Quiz the Nation

OK, this has been on my radar for a while but it looks like it launches properly this Sunday night, Quiz the Nation (@quizthenation) is TV show/pub quiz backed by people who used to make The Krypton Factor and is fronted by Gordon Burns. In theory anyone with Sky or Freesat can play along with the iTunes app and win prizes (the TV show goes out at 8pm on Sunday on Showcase TV (Sky 192, FreeSat 402)) but they’re pushing the play-at-the-pub aspect. Questions are a meant to be a mixture of general knowledge and mental agility.

Unfortunately I don’t have satellite and don’t know any pubs participating locally. But if you do and have a go, let us know what you thought.

Edit: It’s been pointed out you may be able to watch live using the links on the right on the Information TV page, although I don’t know if there’s any broadcast delay which might impact your enjoyment.

Edit Edit: Android app available now here.


  1. I believe that the rest of us may be able to watch it online via the Information TV web site. On the other hand, I haven’t actually been able to make any of the streams work, though it may just be due to a lack of appropriate plugins.

    • Brig Bother says:

      Ooh, I missed the Watch Live links, will have a go when I get in. Also hope there’s little broadcast delay.

      • David B says:

        I checked by comparing my Slingbox output to the web stream and there appears to be about 5-6 seconds. So if there’s 10 seconds to answer it might be possible but very tough. Easier if it’s 15 seconds. Impossible if the points are time-dependant.

        Of course, you could watch the channel in our homes instead and use the Hangout as the means of chatting.

  2. I don’t want to play at a pub; I want to play at a bar – THIS BAR!

  3. Steven says:

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned elsewhere, but Challenge are showing the very first series of Millionaire from Monday at 9pm.

  4. BigBen says:

    There is an example Quiz the Nation show on its App page on the Android website for anyone interested in how the show will work.

  5. Brig Bother says:

    I did try registering as a pub and heard nothing back yet, not that I was expecting anything really.

  6. Mart With A Y Not An I says:

    Baffling things I found whilst switching channels during a break in the Cricket this morning at 5.30am…

    Channel 4 are repeating ‘Face The Clock’ at that time.

    And it’s no better when you are still 10% asleep!
    Plus listening through headphones, I never realised just how dreadful the sound was by the curious decision by Objective to record it in a lock-up unit somewhere near the north end of the M6.

    Technically, could I vote for it again in the Hall Of Shame 2015 poll in 12 months time – as it’s been broadcast this year?!!!

  7. Kniwt says:

    An all-time record high score on tonight’s 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. In a sense. Sort of. But there was at least one surprising moment of moderate brilliance, and quite the nasty argument come conundrum-time.

    • Alex McMillan says:

      I always thought Wittock admitted to it, huh.

      Didn’t Ingram do some reality shows afterwards like “The Games”? Seems like a bad idea if you’re trying to distance yourself from that sort of thing.

  8. Brig Bother says:

    Interesting thing, it requires sound. I wonder if it works out where you are in the quiz by what the microphone in your phone picks up? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time such technology has been used.

  9. Well, my app would never sync, and now the stream has frozen. Alas! 🙁 I suspect the fidelity of the sound may not be sufficient if you are listening to the stream via a cheap computer (like mine!) even if you turn all the sound levels to maximum.

    Fun while it lasted and the increasing difficulty in each round was entirely reasonable. Could anyone here get it to work?

    • Brig Bother says:

      Yes, I had a couple of times when the stream stopped but evidently the phone throws up answers at the correct time so as long as I could get the stream up again quickly it worked fine.

      I DID have an instance where a question didn’t come up in round two though, and the spot prize questions are basically speed lotteries (well done David, by the way).

      Fun though, but I’m probably not going to be spending several quid a week on it from my own home.

      I scored 32/45 and apparently positioned 0 in the nation, which is BETTER than first.

      I like that Gordon Burns is still doing his Krypton Factor catchphrases.

      Really intrigued to see how the observation round goes down in a noisy pub.

      The app actually worked really well, after an initial wobble at the start.

      • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

        I got it to work after wasting a token to reboot the app when it hung on a Please Wait dialog box on my phone, so I could only enter 3 of the spot prizes. I THOUGHT I was quick to answer them, but sadly didn’t win any of them. Many congrats to David for winning the 4th one, though.

        I did as well as I could in the main game and ended up with a score of 39/45 after needlessly dropping a couple in the second round with the letters and numbers in 9 boxes and a couple in that Intelligence round (I completely forgot to count all the 7’s in the 70’s like a doughnut, and I had no idea about the Pete’s grandfather question), 1 in the Observation round and 1 in the General Knowledge round.

        However, I have NO IDEA where I came in the overall rankings as on the final results screen, it said ‘Position in country: 0’, so I don’t know if I’ve won anything or not. I hope there’ll be a page on their website that shows the results and what each prizewinner has won. After Round 4, I was told that I was 33rd in the country, so after a late spurt in General Knowledge, I hope I’m in the top 50.

        • Brig Bother says:

          I thought I wasted a token, but it actually costs two to play so once you’ve registered you’re fine.

        • David B says:

          The way to work out those digit questions is to say that every digit is used equally from 00 to 99 (imagine them being on a car odometer, for instance). That gives 2 x 100 digits or 200 in total. Each digit appears equally so 200 / 10 different digits = 20 uses each.

          • Brig Bother says:

            Or just count on your fingers. There were a couple of old chustnuts used tonight I noticed. I also note that nobody got full marks, which I think is quite interesting for a multiple choice quiz where a lot of the questions were fairly easy.

            • David B says:

              I wondered if anyone stayed on time. I was a bit late, and my app took 2 minutes to sync so the first question I answered was number 8.

              • Brig Bother says:

                My app synced pretty quickly. It fact it seemed to sync, crash, then I rebooted than it synced quite quickly again. I was impressed that the questions still worked when I had to reboot my stream, evidently they’re all downloaded and timestamped to the millisecond of the edit at the beginning.

                It’s very clever but I wonder how workable it is in a busy pub, not least getting non-players to shut up during the observation film. Looking down the list of particpants not many were registered to pubs, and I gather about 130 were meant to be playing along.

      • Glad to know that you could get it to work via the streamed version over the Internet, which was more successful than me. Might give it another go at a later weekend, especially if more of the lovely crowd here are playing, though I’m on shift for the next couple of weeks.

  10. BigBen says:

    Congratulations, David!

  11. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

    The results are up on the website now. I overstated my score by 1, I actually got 38, not 39 but I still ended up in 13th place!

    • Brig Bother says:

      56th here which I thought was pretty good but it looks like only 166 playing. Hope that gets a bit higher.

    • That’s not bad at all! Were there any cash prizes beyond first place, or were 2nd to 50th place prizes all paid in play tokens?

      • Dave says:

        I finished 3rd so here’s hoping!

        Playing at home worked well – I had one glitch (plus the scoreboard messed up at the end).

        Interesting that they’ve gone down the ‘playing it serious’ route rather than gold jackets and awful music. Feels a bit too serious for me.

        • Brig Bother says:

          Looks like you’ve been bumped up to second, Keshihead 7th and me 48th. Good work everyone, although a shame ut’s taken a week to sort out.

          I will be playing tomorrow, so good luck everybody else playing along.

          • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

            So I started off with 13th, got bumped up to 10th and then bumped up again to 7th. I’ve still only won £50 though, as I’ve just been emailed about it, but I will have to wait for their Financial Director to get in touch with me to actually PAY me my prize which I’ve been waiting all week for…

            Also, didn’t it say throughout the quiz that it’s cheaper to buy tokens through their website than it is through the app? Well, there’s nowhere to buy tokens on the site…

            • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

              I asked about this to the guy that emailed me regarding my prize, and he said that everyone will be given 5 more free tokens to take part in tomorrow’s quiz, so hold off on buying more through the app.

      • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

        I think Gordon said at the beginning that there were £2,000 in prizes with £1,000 going to the winner, so I would assume there’s a cut-off point for so many of the top 50 to win cash and everyone else getting tokens. However, I don’t know what I’ve won because I can’t find anywhere on the app to tell me what I have in my account, be it cash or tokens and when I login, it says I have 0 tokens so I’m hoping I have a bit of cash. I fit IS cash, then I’ll look to get some more tokens to try again next week.

        • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

          As an addendum to that, QtN have tweeted to me within the last hour and have told me that after their ‘reckoning’, I actually finished in 10th place and I won £50!

  12. Brig Bother says:

    30/45, 66th in the country, full marks on Mental Agility despite the facts being a bit indistinct on a blown-up internet feed (up to 32nd at one point), blew it in observation which I’m blaming on having a headache starting.

    • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

      Who knows, you might get bumped up again like what happened last week. I came in 10th, so I think that means I won another £50. I kept 2 of my 5 free tokens back to play next week’s quiz

      • Simon F says:

        37/45, 23rd in country. Bit annoyed that I mistook Elland Road for Old Trafford (when I’ve passed the back of that stand loads of times). Will definitely play again (wasn’t available to play last week)

  13. Brig Bother says:

    I’m fascinated by the business model for this – yesterday according to the score board 232 people played, of which 145 people scored points, which by my calculations is a 62.5% viewer engagement. And looking further through the list I’m going to predict a reasonable amount answered a few questions then gave up.

    That’s with the game being effectively free-to-play right now. The question is how many people is it going to need to break even and turn a profit? It was crowdfunded three times over so evidently a lot of people believe in it and decent people seem to be working on it, but right now I think it’s a bit of a hard sell for players.

    For a start: price to play. From memory (because I can’t buy tokens from my phone right now) – 1 token is £1.49, 2 £2.49, 5 £5.99, the unit value going from £1.49-1.20 if you buy in bulk. You need two to play in the quiz, and there are four spot prizes available which cost an optional one each. Potentially your pub quiz goer if he or she wants to do everything is looking at £7.48 for an hour’s entertainment. Most pub quizzes are what, £1-2 a player and maybe another supplementary quiz for a bonus round? How many are likely to pony up?

    The software is pretty decent but for it to work it needs the pub to be quiet so it can sync up. This is doable if your local pub quiz master is in the room and can work an audience but it’s going to be much more difficult doing it from a screen, as authoratitive as Gordon Burns is. The suggestion is then once it’s synced you can all be as loud as you like, but that’s not quite true because you certainly need to be able to hear the telly for all the facts during the observation round. Of the 38% of people who evidently registered but didn’t play, how many of those were because of tech issues?

    (Also as an aside it’d be nice if the answer buttons “pushed” when you pressed one, I find it a bit jarring when it jumps straight to the “next question coming up” screen. Also I reckon I’m punching in answers faster than it’s suggesting, although there may be some bias in my part here. Also I don’t get why there’s three minutes at the end when you’re expected to have an immediate stable connection for the spot prizes.)

    The spot prizes feel like a bit of a lottery, right now it’s not so bad, but when you might eventually get to the point where 300-400+ people are fighting it out over a button press then suddenly a potential £1.50 entry fee for a £50 prize looks very very steep. At what point do they start upping the amount of positions they pay cash to, 10 out of 150 people seems workable, 10 out of 500 people leaves me thinking what the point is if I can’t get near the top – lots of pub quizzes have a sort of luck-based side element to keep the lesser teams engaged, that’s not happening here.

    I was chatting on Twitter last night when people pointed out the strategy of writing down lots of information during the observation round. To me this is against the spirit, but of course it’s precisely the correct strategy and there’s money involved, so. In a pub I expect it would get frowned on, but playing at home nobody is going to say anything and everybody’s playing for the same prize. £7.50 to enter.

    And what of playing at home? Live streaming over the internet basically works although it’s not perfect (it was rather difficult reading the facts on a full screen feed) and it’s a real shame they have to broadcast it on quite an obscure backwater channel you can only get on satellite. I wonder how much it costs for the airtime. Does anyone remember Bingolotto who paid for an hour a week on Challenge? I fear if it genuinely wants a chance to go mainstream it’s going to have to do similar – at least get an hour on a channel most people can actually get.

