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Photograph: Shutterstock

The best virtual quizzes to get you through lockdown

Missing your pub quiz? Try some virtual trivia. No Googling! We see you!

By Katie McCabe

If you were ever in any doubt, the lockdown has categorically proved that Londoners are blissfully, hopelessly enamoured with the pub quiz. It has become one of the most important aspects of virtual socialising. Why? Two words: organised fun. People have to stare at a screen to interact. It’s unavoidable. But not everyone can hold concentration on a Zoom call. We all look like we’re trapped in the opening credits of ‘The Brady Bunch’. It’s exhausting. You need something to distract from the strangeness, something that will start the conversations you’re failing to initiate because you keep forgetting to turn your mic on. And that’s where the quiz comes in. 

Pub quiz hosts were the early adopters to the lockdown times. Within a week of the official wfh life, breweries and bars had all taken to their Instagrams for wholesome trivia sessions. Since March 29, ‘lockdown quiz questions’ has become a Breakout search term on Google, which means huge amounts of people are frantically typing it into the search engine. Unfortunately, searches for quiz answers have skyrocketed too. You duplicitous Zoom cheats! 

Now the digital quiz takes many different forms: the music quiz, the film quiz, the drag cabaret quiz, the morale-boosting work quiz, the DIY mates quiz where the ‘rounds’ are peppered with in-jokes, the family quiz where one person takes it too far by including a question about ‘the incident’ (why did you have to mention ‘the incident?!’). 

But if you are tired of taking photographs of random objects in your house for another ‘picture round’, and just can’t face another set of ‘who said it?’ questions, let someone else do it for you. There is, quite literally, a virtual quiz to live-stream in London every single day of the week, and we can help you navigate them. All you have to do is come up with your team name (‘Let’s Get Quizzical’ is taken, though. It’s ALWAYS taken).

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Where to find London’s virtual quizzes

Stephen Fry
Photograph: Elliot Spencer, background Shutterstock

Stephen Fry is hosting a virtual pub quiz for charity

News City Life

Prefer ‘QI’ reruns to ‘University Challenge’? You’re in luck. The former presenter of the show, Stephen Fry is back in the trivia game. He’s teamed up with Hammersmith arts space Riverside Studios to take part in a new virtual fundraising quiz night on May 13. Fry isn’t the only recognisable name involved, he’ll be followed by comedian Jo Brand on May 27. Tickets are £25, and money generated from the event will go towards supporting Riverside Studios in reopening post-lockdown. 

Pembury Tavern
Photograph: Sam Huddleston

The Pembury Tavern Virtual Pub Quiz

Things to do Quirky events Instagram, London

Every week that The Pembury Tavern in Hackney remains shut, it’ll be hosting its usual Monday pub quiz via its Instagram stories. At the end of the quiz, the three highest scorers will be picked at random and rewarded with a pair of Five Points Brewery Tour vouchers. If you want to go full Pembury immersion, you can prep for the quiz by ordering takeaway pizza and Five Points beer. All you need now is a queue for the toilets. 


FIlmageddon Weekly Rewind FIlm Quiz

Things to do Quirky events Twitch, Trafalgar Square

The Filmageddon team have taken some of their smash-hit film quiz nights from The Prince Charles Cinema and remixed them for a weekly online event, streamed on Twitch every Wednesday. Rookies: start learning the difference between ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Deep Impact’ asap. 

Tate Britain
Photograph: George Clerk

The Great British Art Quiz

Curators at some of the UK’s biggest museums and galleries are keeping busy in lockdown by writing deliriously difficult art quizzes. Every weekday, the Guardian releases a new quiz on its site in collaboration with Art UKthe online home for the UK’s public art collections. Could you take a stab at which William Holman Hunt painting illustrates a poem by John Keats? Or identify which year Hans Holbein was appointed the king’s painter to Henry VIII? Then this is the challenge for you. 

Not feeling the trivia? Find a show to live-stream instead


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