A Hackney secondary school teacher led his team to victory in the finals of the BBC-2 quiz show Only Connect, regarded as one of the most difficult quiz programmes on television.
Richard Aubrey, 31, who is Ethos and Values Coordinator at The Urswick School, Paragon Road, captained his team through five rounds of the show, which is well-known for its obscure questions and revolves around finding the connection between four apparently random clues.
He applied to take part in the show about a year ago, along with the two others in his team, Pete Sorel-Cameron and Tessa North.
“Pete is a friend of mine who runs pub quizzes in and around London and I know him through that,” explained Aubrey. “Tessa is a friend of his. We’ve watched Only Connect for many years, and we all like the show and those sort of questions.”
They had to travel to Cardiff for the filming, which was done during the Easter holidays. The trio, who called themselves String Section, went to a pub quiz the day before filming began because they had never taken part in a quiz as a team before.
“One of the things that we are particularly impressed by is that, with all these experienced quizzers, we’ve never ever quizzed together before,” added The Urswick School teacher. “We are kind of like journeymen, really.”
Asked how he managed to perform under pressure, he replied: “Keeping a cool head was quite tricky. It doesn’t matter that there will be people at home saying ‘that would be easy, you should’ve known that’. Just keep it cool and play your game.”
Youngsters at the school were said to be stunned when they found out about their teacher’s success and “wonderfully supportive”. The team was not allowed to talk about it until the final had aired on Monday January 18, so the result, watched by over 2.5 million viewers, was a closely guarded secret.
Aubrey told Eastlondonlines: “In the very near future, I’ll start going to national quizzing leagues and continue applying for shows.”
For anyone else wanting to follow in his footsteps, applications for series 12 of Only Connect are being accepted. The producers say that individuals are welcome to apply, as well as teams of three. To request an application form and for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for applications is February 4th.