Henrietta Bredin

Quiz night

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The competitive spirit never ceases to amaze me and it was flamboyantly evident last night at a gathering in Hammersmith Town Hall to raise funds for RAPT, the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust. In what has now become a popular and lucrative annual event, people buy seats at tables named after different prisons - we were on HMP Parkhurst - and compete fiercely in a quiz with questions set by Judith Keppel of Who Wants to be a Millionaire fame and chaired urbanely, and occasionally quite strictly, by Trevor McDonald. Rivalry between tables was pretty fierce but frustration flared within teams as well, when people who were convinced they had the right answer were voted down by others equally sure of themselves. The level of organization was impressive and pleasingly, we didn't have to wait long after giving in our completed forms in to hear the answers. And oh my, the shouting and recriminations that ensued - the yells of triumph, the smug smiles, the cries of 'I told you it wasn't Copenhagen'. For the record, I did embarrassingly well on low culture, thereby proving that it’s never a waste of time to watch the odd episode of Neighbours and, as a table, we achieved an unexpected top score in the South American round, correctly identifying the Argentine flag, knowing that Uruguay was the home of Fray Bentos and that Hugo Chavez was told by King Juan Carlos of Spain to shut up. Goodness, we were pleased with ourselves. Not that it did us much good in the end – we came unthrillingly fifteenth out of , I think, forty-two. But a lot of money was raised for an extremely worthwhile cause.