Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Only Connect! Back! Monday! The 13th!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

  Yes, tomorrow night. Or tonight, if you’re reading it tomorrow. By which I mean today. If it’s yesterday, all I can say is: I hope you have iPlayer.

  Anyway, the new series of Only Connect starts on Monday 13th May in its usual 8.30pm slot on BBC Four and continues for… dammit, I can’t work out the number of weeks. Normally, I can calculate backwards from the number of episodes you’d need to make to turn 16 teams into one set of champions. But this time round, the series has a NEW TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE, which I will be explaining at the beginning of the first episode. I hope. I shall be tuning in to listen to myself, and see if I can understand how it works.

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The Tim at 10:13 pm on May 12th, 2013

Like University Challenge? - with the repechage for those losing for the first time. That would make 14 with a 3rd place playoff.

Jan at 8:19 pm on May 13th, 2013

Excellent first prog. Surprised when you appeared to pass over the chance to comment on testicles then delighted that you didn’t disappoint. Ridiculously happy to get two questions and ¾ of one wall.

David Bodycombe at 10:06 pm on May 13th, 2013

The 13 weeks pan out like this:

A: 4 initial heats (8 teams pair off)
B: 2 loser-loser episodes
C: 2 winner-winner episodes (creates 2 semifinalists)
D: 2 episodes of the winners of B versus the losers of C (creates the other 2 semifinalists)
E: 2 semifinals (played by the winners from C and D)
F: 1 final (winners of E)

Simple. And if you’ve printed out the diagram as a kind of World Cup Wall Chart, tonight’s show was ‘B’.

The Tim at 10:15 pm on May 13th, 2013

I prefer the new system which is not as complicated as it looks. It never seemed fair when a good team got knocked out by an even better one in the first round, and you also get a rapport going when they make multiple appearances. It’s a variation on the Swiss system where you always play a team with the same record as you in the next stage and guarantees that the best two teams will in theory at least both make it to the semis.
The spectacles question derives from an old Jewish joke.
Jan, how can you get three quarters of a wall and not the final quarter?

The Tim at 10:03 am on May 14th, 2013

Thanks, DavidB. To put it simply once you’ve won two matches you get to the semis, once you’ve lost two you’re eliminated. If you win and lose or visa versa the last match is effectively a knockout quarter final.

Philip at 10:12 am on May 14th, 2013

I didn’t get one chuffing question right. I was so furious that I had to go and have a bath.

The Tim at 2:11 pm on May 14th, 2013

It says in the Radio Times that there’s going to be further series in the Autumn - are you able to confirm this?

Victoria Coren at 4:53 pm on May 14th, 2013

Hi Tim. Yes, this series is slightly shorter than usual, but there’ll be another one in the autumn after a summer break.

Blas Blas at 7:54 pm on May 14th, 2013

You always look great and Weir great clichés. Where do you buy them from.

[MODERATOR: I sense this might be “wear great clothes” falling foul of a spellcheck, but it’s too nice a sentence to edit.]

Neil Jones at 9:58 pm on May 14th, 2013

Excellent as usual.  Great show.
In all series to date think I’ve only got about six questions right…  All time low? :)

Applicant at 5:16 pm on May 15th, 2013

Have both series already been recorded or are will they be recruiting for series 8?

Victoria Coren at 10:40 am on May 16th, 2013

Hi Applicant. Both of this year’s series are full I’m afraid - but we will be looking for more contestants for next year’s series, probably in the autumn, and I will certainly advertise the search on this site when it starts.

Gailyb at 1:12 pm on May 21st, 2013

Loving the show as always and really liked the dress you wore in last nights show.  Where did you get it from?

Aly at 11:58 pm on June 10th, 2013

Loving the new series. I’m either watching too many quiz shows (previous series of only connect included) or raising my own IQ through only connecting osmosis. New Heresy is great stuff too. New book in the distant future maybe? Keep up the good work

Mike Taylor at 8:33 pm on June 17th, 2013

Great programme; been watching from the first series. Now, have the questions become easier in this series? I seem to be getting a lot more correct! I’m pretty sure they are. There was one tonight where the fourth in the series was ‘biennial’. That was ridiculously easy. It could almost have been a question on the Weakest Link! Tell me you have dumbed down ... please!

Victoria Coren

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