Dumb Britain

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Dumb Britain is a regular column in Private Eye magazine, documenting amusingly incorrect or ignorant answers given on radio and television quiz shows.

Irony[edit]

Sara Cox Show, BBC Radio 1
Sara Cox 'Beauty is in the eye of the...'
Contestant Tiger.
Fifteen-to-One, Channel 4
William G. Stewart: Above the entrance to which place do the words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” appear?
Contestant: A church?
Stewart: Er, sorry, no, hell.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: Where was the recent Winter Olympics held?
Contestant: Taunton.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: The Grapple in the Apple, recently held in New York, was a debate between the journalist Christopher Hitchens and the politician George who?
Contestant: George Washington.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: In which film did Harry Lime say 'In Switzerland they had brotherly love and they had 500 years of democracy and peace. And what did they produce? The cuckoo clock!'?
Contestant: One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: In Italian history, in 1919 which former journalist set up the Fascist Party?
Contestant: Silvio Berlusconi.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: Name the man who was President of Italy until May 2006.
Contestant: Don Corleone.
Beg, Borrow or Steal, BBC Two
Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Jamie Theakston: There's a clue in the title.
Contestant: Leicester.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: A selection of small, highly coloured sweets is known as Dolly...
Contestant: Parton.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: In politics, what is the current occupation of David Blunkett?
Contestant: Blind.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: The adjective Rubenesque, meaning a plump, voluptuous woman, is derived from the work of which 17th century Flemish artist?
Contestant: Aretha Franklin.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: He was known as the King of the Cowboys. He was Roy who?
Contestant: Keane.
Sara Cox Show, BBC Radio 1
Sara Cox What was Bram Stoker's most famous creation?
Contestant Branston Pickle.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: In the 1940s which politician was responsible for the welfare state; William...?
Contestant: The Conqueror.
The Vault, ITV
Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
Contestant: Nostalgic
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: What force of nature is responsible for keeping the Earth, planets and asteroids in orbit around the Sun?
Contestant: Delta Force.

Ignorance[edit]

The Vault, ITV
Melanie Sykes: In which European city was the first opera house opened in 1637?
Contestant: Sydney.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Leno: Who was the first man on the moon?
Contestant: Louis Armstrong.
National Lottery Jet Set, BBC One
Anne Robinson: There are three states of matter: solid, liquid and what?
Contestant: Jelly.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: Which m describes exhibiting clothes or making Airfix aircraft?
Contestant: Hangar.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: What 4 letter word beginning with d has shelves and is used for writing on
Contestant: Table.
Chris Searle Show, BBC Radio Bristol
Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna?
Caller: Japan.
Searle: I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er... Mexico?
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: No what please we’re British?
Contestant: Thankyou.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: Which hot drink is eat an anagram of?
Contestant: Hot chocolate.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: A wild guess is a shot in the...
Contestant: Arm.
Family Fortunes with Les Dennis
Dennis: Name something people believe in but cannot see.
Contestant: Hitler.
The James O'Brien Show with James O'Brien
O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well I know there was a Henry the eighth ... Er ... er... three?
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: Which part of the human body is closest to the floor when we are walking?
Contestant: The head.
The Big Ask, LBC
Gary King: What is the largest carnivore that lives on the land?
Contestant: A Whale.

Bizarre[edit]

Steve Wright in the Afternoon, BBC Radio 2
Steve Wright: On this day in 1963, how did Valentina Tereshkova become famous?
Contestant: Was she the first woman to grow a potato?
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: A pain in the muscles or bones of the lower legs, often suffered by sportsmen is known as Shin...?
Contestant: ...dlers List.
Studio 7, The WB Network
Presenter: Which former British colony was handed back to the Chinese in 1997?
Contestant: London.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: Which actress was married to Humphrey Bogart, and is the also the cousin of former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres?
Contestant: Gene Kelly.
24 Hour Challenge, BBC Radio York
Jonathon Cowap: If someone is described as hirsute, what are they?
Contestant: Erm.
Cowap: Here's a clue. Most men are, and most women would like us to think they are not.
Contestant: Is it gay, Jonathon?
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: In the Lord's Prayer, what word beginning with 'H' meaning 'blessed' comes before 'be thy name'?
Contestant: (quietly) Howard.
Anne Robinson: (incredulously) Pardon?
Contestant: (louder) Howard.
The Weakest Link, BBC Two
Anne Robinson: What word for an ancient Roman marketplace is also a site on the internet for open discussion?
Contestant: Chatroom.
Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?, Sky One
Presenter: Was the Tyrannosaurus Rex a carnivore or a herbivore?
Contestant: No, it was a dinosaur.