We’ve been catching up on the second series of Downton Abbey. And our place in New Jersey plays host to Adele Live at the Royal Albert Hall just about as often as our old place in Boston did to those other English warblers Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae.
But just how English exactly is Jacqueline, that American wife of mine? After nearly five years of marriage to me, how much mustard could she really hope to cut if dropped unexpectedly tomorrow in Wallington – the Surrey, England, town that for so long used to my home?
Put another way, what of the peculiar whys and wherefores of Englishness have I successfully passed along? And which of these can survive the cold-nosed scientific scrutiny of a test? The very one, in fact, that follows this ramshackle, none-more-English introduction…
Well, let’s get along and see, shall we?
Here’s the test’s 25 questions – for your own quizzing pleasure. If you’re one of ‘my people,’ I all but guarantee you’ll get every question right… And if you’re not… then, can you out-English Jackie, with her many years of training?
Hold on tight everyone, you’re about to have some bloody bits of England slap you on the arse.
Question 1: Anthony Worrall Thompson is –
a) A celebrity TV chef recently caught shoplifting in Tesco
b) Head of the Bank of England on trial for tax evasion
c) A minor royal embroiled in a kidnapping scandal
d) A cross-dressing socialite
Question 2: Who out of the following is not a well-known English personality?
a) Mad Frankie Fraser
b) Eddie the Eagle
c) Dodgy Dan
d) Mystic Meg
Question 3: Who out of the following is not from Yorkshire?
a) Michael Parkinson
b) Geoffrey Boycott
c) Alan Bennett
d) Michael Caine
Question 4: …And who is Geoffrey Boycott?
a) Former England cricketer noted for the soundness of his defensive technique
b) Jazz musician, broadcaster, and former presenter of the radio comedy program I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
c) Former host of the long-running TV game show The Krypton Factor
d) Former Labour party leader defeated by John Major’s Conservatives in the 1992 general election
Question 5: Who out of the following is not from Essex?
a) Chef Jamie Oliver
b) Footballer Steven Gerrard
c) Pop star Damon Albarn
d) Comedian Russell Brand
Question 6: …And by what pet-name does Jamie Oliver habitually refer to his wife?
b) Oliver’s Barmy
Question 7: Who out of the following is a much-loved comedienne, actress, singer-songwriter, screenwriter, and director?
a) Victoria Woods
b) Edwina Currie
c) Diane Abbott
d) Virginia Bottomley
Question 8: Which of the following best describes Alan Titchmarsh?
a) Octogenarian tap-dancing TV host married to a former Miss World
b) The best snooker player of the 1980s, nicknamed ‘the nugget’
c) Entrepreneurial planetary scientist
d) Celebrity gardener especially popular among housewives
Question 9: Which of the following best describes Michael Fish?
a) TV weatherman who notoriously failed to predict the Great Hurricane of 1987
b) One of Steve Coogan’s less successful comic creations, whose catchphrase “trout or haddock, please” never broke the mainstream
c) Child actor who played ‘the milky bar kid’ in numerous TV commercials throughout the 1980s
d) Champion jokey who notched up over 4,000 career wins including nine Epsom derbies
Question 10: Which of the following best describes Dr. Harold Shipman?
a) Universally vilified
b) Not particular popular, but widely respected
d) A marginal figure, mostly only known to members of the medical profession
Question 11: Which of the following well-known pairings have never actually been married to one another?
a) Peter Andre & Katie Price
b) Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee
c) Richard Madeley & Judy Finnigan
d) Richard Whiteley & Carol Vorderman
Question 12: Fred and Rosemary West are well-known throughout Britain. But why?
a) They’re the man-and-wife serial killers who buried their victims in the back garden of their home
b) They’re the brother and sister co-hosts of the TV show What to Wear
c) They’re the man-and-wife multimillionaire founders of John West, an international fish and seafood company
d) They’re the twin alter-egos of drag artist Stephen Gattey, who blazed a trail in the 1950s by being outlandishly homosexual while being gay was still a criminal offence
Question 13: Which of the following is not true of popular entertainer Mr. Blobby?
a) He was a glove puppet gopher
b) He was a mainstay of primetime Saturday night television for many years
c) He nearly always wore a bright yellow bow-tie
d) He released a pop single that beat off the likes of Meat Loaf and Take That to become the Christmas # 1 in 1993
Question 14: Which of the following is not a real past or current English TV programme?
a) Big Break – game show based around the game of snooker
b) Monkey Tennis – game show based around the game of tennis
c) Bullseye – game show based around the game of darts
d) A Question of Sport – game show based around all sports
Question 15: Who out of the following has never entertained/educated children on English TV?
a) Fireman Sam
b) Headmistress Sally
c) Postman Pat
d) Bob the Builder
Question 16: Which of the following is not the name of a popular TV quiz comedy panel game?
a) Never Mind the Buzzcocks
b) Only Fools and Horses
c) Mock the Week
d) Eight Out of Ten Cats
Question 17: Who out of the following is not generally regarded for her youthful attractiveness?
a) Cat Deeley
b) Kelly Brook
c) Anne Widdecombe
d) Keeley Hazell
Question 18: Who is the current leader of the Labour party?
a) Ed Milliband
b) Sandy Toksvig
c) Cliff Richard
d) Bobby Charlton
Question 19: Which of the following is not a past or present Eastenders matriarch?
a) Peggy Mitchell
b) Penelope Keith
c) Pat Butcher
d) Pauline Fowler
Question 20: Which of the following is not a regional English newspaper?
a) Matlock Mercury
b) Yorkshire Ripper
c) London Evening Standard
d) Liverpool Echo
Question 21: Which of the following is not a past or current English pop band?
a) Gerry and the Pacemakers
b) Right Said Fred
c) Bertie’s Super Swing Band
d) Half Man Half Biscuit
Questions 22, 23, 24 & 25: Match the four pictures below to the following individuals.
a) James May
b) Tony Benn
c) John McCririck
d) Patrick Moore
Righty-ho, that’s all for now. Be a dear, though, and check back here in a day or two from now. I’ll tell you how you got along… and, more to the point, how little Miss America (Jackie) did, as well!
(Meantime, please note: no Americans were harmed in the writing of this post.)