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Quiz queen Helen Gilchrist is helping keep people from Kintyre and much further afield entertained during lockdown by taking her legendary quizzes online.
Helen, who was named Citizen of the Year 2018 by the Rotary Club of Campbeltown in honour of her charity quizzes, donned a black wig and green dress as she went live on Facebook last Thursday evening to host The Great Big Quarantine Quiz.
Soon more than 600 people were watching as Helen, with a gin and tonic in hand, read five rounds of questions with her usual geniality and repartee.
Viewers tuned in from all corners of the world – from Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Oregon in the USA, to Panama City, Holland and New Zealand, as well as the length and breadth of the UK.
Helen explained to the Courier that initially her plan was to host the quiz for her Facebook friends only but as word spread about another of her renowned quizzes more and more people wanted to take part, so she opened it up to all.
She said: ‘My phone was nearly blowing up with all the messages and friend requests – I never imagined it would go this big and that more than 600 folk would tune in from all over the world. I’ve never done a live-stream before so I just had to wing it and hope for the best!’
Despite her inexperience, the technology did not let her down and the quiz went without a hitch.
As well as two pot luck rounds, there was a number round, a multiple choice round and a Family Fortunes-style round, which kept everyone on their toes.
Topics ranged from food, television and film to sports and general knowledge, with plenty of questions for younger participants.
Helen stressed throughout the quiz that it was all ‘just for fun’ and that people would have to be trusted to keep their own scores and not look up the answers.
Throughout the two-and-a-half hour live-stream, she read out a variety of shout-outs and birthday messages, as well as sharing anecdotes about her previous jobs and experiences.
A couple of times she complained about the lack of hecklers, adding that she enjoys ‘a good argument’ with people who think her answers may be wrong.
She ended the live-stream by singing along to Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, an apt song given the current global pandemic.
Although 600 people watched live, the video remains on Helen’s Facebook page and has so far been viewed more than 3,000 times.
The night was such a success that Helen is hoping to make it a weekly event.
She said: ‘By luck I have thousands of questions from previous quizzes so it will just be a case of mixing them up and coming up with some questions for people of all age groups.’
Helen added that she is hoping to set-up an online fundraising page so that people who take part can donate money to a good cause, as they would if they attended a regular quiz.
‘It wasn’t my aim for it to go this big,’ she said, ‘but I love fundraising and helping people out, so the money we raise will go to some good at the end of all this.’
Helen has now set up a Facebook group, called The Jolly Monday Show, where people can find details of future quizzes.
The next quiz, The Big Easter Quarantine Quiz, will be live-streamed tonight (Friday) at 8pm.