    Income wise, presumably the observation rounds are effectively advertorials, so that’s one thing, but the’re unlikely to be worth loads.

    So in summary: hmm. I expect they’re in for the long haul so nothing to be (too) worried about yet, but it seems they’re a long way off from covering even the basic prizes at current levels, and if they start to drop it’s basically game over.

    • David B says:

      I’m enjoying these naive first few weeks, because when it starts to become more competitive and you find yourself up against specially-assembled crack teams of quizzers around the country, you’re not going to have any chance of winning as a singleton. That’s when it’ll start to become less fun and I’ll stop playing.

      I think £2.50 for an hour’s entertainment is fair enough, though I’m unconvinced about the long-term nature of the spot prizes – especially, as someone pointed out on Twitter, it won’t take too long before someone hacks the app to mimic an instant button-press… Android is a very open platform, after all.

      With the exception of that vowels question in the puzzle round and the cramped Mental Agility graphic this week, the question writing’s been of a good standard.

      • Brig Bother says:

        I agree that £2.50 for an hour’s entertainment is fair enough, but that’s not the same as people are going to pay it – the price of interactivity is very low these days and frequently free, £2.50 for something you can also do with pen and paper and stand as much chance of cashing suddenly looks a bit steep (especially if the pub isn’t offering its own prizes) and the game has a rather different dynamic to the usual pub quiz, more individual and less social.

        My thinking right now is that one token should buy you access to all four spot prize questions, certainly with one prize across the nation, having four goes at it feels a bit more like fun and less of a rip-off and feels like it scales better as a side-element. You would only need about 150 people to participate to turn a profit on them.

  14. Brig Bother says:

    Alright, how did the Bar do this week?

    It looks like Mark Labbett finished top three, Team Bother’s Bar (David Bodycombe and me) finished 4th, Dan Peake? Andrew Sullivan? Dave Acres who has posted here? Anyone else?

    Edit: Dave came third.

    • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

      I came 12th, Brig. Even with a score of 40 I just bubbled under. Kicking myself for dropping a couple of questions needlessly, but hey, can’t win ’em all, right?

    • Simon F says:

      Scored 1 more than last week (38 instead of 37) but finished 25th instead of 23rd.

      Suffered again from poor quality of the picture for the balloon round which made the text hard to read on my tablet stream (might have to make my own notes next week)

      • Michelle M says:

        I have exactly that problem too watching online. Last week I took a photo full screen on my iphone before it zoomed back which I could read fine. This week by the time I realised that wouldn’t work it was too late. Made notes on No’s 6-1 which worked much better for relevant questions.

        Out of interest are other people generally watching on Sky or online? Could you read the balloon round or just reliant on notes?

        • David B says:

          I was watching a Sky feed via my Slingbox.

          I think the graphics could be done better, but since I’m colour-blind I have to make notes in any case. Once you have those, you don’t actually need to see the screen.

    • Daniel Peake says:

      I believe I finished 7th with 41/45! Woohoo!

      That was my first one – I rather enjoyed that! I can see the enjoyment being lessened someone when one wrong answer sends you completely out of the running.

      • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

        Yeah, I’m a bit narked that while I scored 2 more than my usual 38, which cashed for me in the previous 2 weeks, it didn’t this week. If I’d have got at least one more right, I’d probably have been in the Top 10 as well. But well done to you on your first go at it, I’ll just use the 10 tokens I won to play over the next few weeks and try to get some more cash that way.

  15. Mark L says:

    I cam second but think I was over marked

  16. Michelle M says:

    I had few technical issues logging in this week – never choose to update an app 10 minutes before the start! Don’t fix what’s not broken, no one to blame but myself! I’d be interested to know though if other people updated their app and logged in via Twitter. The stream was certainly less robust this week dropping out several times which cost points. I ended up getting 30 pts putting me 88th.

