Let’s get quizzical

Simon Happily gives his top tips for a successful gay pub quiz

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Who released an album called ‘Kisses on the Bottom’? Which London drag queen is known as the Whore of Hampstead Heath? These are the sorts of brain ticklers you can expect at Quiz Camp, a weekly gay pub quiz at new West End venue Man Bar. Host Simon Happily once ran the popular Comedy Camp stand-up night. He’s also quiz king at the Sir Richard Steele pub in Belsize Park. Here are a few of his trade secrets.

1. Know your audience

‘Some pub quizzes are very serious affairs with quasi-professional teams who can be very competitive. Personally, I think it should be a fun night out. Thankfully, 14 years of performing comedy and ten years of running Comedy Camp means I’m well practiced at adding humour to the proceedings.’

2. Simon says ‘relax!’

‘I went to one pub quiz where there were so many questions and only a five-minute interval, so my friends and I never had a chance to chat and catch up. It was actually quite stressful. Remember, it’s a night out where people want to socialise too! Pace yourself. That way, people can socialise and chat, making it more relaxing for everyone.’

3. Keep it friendly

‘The great thing about a good pub quiz is how involved people get. They might arrive as strangers, but they can soon end up chatting and laughing with each other. Part of the host’s job is to help create a happy, friendly, competitive atmosphere.’

4. It’s not about the money!

‘At Quiz Camp, I encourage banter with the contestants. It’s not “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Some people take it too seriously. Remind them of the prize fund. If contestants are putting £1 each into the prize pot, there’s not exactly £1 million at stake!’

5. Watch those smartphones!

‘The smartphone age creates new challenges. I like to share responsibility for monitoring this with the contestants and have a unique way of dealing with it. What is it? You’ll just have to come to Quiz Camp and find out!’


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