Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Fermanagh quiz buffs dumped from TV quiz because of accents

Richard (54) and Christopher (34) McGonigle were on the cusp of breaking through to the second round of Pointless last week when an inspired answer from Richard was lost in translation

Two quiz buffs have found themselves unceremoniously dumped out of a popular TV quiz show — because of their Fermanagh accents.

Richard (54) and Christopher (34) McGonigle were on the cusp of breaking through to the second round of Pointless last week when an inspired answer from Richard was lost in translation.

It was the second time the father-and-son team had applied to appear on the general knowledge programme hosted by comedian Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman.

The daytime TV show challenges contestants to come up with the most obscure answers to questions.

The category that tripped the pair up focused on people in positions of power in Westminster.

“I said John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, but I pronounced his name Berscow, the way I would normally,” Richard said.

“Immediately after I said Berscow I said, ‘or a cow, if you prefer’. But they would not accept it.

“It was just the Fermanagh accent. It was just the way I said his name.

“We queried it afterwards but they would not allow it. The best thing is, there was someone on the show the previous week who called the swimmer Ryan Lochte, ‘Ryan Lochtor’. And they accepted it and corrected his pronunciation.”

The pair are not in short supply of support in their native Lisnarick, where their story has already appeared in local newspaper, the Fermanagh Herald.

But they insist the experience has not left a sour taste. Despite their unusual exit from the show, retired health worker Richard encouraged other people to run the show’s gauntlet.

“The prize money that day was something like £2,000. At that stage we were at round one, but we would have got into round two,” he said.

“But we both enjoyed it. Christopher has been interested in general knowledge since he was in primary school, and we do quizzes together all the time.”

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