Sinitta Wins! Despite taxi driver & short measure of Shepherd’s Pie
The Ivy restaurant and club played host to another charity quiz night for members with friends, bathed in an exciting atmosphere of expectation and nostalgia. The quiz was put together by Andrew Wilson who is fast becoming known as a master of Ivy quiz nights. His skills at modern day DJing at the end of the evening were also complimented by several members, one or two asking for his card, this from a personal manager who runs a very successful presenter’s agency (Cloud 9 management). Should he now seek his own representation?
This time the quiz was centred around music and anyone who could remember the eighties with leggings, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Agadoo would not have been disappointed, as a treasure trove of mainly 80’s pop stars were introduced to an appreciative audience, each joining a table to what at times became a very competitive musical quiz night. Nick Heyward (Haircut 100), Joe Washbourn (Toploader), Sinitta, Clare Grogan (Altered Images), Tony Mortimer (East 17), Carol Decker (T’Pau), Andy Abraham (X Factor Finalist), ‘Steps’ group members Leigh Latchford Evans & Faye Tozer all competed to see who knew the most. Between them, they have sold over 25 million records.
Many of these musical names, also wanted to show off their musical knowledge to the respective tables. Wilsons questions have a way of being pitched just right for the audience, which were not easy, with rounds such as; name that tune, One song to the tune of another, match the spoken lyric to the song and a list of demands on a bands rider – name the band? The quiz host for the night Brian Dowling (Presenter & Big Brother 2001) did a good job which included sharp put downs, hugs and pecks on the cheek for those that needed it. The main screen was used to its full capacity with clips and music arrangements which both entertained and took us back to a musical era that was full of change.
In the eighties, the charts were still in very much in swing with BBC’s ’Top of the Pops’ an important vehicle for bands and artistes, but now being challenged by a more radical modern approach to music by channels 4’s ‘The Tube’ hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates. The pop video emerged as a must for most artistes, which gave rise to the cable channel MTV, ultimately putting the above terrestrial music programmes out of business. This eighties period saw ‘Live Aid’, the growth of dance music and new wave, as disco began to take a backward step, Euro disco and dance pop became more popular with The Pet Shop Boys leading the way. At this time synthesisers and electronic keyboards were being used particularly at the beginning of the era with the ‘New Romantic’ movement made up of bands such as Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Visage, Boy George and The Human League. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ album from 1982 became the highest selling album of all time; it is cited as selling as many as 110 million copies worldwide.
Madonna was the most successful female artist, Whitney Houston one of the best-selling with ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ Band Aid the biggest selling UK single of the decade. A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster ‘Music Choice’, which polled over 11,000 European participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favoured tune decade of the last 50 years.
The actually quiz was held up by the typical late arrival of some musical guests, with Sinitta just making it after an altercation with a taxi driver. These delays did not help the overall event with one or two members having to leave early, which may have put the normally charming Ivy staff in a less than helpful mood by unnecessary comments and one musical guest at the supper break asking for an adult portion of the Shepherd’s Pie rather than a ‘child’s plate’!
None of this took away from the fun of the evening and the merriment of seeing musical friends enjoying themselves. Especially Sinitta’s table waving the winning teams bottle of champers tweeting ‘We did it! Well done team’.
Members are now looking forward to the next quiz instalment which is rumoured to be centred around ‘comedy’.
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.