A London pub has hired high-profile quiz hosts like Judi Dench, Michael Sheen, Hugh Bonneville and Bryan Cranston to lure customers through the door.
The Barley Mow in Marylebone, west London, found itself in a “horrific” position after the pub struggled to get back on its feet in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
But after Judi Dench agreed to record a round of quizzes last September, the pub is teeming with quiz enthusiasts as the Christmas charity event has already sold out.
A year later, 14 teams a week are flocking to the pub, not just for the £7 pints of Guinness, but to hear a different A-list star complete the ‘top ten’ round via video each week moderated.
And a far cry from the scripts they usually deliver, in this segment they ask the room a single ten-answer question.
Outside the Sydney Opera House, Michael Sheen asked about ten countries ending in the word “country”.
Bryan Cranston asked the packed audience about the ten most common chemical elements in the human body
High-profile celebrities will host the “Top Ten” panel via video link, asking the room a single ten-answer question
After Judi Dench agreed to record a round of quizzes last September, the pub is teeming with quiz enthusiasts as the Christmas charity event has already sold out
14 teams a week flock to the pub not only for the £7 pints of Guinness, but to hear another A-list star host the “Top Ten” round via video link
Michael Sheen asked about ten countries ending in the word ‘country’ outside the Sydney Opera House while John Lithgow asked his questions from a hotel lobby.
Martin Freeman tested from his bedroom, while Hugh Bonneville told the quizzers in his attic study to “get their pens ready”.
Other famous cameo quiz presenters included Dominic West, John Lithgow, Jonathan Pryce, Ben Kingsley and Sophie Whittaker.
Last night Celia Imrie, calendar girls, asked the quizzers for the ten most successful tennis players by Grand Slam wins.
Can YOU answer these celebrity pub trivia questions?
1. Dame Judie Dench asked: Name the ten longest motorways in the UK
2. Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston asked: What are the ten most common chemical elements in the human body?
3. The Angel of Good Omens, Michael Sheen, asked: Name ten countries that end with the word “country”.
4. Nanny McPhee star Celia Imrie asked: Who are the ten most successful women in tennis by Grand Slam wins?
Previous themes have included the UK’s ten longest motorways and Tube stations beginning with G.
Bryan Cranston asked the packed audience about the ten most common chemical elements in the human body.
The pub has managed to attract the hosts as it is a haven for London actors and is made up of actors and musicians who pool their contacts for hosts.
So far, every celebrity who has attended has had a connection with the pub staff.
The pub’s manager and owner, Will Norris, 44, had worked there on an off-and-on basis for over a decade before buying it from the owners earlier this year.
Rada graduate Will said: “The first guest we had was Judi Dench because one of the men who works here knows her daughter.”
“Once you have Judi Dench, a lot of people want to get involved – we’re now 52 weeks behind us.”
“We’ve Got Another 42 Weeks” filmed and ready for launch – including Martin Freeman and Jodie Whittaker.
“Getting through Covid was pretty awful so we were lucky that our quiz night and darts tournaments kept us afloat.”
“Now we have our weekly quiz. It’s so busy we have to kick non-quizzers out!’
The pub now has a waiting list and the Christmas pub that raises money for Shelter is already sold out.
Will said, “We don’t know who yet – but we’re going to win someone big for the Christmas quiz.”
But it’s not just about attracting big names to their quizzes — as Will says, a big part of it is creating a “sense of community.”
He said: “The sense of community that we have intentionally cultivated is something that pubs in London don’t always have.”
“Even though we have a W1 postcode, we’ve created that particular rarity that people in London are dying to find.”
“People are loyal to us and many of our quiz teams come regularly – it gives a sense of security, recognition and comfort.”
How many pub quiz questions did you answer correctly?
MRS. JUDI DENCH ANSWERS:
1. M6 – 232.2 miles
2. M1 – 193.5 miles
3. M4 – 189 miles
4. M5 – 162.9 miles
5. M25 – 117 miles
6. M62 – 107 miles
7. M40 – 89 miles
8. M8 – 60.3 miles
9. M3 – 58.6 miles
10. M11 – 55 miles.
MICHAEL SHEEN ANSWERS:
6. New Zealand
CELIA IMRIE ANSWERS:
1. Margaret Court = 24
2 = Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams – 23
4 = Rafael Nadal and Steffi Graf – 22
6. Roger Federer – 20
7. Helen Wills – 19
8. Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova – 18
10. Pete Sampras – 14
BRYAN CRANSTON ANSWERS:
1. Oxygen – 65 percent of the mass
2. Carbon – 18.5%
3. Hydrogen – 10%
4. Nitrogen 3.2%
5. Calcium – 1.5%
6. Phosphorus – 1%
7. Potassium – 0.4%
8. Sulfur – 0.3%
9. Sodium – 0.2%
10. Chlorine – 0.2% mass.