Toby Gaffney reveals how he creates the distinctive and hugely popular Quiz nights for the Kirkgate...

Written by Toby Gaffney

I was asked to do the first Great Kirkgate Quiz by my wife Erica, who was in charge of fundraising at the time. I'd enjoyed taking part in many a pub quiz before then but had never run one of my own. I wanted to do something a bit bigger than the normal pub quiz as this was raising funds for the Kirkgate: I am a huge fan of its work and the volunteers and staff that keep it going. So, not wanting to do things by halves, I asked if I could use the cinema screen for a film clips round, and once that was established I started dreaming up other ways to up the ante on the normal pub quiz format to really make the evening special. The 10 rounds of 10 questions came from a very nerdy feeling that 100 questions was a good round number, which would make the marking easier too. I'm pleased to report that it has worked very well so far.

The pacing of the evening is very important, with a couple of intervals for the participants to visit the bar and facilities, and to have a bit of time to mull over some of the questions. If you have been to the quizes before, you'll know I like to forge connections between the answers to each round, and if you can spot the connection you get bonus points. It can also help you to work out some of the answers you may not otherwise have known or just got wrong. I like questions that you can work out using logic rather than the standard format of you either know it or you don't.

I'm now on GKQ7 and of all the rounds that I have set so far I love the ones that are a bit different, like the "Put your sense of smell to the test rounds" that we have done, the Music rounds (now with added distraction footage), or the observation rounds - particularly the ones with Matt Dancing Round the World - and the film stuff.

As I go on with the quizzes I seem to be doing more and more editing which although quite time consuming I luckily really quite enjoy. I get pretty much all my footage and editing material from the internet which is brimming with the weird and wonderful. YouTube alone has yielded some great Round 10 oddness - some people post the strangest things on there, and it makes for great quiz fodder. My favourite so far has been "Classic TV theme tunes being cheerfully murdered by enthusiastic amateurs". Round 10 for the next quiz, though, is possibly my new favourite....but I won't be revealing what that is just yet.

It takes a lot of time to put one quiz together - usually about a week of editing and sorting. Even thinking up a satisfying round to do can take a while; but nowadays if I find myself stuck in traffic or invigilating an exam I can while away the time by thinking of quiz rounds for the future. Nerdy? Yes! Do I care? Not a lot.

Having said that, if anyone has any bright ideas for future rounds for the quiz I would love to hear them.

The next Great Kirkgate Quiz will be coming up early in 2018. Keep watching the website for more details. 

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