SMs Christmas Competition (2007 version)

The alternative broadcasting heritage quiz

Urgent:   Closing date   Sunday 20th Jan    23:59 

If you don't know the answer, make one up.

As always, marks will be awarded both for accuracy and inventiveness.  I mean it.  Be creative.

Entries to Sansun via email,  HTML,  VOIP,  FTP,  bits of paper  etc.

Special prize -  not necessarily involving redundo..

(probably involving a 13% solution of  CH3CH2OH)


Picture question A

Who are these people, as seen 28 years ago, and why are they together?


  • (Hint:  younger solvers might recognise 3½ of them)


  • question 1

    What does M and S mean to an SM?

    What do the initials actually stand for?

    Give an alternative explanation for these initials.


    question 2

    Until Carol Vorderman came on the scene, the most seen person on the TV was Carol Hersee, the girl on the test card.

    What is the function of the cross on the blackboard ?

    Trick Question: Is Carol left-handed or right-handed?


                                    The Girl on the Test Card


    question 3

    Which came first?

        1. Stereo recording
        2. The theory of Frequency Modulation
        3. LP records


    question 4

    Which came first?

        1. Desert Island Discs
        2. The Third Programme
        3. The first BBC foreign language section


    question 5

    The BBC coat of arms was granted by the Royal College of Arms in 1927.

    It features three colours - blue, red and green.

    What do these colours symbolise?

    What do the seven squiggly stars on the shield symbolise?

    Picture question B

    Who are these scary people with beards, as seen thirty years ago?

    B 1

    B 2

    B 3

    B 4

    B 5

    (Hint:  younger solvers might recognise 3 of them)

    question 6

    How many outside sources did studio 1A (the original 5Live big studio) have?

    How many outside sources did S5 have when 5Live was transferred there?

    Can this be said to be an improvement?

    question 7

    Who were the four Goons?

    question 8

    Who shot J R ?

    question 9

    When was the first election results broadcast?

    question 10

    What is the speed of a cassette in miles per hour?

    Picture question C

    Four Parts:

    [Remember, marks will be awarded both for journalistic accuracy and for inventiveness.]

    C 1

    C 2

    C 3

    C 4

    question 11

    Name all the Doctor Whos.

    Doctor Who?


    question 12

    Which came first?

    a. Play School

    b. WatO

    c. Top of the Pops


    question 13

    How old are the pips?

    Where did they come from?

    Where do they come from now?


    question 14

    Which came first?

    a. Newsbeat

    b. The Broadcasting of Parliament

    c. The Wombles


    question 15

    The BBC started the first high-definition TV service on the 2nd November 1936.

    When was the first repeat of a BBC TV programme?


    Picture question D

    Three Parts:

    Who are these people,  as seen 30 years ago, and what do they do now?

    D 1

    D 2

    D 3

    (Hint:  younger solvers might not recognise number 2)


    question 16

    Simon Mayo took over the Afternoon show on Five Live in 2001.

    In an interview at the time he said:

    a. "I don't want to be the new presenter of an existing programme" TRUE / FALSE

    b. "I'm not a journalist" TRUE / FALSE

    c. "I find politics exciting" TRUE / FALSE


    question 17

    What does XLR stand for, and why are they also called Cannon connectors?

    What does BNC stand for, and why are the cables female at both ends?


    question 18

    When was the patent filed that contained this definition for a tape-recording medium:

    " … a strip of insulating material covered with a magnetisable dust…"

    Was it

    a. 1898

    b. 1918

    c. 1928

    d. 1938

    and an extra mark for the nationality of the patent holder.


    question 19

    What were NBC Red and NBC Blue, what did they become and why?


    question 20

    Where was Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" first heard and when?



    Who is this man and what might he be saying?