    I still find it fun to play, more so with friends around the Bar. I wouldn’t pay money for it though due to the buggy software and unstable streaming. Granted it’s not designed to be watched online.

    In terms of a business model it’s hard to see where they would make their money. I’m guessing (if it were me doing it) they’re using this as a way of playtesting the system, ironing out bugs and showing there’s an interest, before taking it to a bigger channel. They’ve refunded every weeks tokens until now and though they’ve said in the email that this is the last week they’ll do that they seem more keen on getting it all working than making money.

    • Brig Bother says:

      I log in via Twitter and I can’t say I had problems, although I did download the update mid-afternoon for what it’s worth.

      I’m only really playing because other people are playing at this point, it’s inching towards being like work. It is quite dry really.

  17. Brig Bother says:

    Quite slow to get the scores up this week.

  18. Brig Bother says:

    Results up, looks like 142 players/teams participating this week out of 200 – that’s down on previous (both active participants and total players, although they might have just capped it at 200 and we don’t know how many are in teams). Looks like the Bother’s Bar community took down at least £300 this week, so good work everybody.

  19. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

    For this coming Sunday’s quiz, I’m going to play it on my iPod Touch instead of my Android smartphone and see if that gives me quicker response times

  20. Mark L says:

    How does the team system work? Is it worth me joining you guys?

    • Brig Bother says:

      Everyone plays individually and in each round the person on the team who gives the best performance is the score that counts for the team.

      For various reasons it’s touch and go as to whether I’m participating tonight, although you and David might be quite useful. Make sure you all agree to prize equity beforehand.

  21. Mark L says:

    i had a mare, should be 37/45. Death by poor observation, could not buy a guess

    • Brig Bother says:

      I scored 35, so you’ve won free games at least.

      Intrigued to see the numbers this week when they get released.

    • David B says:

      Bit gutted to come 2nd with maximum points, especially as the app was saying that I was 1st all along until the end. We also know (from another player) that it appeared that I was the only one on maximum points halfway through. So either something weird happened or (I suppose) they didn’t upload their score until that 2 minute pause at the end of the game.

      Will try again next week but not sure if my guesses will be as good. The puzzles this week were a bit easier and less tricksy than before. Mental agility was a step harder but I was ready for the “take you around the board and back to the start” one.

  22. Brig Bother says:

    Well done to TV’s David Bodycombe for taking the top prize down, and others of you that cashed.

    159 played out of 223. I didn’t play this evening, but they can’t keep offering free games indefinitely…

  23. Brig Bother says:

    Interesting, tomorrow effectively the last in the series, back end of April.

    • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

      I hope they use the downtime well to iron out any remaining kinks with the software and the website. I can’t say I’ve done bad off it, winning £300 and 40 tokens so I didn’t have to buy any more to keep playing although I WAS rather gutted last week that I had a golden opportunity to win the £1,000 and I missed it by ONE QUESTION, knocking me down to 4th. I’ll just have to give it my all tomorrow night and hope the questions are kind to me.

    • Matt Clemson says:

      They seemed to still talk a lot about “coming back next week”. Change of plan between video creation and tweets?

      First time I played this week; it’s a lot of fun, but I really struggled at the observation and odd one out rounds. The scrolling message was completely incomprehensible in the observation round on my stream, did it contain any information that wasn’t in the commentary?

      Scored in the midthirties. I know I can do better; when do they usually update the full leaderboards on the website?

  24. Sam 'Hodders' Hodkin says:

    Giving it a crack myself tonight, purely because I have a Sunday evening free for once.

  25. Joseph says:

    Being someone who is poor at General Knowledge quizzes, I decided to give this a try tonight to see how I would fare and according to the app I came in 93rd place, scoring 26/45.

    • Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan says:

      Came in 7th with 40/45, so another £50 coming my way. Dropped 2 in Odd One Out, 1 in Mental Agility and 2 in General Knowledge. Dan scooped up 2 Spot Prizes, so well done him.

      Roll on April when it comes back, then.

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