A take on the popular TV show University Challenge reached a dramatic climax last week, as celebrity guest Jennie Bond oversaw a highly competitive contest between two sister care homes.
Residents of Signature at Chorleywood certainly proved that “with age comes wisdom” as the team, which has a combined age of 329 years, impressed with their extensive general knowledge.
Based on the popular and long-running BBC quiz show with Jeremy Paxman as the quizmaster, residents from Signature at Chorleywood faced off against a rival team in the form of Essex-based Signature at The Beeches. The keenly contested match up, held at The Beeches in Brentwood, saw Signature at Chorleywood secure the coveted title of inaugural Signature Challenge Series Champions.
The head-to-head between Chorleywood and The Beeches follows four months of close competition between all Signature Senior Lifestyle homes, in which 38 care homes across the south-east competed over the course of 24 matches across two rounds. Residents and supporters were joined by former BBC Journalist, Presenter and Royal Commentator Jennie Bond, who hosted the event which was filmed and live streamed over YouTube.
The contestants were faced with 55 questions covering current affairs, film, history, and world geography, with an additional five questions reserved for cryptic picture rounds. Signature at Chorleywood was represented by Eric Heather, Karen Malayz, Jenny Soothill and Michael Crawther, and had an average age of 82. Signature at The Beeches was made up of Christine Everard, Emu Edwards, Maureen French and June Miller.
Although Signature at The Beeches made steady headway, Signature at Chorleywood was able to storm ahead as the quiz progressed thanks in part to the contributions of 90-year-old Eric, whose astonishing performance saw him answer more than 10 questions correctly for his team.
Signature at The Beeches put up an impressive fight throughout however, with Christine correctly identifying an image of a shitzsu in the final minute. When the final scores were counted, Signature at Chorleywood’s impressive total of 215 points saw them take the spoils, compared to Signature at The Beeches’ haul of 155 points. The victorious team were awarded a celebratory plaque, which will be engraved and proudly displayed in the care home’s entrance.
Eric Heather, a member of the triumphant Signature at Chorleywood quiz team, said: “I am absolutely delighted, and very happy to be part of the winning team at Chorleywood. Although I was very nervous, it was a pleasure to test my general knowledge alongside my teammates and a supportive crowd. A big thank you to all the Beeches team who were wonderful hosts and made us feel very welcome.”
Christine Everard, a member of the Signature at The Beeches quiz team, said: “Whilst the win at the end of the contest was not meant to be for The Beeches, I was very happy to have taken part with my teammates. It was an excellent quiz, with a high standard of questions and answers. It was also wonderful to meet Jennie too, who I thought did a sterling job of hosting.”
Augusta Udo, Activities Manager at Signature at The Beeches, said: “Signature Challenge is an initiative designed to stimulate all of our communities and unite them in some healthy competition. It was a delight to see this ongoing project come to a head in such a spirited finale, and both teams really rose to the occasion. Huge thanks to Jennie who was a wonderful quizmaster, and to our supportive audiences, both in the studio and at home!”
Jennie Bond, Journalist, TV Presenter and host of the Signature Challenge Final, said: “It was a pleasure to host this year’s Signature Challenge Final, and to see such impressive quiz performances from both teams.
“I am pretty certain that the residents could give their younger counterparts on University Challenge a strong run for their money. With age certainly comes wisdom, and the final between Chorleywood and The Beeches was proof of that.”