The Answer Trap



Anita Rani


Bobby Seagull and Frank Paul (resident trappers)


Objective Media Group Scotland, Triple Brew Media and Motion Content Group for Channel 4, 10 May to 18 June 2021 (30 episodes in 1 series)


A Channel 4 press release said,

Anita Rani will challenge the teams to place answers from a series of lists into their relevant categories. However not all the answers belong in the categories, some are devilish decoys - Answer Traps.
The Answer Traps have been set by iconic quizzers Bobby Seagull and Frank Paul, with the brainiacs competing to see who can catch the most players in their traps.
If the teams can assign the answers to the correct categories and avoid the traps, they get the opportunity to play for a £10,000 jackpot on the final question.

The regulars: Bobby Seagull, Anita Rani, Frank Paul.

Two pairs of contestants play, and hope to build up cash across four rounds.

We start with round one. Our contestants see a board of nine answers, and two possible categories. Are these things hard cheeses, or working dog breeds? (A small improvement here would be for Anita to actually read out all the answers rather than merely a selection — it would be a help to visually impaired viewers, and build in a bit of thinking time for everyone playing along.)

Put an answer in the right category, and it's worth £50. Cheddar is a hard cheese? That's £50 right away. Put an answer in the wrong category, and it's worth nothing.

But find an answer that fits into neither category, and sirens sound, the studio turns red, and a trap is found.

Don't mention the Aardman!

One of the Answer Trappers has set this false answer, Aardman is an animation company who made Wallace and Gromit, fans of Wensleydale cheese. Find two traps in a round and your turn is over.

Each team has a board of their own, a good way to meet the player on their own.

In part two, each team sends one player to play a board. Twelve answers, two categories, £100 per correct answer. Teams give alternate answers. There are four traps on the board, enough to finish both teams off. And after one board's finished, the other player on the team has a go at a different category.

The Answer Trap Care to play along? Rest of the answers later.

Part three has the teams playing together again. Sixteen answers in three categories, and £200 per correct answer. Again, four traps on the board. Answers in the wrong category can be passed over to the other team for a £200 bonus.

Whichever team has the more money after this board is the winner, and plays the final. (Need a tie-break? Sudden Death Trapping: one answer is true, one is false, first team to pick a false answer loses.)

The final: one category, 16 answers, of which just 10 are correct. Find two traps and the game is over. If the team can find 8 answers first, they win the money from the main game - typically around £2200. The team can stop, or can play on for another answer, doubling their main game money. Again, the team can stop here, or find the last correct answer for the £10,000 jackpot.

The Answer Trap The set is a library. Nobody ever goes onto the balcony.

The Answer Trap works because of its the atmosphere. The questions are serious quiz, everyone is happy to revel in their knowledge and share what they know. There's a gentle contest between the trappers, can Frank fool more people than Bobby today? They've tried to re-create the atmosphere on BBC2's Only Connect, and might well have succeeded.

But Channel 4 is no longer known for studious, joyful afternoon quizzes. The Answer Trap went out at 3pm, and picked up typical audiences for the slot.

Theme music

Banks & Wag


Where did the Trappers come from? Bobby Seagull is from University Challenge in 2017-18, and Frank Paul from Only Connect in the same years. Frank Paul, incidentally, is the nephew of broadcaster Clement Freud.

The answers: Cheddar is a cheese, as is Hereford Hop, Duddleswell, and Gallybagger. The dogs are Boxer, St Bernard, Hovawart. McIntyre is the other trap, his wheel is not of cheese.

Voted the Best New Show in this site's Poll of 2021

Web links

Channel 4 programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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