Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

What started as a Monday night activity to pass time during the ACT’s first lockdown has now grown into an online community with members from countries around the globe.

Joe Mcgrail-Bateup, aka the town crier of Canberra and Queanbeyan, began quizzing family and friends with a short round of 20 questions via his personal Facebook page each week. Soon he thought he would amp it up by inviting a guest to join; in comes Scott Radburn from the Aussie group The Four Kinsmen. Scott enjoyed himself so much he decided to return each week.

“He enjoyed himself so much we started the Joe and Scott Trivia Show but then we decided to get someone on every single time we could, ”Joe said.

Some of the guests the pair hosted include classic TV stars like Larry Wilcox from the show CHiPs, Mod Squad‘s Michael Cole, and Steven Tandy from The Sullivans. However, once the world started re-opening, Scott had to return to his prior commitments and could no longer co-host. Joe reached out to one of the show’s previous guests Simon Fisher-Becker, who is best known for his roles in Doctor Who spirit Harry Potter, to see if he would be interested in coming on board, which he was but not for every show. Now a member of the show’s community, Paul Boultwood from Wollongong NSW, shares the co-hosting duties with Simon in alternating weeks.

No Name Trivia Show co-host Simon Fisher-Becker as Dorium Moldivar in the Dr Who franchise.

With Scott no longer a part of the show, Joe’s show needed a name change. Whilst mulling over his options, JJ Cohen (aka Skinhead from Biff’s gang in the Back to the Future films) suggested the No Name Trivia Show – and Joe loved the idea.

Simon has been suggesting possible guests since his first appearance on the program and this continued when he became co-host, bringing along others Doctor Who alum like the seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy – although not all guests are from TV and film. Some of their favorite visitors have been everyday people.

Guests are not always a household name; they can be someone with an interesting job or life story. Viewers give feedback on how much they like hearing the life story of non-famous guests, ”Simon said.

Simon is known by the members for his tricky questions, often researching topics that require specific or obscure facts. During the dwellings themed week, he asked the difference between a domicile and a resident, and the origin of the word bungalow.

“It’s surprising the amount of people who get the answers almost right. When I first started asking my questions, I got ripped that my questions were too hard. ”

The show now runs for 90 minutes every Monday night (often going over when they get caught up in conversation with the guests) and has nearly 900 people either tuning in for the live stream or watching the video later. The show has reached audiences in the UK, Spain, France and America, the time difference proving no barrier for their committed fans.

“It’s wonderful that we have viewers from across the globe. Canberra is about 9 hours ahead; it’s 11 o’clock or, when the clocks change, 9 o’clock in the morning here, ”Simon said from the UK.

Many of the original 30 members still tune in each week, commenting on posts, interacting with the live stream, as well as offering their time to help. Originally, Joe did all the behind the scenes work in addition to hosting; now there is a whole team working behind the scenes. Some keep score while the show is streamed, someone else prepares all the graphics and introductory videos.

The No Name Trivia Show has evolved into a more complex gameshow during its two years; special guest Paul Bevan performs magic tricks in a recurring segment, smaller games are often played throughout the stream. However, at the heart of it there is still trivia.

The show even has its own sponsor; Highland Titles, a conservation organization from the UK, who appoints each guest a lord or lady over their own 1 square foot of land in the Scottish countryside.

What does the winner get? Nothing. The show is all about having fun.

As many of the guests are sci-fi fans, it seems only fitting to end our conversation by asking both men what their favorite science fiction franchise is: Joe is a huge Dr Who fan while Simon enjoys the Star Trek franchise.

Join the fun at the No Name Trivia Show every Monday night via their Facebook page:

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