun going through the items and choosing the ones we wanted for the quiz.
We decided that we would search for good pictures, interesting events, so that the picture would be entertaining even for those who were not playing the quiz. The selection of the actual question against each event was easy.
Of course, we had to pay the appropriate library fees, to ITN and LWT, for the use of the film.
The quiz ran for twenty-five minutes without stopping. The audience were issued with cards to fill in the answers. As the film kept running, they had to come up with the answers quite quickly, however, we gave them enough time to consider their answers. After all the cards were gathered in, the projector was switched on again and we had five minutes of film that showed all the answers. The quizzes were extremely popular. They were always well advertised beforehand and they played to a packed house.
I always insisted that the answer to each question was to be seen within the picture.
As an example, we would not show a sequence from the FA Cup Final between, say, Spurs and Leicester and then ask “who did Leicester knock-out in the semi final”. We would more likely ask the name of the injured Leicester player who could be seen in the film.
We had made three programmes and we had congratulations from Watney Mann of the thoroughly professional job we had made of them.
The following year, I asked them if they wanted some more quizzes and they said “They are so good, we are going to carry on using the ones we have”. In fact they used them for five years, even going back to pubs that had seen them before. They knew that the punters would have forgotten the answers after a while.
We had also made films of the Drybrough Cup in Scotland and that company, too, asked us to make a series of quizzes. These, too, were a success.
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