The Ivy – Charity Sports Quiz
Having attended a few meetings and late night dinners at The Ivy restaurant & club over the years, it was intriguing to be invited to a small intimate gathering of British Athletes for a sports quiz night event, raising funds for the Diana Award Charity which is a legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. It’s concerned with mentoring and anti-bullying getting the best out of young people. We were all given a enthusiastic talk on its achievements by their chief executive Tessy Ojo who said smiling ‘I could talk all night about this Charity, but I’ll stop now’.
Supporting the event was the cream of Olympian British Athletics success over the last two decades Colin Jackson, Mark Foster, Jamie Baulch, Sally Gunnell, Amy Williams, Becky Adlington, Adrian Moorhouse, Danny Crates, Marlon Devonish, Steve Williams, Roger Black, Derek Redmond and special guests representing the charity Sinitta and Sian Lloyd. Each joining a team to help agree answers.
The sports quiz was written and developed by Andrew Wilson and Nick Hancock who have ambitions to take the format out on the road in theatres under the title ‘Squeaky Bum time’ The evening was nicely compered by Nick himself who most will recognise as the presenter from TV’s sport comedy quiz show ‘They Think it’s all over’ (BBC TV 1995 -2006).
The various rounds were pitched at the right level with picture, topical, and media rounds often exposing the lack of knowledge some Athletes had on their own sport which gave raise to laughter and banter all around the room. Roger Black was a great companion on my table still with the lively energy that won him two silver medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and Gold at the 1997 World Championships. Indeed, our conversation was much about the motivational and speaking work he has been providing for leading organisations as well as the quiz questions.
The buffet style food was a simple pleasant curry, although some people were concerned Sinitta had cooked it (after her recent exploits on celebrity Masterchef), which she freely sent herself up on at the beginning of the evening. The spirit of the event was captured by Amy Williams saying ‘Very funny night raising money for charity & attempting to answer sporting quiz questions’ and Colin Jackson ‘Always fun guys well done’
The event worked very well helped by the intimacy of the 4th floor Ivy Club room, enjoyable in its relaxed but quality furnishing and prominent screen where many of the questions were displayed and where Nick could easily move to each team for thought, encouragement and answer.
I was looking forward to seeing the new restaurant refurbishments the Ivy had recently undertaken, but having already attended an afternoon cricketing lunch event with comedian Josh Daniels, there was only enough energy left to try and hail a taxi from outside the venue, one of the toughest tasks of the day.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.