Tuesday 21 November 2017

VIDEO: How an Irish football cult hero became an answer on BBC’s quiz show Pointless

Republic of Ireland international Paul McShane during his time as a Hull City player.
Republic of Ireland international Paul McShane during his time as a Hull City player.

Eoin Harrington

Irish international Paul McShane was an unlikely possible answer on the popular BBC quiz show Pointless last year and yesterday's repeated show was lapped up by Irish viewers.

In February 2014, contestants were asked to name a member of Hull City’s squad from the 2012/13 season.

The show works on the basis that each contestant (four teams of two people) attempts to guess the least obvious correct answer to the questions asked. Before the show begins, the audience members are given the questions which will be asked on the episode and asked to answer them.

The possible answers to each question are then assigned a point value equivalent to the amount of audience members who gave that answer.  The goal for contestants is to give the correct answer which the least amount of audience members gave.

The aim of the game is therefore to think of the most obscure correct answer to each question and on yesterday’s repeated episode from February 2014, several viewers spotted an Irish football cult hero used as an example of a pointless answer.

When contestants were asked to name members of Hull City’s 2013 promotion winning-team, none of them answered Paul McShane – but neither did any of the audience, meaning an answer of McShane was ‘pointless’ – or what is considered a ‘perfect’ answer on the show.

RTÉ pundit Eamon Dunphy famously referred to Sergio Ramos as “Paul McShane on steroids”. McShane signed a three-year contract with Reading in July.

Irish football fans will remember McShane as a squad utility player from the years under Giovanni Trapattoni and many of them were ecstatic to see the 31-cap international mentioned so prominently on the show.

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