Round Britain Quiz

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Round Britain Quiz (or RBQ for short) is a panel game that has been broadcast on BBC Radio since 1947, making it the oldest quiz still broadcast on British radio. It was based on a format called Transatlantic Quiz, a contest between American and British teams on which Alistair Cooke was an early participant.

The format of the quiz is that teams from various regions around the UK play in a tournament of head-to-head battles. In a half-hour programme, each team is given four multi-part cryptic questions, each worth up to six points, to be awarded on the host's judgement. The parts of the question are generally centred on a common theme, and a degree of lateral thought is necessary to score full marks.

One question for each team has a music or sound component, and another is submitted by listeners. Points are awarded to each team by the host/quizmaster. Team members may ask questions, to narrow the field; but the more they ask, or the more clues the host supplies to assist them, the more marks the team will lose.

The original hosts were Gilbert Harding and Lionel Hale. Later hosts included Roy Plomley and Anthony Quinton. For many years, until his death in 1996, the host was Gordon Clough.[1] The programme was then hosted by broadcaster Nick Clarke until his death in 2006. He was succeeded at the start of the 2007 series by Tom Sutcliffe.

Regional contestants have included Irene Thomas, John Julius Norwich, Fred Housego, Brian J. Ford, Patrick Hannan, Philippa Gregory, David Edwards, and Val McDermid.

The original theme tune was Radioscopie by Georges Delerue. The current theme tune is Scherzo and Trio performed by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

Puzzles like those in Round Britain Quiz (a series of cryptic clues linked by a common theme) have appeared in written form in publications such as BBC MindGames Magazine.

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