I collected data as a quiz participant from 2008 – 2012 in a variety of pubs around Sheffield, with a variety of teammates (both cajoled and willing), all under the team name The Venns, always trying to get the perfect mix of subject knowledge and find the perfect team. I also got to a few quizzes further afield and The Venns are quiz irregulars at the Red Pig in Keighley, the Newsroom in Edinburgh and Dempsey’s, NYC.

Every Tuesday at 9 from November 2010, when the Greystones pub opened in Sheffield, until June of this year, when enough field research had been gathered, The Venns did a quizmaster residency.  It helped me remaster the quiz for msyelf and others through various experimental interpretations. (Live mixing the topical round with breaking news was what I’d like to call extreme quizzing.) I  highly prized the feedback we received, particularly when it came in the form of heckling from the Bowls Team in the corner. The Quiz-Master-Off was quite fun (and very competitive), but I don’t want to duplicate the ‘nobody printed the picture round’ scenario ever again, even if it did involve being heroically rescued by a one-woman cavalry in pyjamas and a bobble hat. (Thank you, Hannah!)

Rounds were a mix of general knowledge and highly specific knowledge, Sheffield, current events, a picture round, and one question you had to answer in the form of – what else? – a Venn diagram. Overall prize was a gallon of beer, with additional spot prizes (for various feats of strength) of a pair of tickets to the pub’s comedy night, a bottle of wine, and vouchers donated by various local small businesses.Those who ticked a box on the answer sheet indicated they were willing to let me analyse their data for comedy research purposes. The residency ended with an extended comedy quiz evening full of prizes,  stats, charts and graphs.