Pointless quiz show appearance puts reputation of two Norwich headteachers on the line

Left to right: Alexander Armstrong, Brian Conway (Notre Dame High School), Adrian La Chapelle (St Augustine's Catholic Primary School), Richard Osman Left to right: Alexander Armstrong, Brian Conway (Notre Dame High School), Adrian La Chapelle (St Augustine's Catholic Primary School), Richard Osman

Thursday, September 4, 2014
12:13 PM

It started over a pint after an education conference, and will end with two Norwich headteachers competing for thousands of pounds on one of Britain’s most popular shows.

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Pointless - a TV phenomenon

Pointless, produced by Endemol and broadcast on the BBC, first went to air on BBC Two in 2009.

Pairs of contestants attempt to guess the most obscure correct answers to questions 100 people were asked in a survey.

The show, hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, transferred to BBC One in 2011, and is now in its 11th series.

The format has been sold to seven countries, including France and Serbia, and has filmed 799 episodes - 721 for daytime TV and 78 with celebrities.

For Brian Conway, of Notre Dame High School, next week’s appearance on BBC One’s Pointless will be a chance to finally strike it rich. Appearances on Fifteen to One and Sale of Century when he was younger yielded nothing more than a personal organiser which quickly broke.

He will appear with Adrian La Chapelle, of St. Augustine’s Primary in Costessey, who said: “Brian mentioned that he had been on quiz shows. I let it settle in my mind, and my daughter was going on about going on TV so I thought ‘that would be an interesting idea’.”

The pair filled in a long application form, and, after forgetting about it, were invited to an audition in London during the February half term. They were then called back for filming in Elstree Studios at Easter.

Mr Conway said: “We could have fallen flat on our faces. It could have been really embarrassing. We were quite prepared to come away with egg on our faces and have done really badly.

Norwich headteachers Brian Conway, left, Notre Dame High School; and Adrian La Chapelle, St Augustine's Primary School, who were contestants on the TV quiz show Pointless. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich headteachers Brian Conway, left, Notre Dame High School; and Adrian La Chapelle, St Augustine's Primary School, who were contestants on the TV quiz show Pointless. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We were worried about things like popular culture and soap operas, which we don’t have a clue about.”

During filming, they made friends with a sound engineer who commutes everyday from Mulbarton, near Norwich, and chatted with some contestants while others studied the periodic table in the green room.

And during a long break in filming caused by technical problems, contestants, presenters and the audience played Pointless using an audience member’s iPhone app, which was displayed on TV monitors in the studio.

Mr Conway said two of the questions had possible Norwich-related answers, and they thought former Norwich City striker Grant Holt would be the perfect response for one.

The teachers were not the only ones with their fingers crossed.

Mr Conway’s son Toby, 10, wanted to become a Norwich City match day mascot if his father won, while Mr La Chapelle’s daughter Imogen, 12, used her iPad to work out her cut of any winnings.

The pair are planning to use their experiences in assemblies, but are not yet allowed to say if they won.

To see how Mr Conway and Mr La Chapelle performed, watch Pointless on BBC1 at 5.15pm on Thursday, September 11.

Will you be on a TV? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • Well done Callum. By far the most sensible post on this article. The world would be one heck of a miserable place if Albert had his way!

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    Adams is God

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • Quite right, Albert. The man is a disgrace to his profession. I would be horrified were it to be discovered that any of my children's teachers were were spending a single non-waking minute not engaged in teaching, marking or preparing lessons, weekends included. I hope there are no more teachers like Mr Conway out there showing a similar lack of commitment to their pupils. Fortunately, your vigilance as to Mr Conway's undoubted breach of his contract of employment means that Norfolk parents can doubtless look forward to reading of his immediate dismissal. Make sure you keep an eye out for any other public sector professionals displaying similar appalling behaviour. I would hate to think that my GP or any coppers were slacking on the job in a similar way to Mr Conway.

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    Gel E

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • What a wonderful story, mother and I will be sitting tighly with our fingers crossed for them when we tune in. Best of luck!

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    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • Yes Albert. There are laws against teachers having any kind of life outside of their profession, thank goodness for community spirited keyboard warriors who are around to call them out on instances such as this.

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    SilverMachine

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • Should,nt Mr Conway be attending to his duties rather than filling in lengthy papers for a TV Show?

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    Albert Cooper

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

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