Like Antiques Roadshow, Radio 4’s Round Britain Quiz is one of those comforting programmes that reassure us that England – ‘Platonic England’ as Geoffrey Hill calls it, though he probably wasn’t thinking of Antiques Roadshow – still exists, and all’s well with the world. It’s been running for ever – well, since 1947 – and remains little changed from what it always was, a cryptic quiz that calls for what might be called a well furnished mind and a degree of lateral thinking, rather than the traditional quickfire quizzer’s skills. It’s polite, good-natured and barely competitive – and the ‘questions’ (they’re not really questions as such) can be fiendishly hard, though, oddly, it’s often the easier bits that flummox the learned contestants.
Every now and then a question occurs to me. I could send it in – there’s a listener’s question every week – but that would be just too sad. On the other hand, on The Dabbler, among friends… Why not? Here’s a question, then, that I thought up the other day.
It’s in the usual RBQ form – link this to these – and it’s not easy. I have a maximum of six points at my disposal, and partial answers will be more welcome than none. Who knows? If this takes off, it might become a Dabbler feature…
Here’s the question then:
What word links a cult TV series that started with a bang to the following? A weary organist’s quest. A solitary Oxford bondmaid. And Hudson’s Purple Land.