Sunderland quiz captain takes on TV’s Only Connect

The semi final of Only Connect Series 7 hosted by Victoria Coren for Parasol Media, Cardiff, 25-3-13
The semi final of Only Connect Series 7 hosted by Victoria Coren for Parasol Media, Cardiff, 25-3-13
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A WEARSIDE quiz captain is hoping to lead his team to final glory on TV tonight.

Mark Walton’s team The Francophiles – comprising of himself, Ian Clark and Sam Goodyear – will be taking on opponents on BBC 4’s Only Connect.

The show is one of the BBC’s more challenging quizzes and tests the ability of teams to correctly make links and notice patterns in a series of seemingly unrelated items.

Mark’s team is currently enjoying an undefeated streak, having won all four of their latest games, and are hoping to maintain this trend to claim the coveted title of Quiz Champions.

The 41-year-old, who works in sales management, met fellow team-mate Ian at the Quiz League in London, and having met Sam only a year prior, decided to form a team.

He said: “We’re only a couple of mates who enjoy doing pub quizzes, we’re not professional by any stretch of the imagination.”

Originally from Sunderland, Mark moved to London when he was 18, and later returned to attend Sunderland University.

In regards to his team’s recent success, he said: “It’s been a bit of a shock, although one of my teamates seemed to think we’d get to the final.

“We’ve just had a lot of good answers. A lot of the bloggers have said that we were the best team, but I’m not sure.

“Our last game was actually a bit easier than expected, we had a convincing lead in the end.”

When asked about his unusual choice of team name, he laughed: “actually our first two names we suggested were rejected. Sam had been living in France, so it was a kind of our last resort team name.”

“I’m fairly confident for the final,” he added, “I’ve got a good team behind me.”

The Francophiles will take on the Celts, a team of University of Wales graduates: Beverley Downes, Huw Pritchard and David Pritchard.

l Only Connect is on BBC 4 at 8.30pm tonight.