Although some people really enjoy watching Bradley Walsh in The Chase, it’s clear to all that the king of all TV quiz shows is Pointless.
Not only is the concept much better, you also don’t have to endure the smug, arrogant attitudes of those ‘chasers’, who sit there like that group of middle-aged nerds you get at so many pub quizzes, quietly sniggering to themselves because nobody else knows who wrote the theme tune to Peak Practice.
Well, screw em – head to one of these brilliant quizzes in Manchester instead…
The Pub Quiz The Bay Horse Tavern
Every Tuesday from 7.30pm
The Bay Horse Tavern is the perfect venue for a pub quiz. For starters they managed to bag themselves a brilliant Quiz Master; one who knows everything from the intricate differences between 13 different species of pipistrelle to being able to tell you the eye colour of Big Ron’s daughter in one EastEnders episode from October 1987. On top of this they also have a brilliant prize of £50 CASH, as well as all of those lovely food dishes to enjoy while you’re playing. Oh and they also have a very impressive selection of crisps available on hand, should you want to pick away at some crabs while using some grey matter.
The Bay Horse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Beatboozle Quiz Night @ Beatnikz Republic
First Monday of the Month, 7pm
A relative newcomer on the quiz scene, this brilliant offering at Beatnikz in the NQ is usually a themed one, offering up nerds everywhere the chance to show off their knowledge without the fear of getting battered by some ‘bigger boys’. Such themes in the past have included Home Alone (for Christmas obviously) and even a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles one that I would have absolutely smashed out of the park had I not been washing my hair when it was on. You can also get Cask Pints for only £3 when it’s on – lubricating your brain to ever impressive quiz greatness.
Beatnikz Republic Bar, 35 Dale St, Manchester M1 2HF
The Friendship Quiz
Every Tuesday (General Knowledge) and Sunday (Music), 9pm
My mate Darren Beattie, who enjoys the traditional ingredients of football, beer and darts, is fond of proclaiming The Friendship Inn as “The Best Pub in Europe™”. Although I think the Hare & Hounds in Shudehill might just pip it to the post; the Friendship is a great ‘traditional’ pub and in stark contrast with many of the other places to be found in Fallowfield. The booze is always of a high quality (attributed to an OCD landlord who cleans the pipes after every 2 barrels), as is their TWO quizzes on Tuesdays and Sundays. Tuesday is General Knowledge, while Sunday is primarily set aside for Music. The atmosphere is great, it’s free, the quizmaster is a legend and you can win a gallon of beer (8 pints) – excellent.
Friendship Inn, 351 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester, Lancashire M14 6XS
Quingo @ Electrik
Every Tuesday, 7.30pm
A seamless mix between a quiz and bingo, Quingo manages to not take itself too seriously at all – which comes as a huge relief when the only pub quizzes you go to end up in a massive fight over whether Spock is indeed Full-Vulcan or Half-Human, Half-Vulcan. There’s typically 2 rounds of fun questions, alongside 2 or even 3 or 4 games of bingo – all orchestrated by a geezer with the world’s greatest radio voice and his homemade bingo machine. The prizes are usually all brilliant including chocolates, signed photographs of Sonia Jackson and some other random shit found in a church jumble sale.
Electrik Bar, 559 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0AE
The Fab Cafe Quiz
Every Wednesday, 8.30pm
Coined as the world’s first television and movie theme bar, Fab Cafe is adorned with the kind of kitsch, sci-fi memorabilia you would expect from a weekend at Comic-Con. Movie posters, model spaceships, a TARDIS, pinball machines and arcade games all feature in the bar, with one of my favourite touches coming from the Star Trek bridge/DJ area. Make sure to get yourself here early doors for this fantastic quiz, featuring a varied range of questions and challenges. The crowning glory of this quiz is undoubtedly at half-time; a momentous occasion occurs. One where dreams come true and all prejudices are laid aside…. there is free food. I am not just talking a plate of chips or a bag of crisps, I’m talking about what can only be described as the entire contents of a 1987 wedding buffet shared amongst the teams. On top of this, drinks are cheap! What more do you want?
Fab Cafe, Gainsborough House, 109 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DN
Quizzin’ @ Dive NQ
First Thursday of the month, 7pm
Hosted by Fi Abernathy, it must be said that this quiz is a proper laugh – not only will she be firing questions at you left, right and centre but also plenty of gags to keep you on your toes. It costs £1 per person to enter and if your team manages to win the whole bloody thing then you’ll get a shit-ton of cash back to spend on whatever you like. Sweets. Crisps. Packets of fags. Whatever you like. Another brilliant thing about this quiz is that when it’s on it’s also Happy Hour so you can get beers and cocktails for only £3.50. All very important when you’re sitting down for a couple of hours trying to think of Princess Diana’s maiden name.
Dive NQ, 12 Tib St, Manchester M4 1SH
First Wednesday of every month, 7pm
There has been a fair few iterations of the Common Quiz in the past and so we are all eagerly awaiting the new version of it that starts at the beginning of June. It’s been a quiz that I’ve frequented on many occasions and have actually won a fair few times too. I’m glad that they’ve decided to mix things up a little bit because I had one of my most frustrating moments ever in here that not even years of counselling has helped eradicate from my memory. I was with a lady, just the two of us and we were absolutely smashing it (well, I was) and we were first with just one round left. The 4th and final round however, was a game of Play your Cards Right, and I buggered it up with pure arrogance. In the end I came 4th – all because of ‘chance’. I’m sure the new one will be much better thought out though – I’ll be sure to check it out when it starts up again and let you know.
Common, 39 Edge St, Manchester, Greater Manchester M4 1HW
Abel Heywood Themed Quizzes
Various dates and times
Abel Heywood have been putting on some brilliant themed quizzes since opening and this looks to continue. Annoyingly I came a close second in the sudden death round of their Star Wars quiz, and since then I’ve not been able to even get close to that. I didn’t know how many times bigger the 2nd Death Star was to the 1st by the way, something which I am proud NOT to know. One thing to note is that you should definitely book a table before-hand, these quizzes get really busy and if they are full, you’ll have to use someone’s back to write on your answer sheet.
Abel Heywood, 38 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ
Check https://twitter.com/QuizzlyBears for listings
Quizimodo at Trof NQ
Every Wednesday, 8pm
Upstairs at Trof on a Tuesday becomes a cacophony of shouting, arguing, laughing and sometimes crying when their quiz begins. Once the toast of Tuesday nights at Odd Bar, since it’s closure the Quizimodo lot have moved to Trof and so one should expect some cracking questions, strange challenges and the odd tantrum. Oh, and you get a free portion of proper UK chips at half time too, which manage to make you feel much better when you’re languishing in last place. It starts at 8pm but I would get there early – the amount of space upstairs would make a sardine claustrophobic.
Trof NQ, 8 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU