The 21st Question
The 21st Question was show that aired on ITV from 4 August 2014, hosted by Gethin Jones.
The central conceit of the show is that there are 11 contestants and just 21 questions, with the contestants battling it out to earn the right to win the show by answering the 21st question correctly.
I appeared in the second week of the show's run and had a series of close-run battles, with steadily improving performances leading to a quite dramatic conclusion where I was fortunate enough to squeeze into the final round.
This was where I could play the titular 21st Question, looking for answers from the top ten in a certain category. For instance, "the ten longest-serving British prime ministers whose first term began in the 20th century".
Gethin first requests three answers. Providing these will win half of the day's prize fund, usually around £2000. If the player is happy to stop, they can simply take the money and leave. Or they can play on, and give two more answers to double the winnings. Again, the player can stop. Or they can play on, and one right answer will double their winnings to around £8000. But an incorrect answer at any stage means the player leaves with nothing.
I had revealed to the contestant team that cricket was an interest and I was very surprised - and delighted to be asked, "Who are the top 10 English batsmen, in terms of runs scored?" I offered up Gooch, Gower and Gatting and bagged the two grand. For a moment, I debated whether I should go further and then realised I might throw it all away, so readily said 'I'll take the money, Gethin!'