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Sky’s National General Knowledge Test launches today featuring 100 questions that everyone should know


WEBWIRE
  • Test launched following new research which reveals the UK is a nation of quiz addicts, with Brits spending on average three hours a week in lockdown partaking in quizzes with friends and family
  • The new test has been specially commissioned to launch three factual TV channels - Sky Nature, Sky Documentaries & Sky HISTORY – available free to Sky customers from May 27th
  • New study also reveals the 10 trickiest quiz questions according to Brits

A new ‘National General Knowledge Test’ compiled by Sky, leading UK academics and celebrities has launched today featuring 100 essential quiz questions that everyone should be able to answer, as research reveals Britain has become a nation of quiz addicts in lockdown.

A study of 2,000 Brits shows quiz popularity is at an all-time high with the nation spending on average three hours a week in lockdown partaking in quizzes with friends and family, in comparison to playing previously just once a month, and a third (34%) say quizzing is now a weekly routine. TV documentaries were cited (42%) as the source of where most Brits acquire their general knowledge.

The new study, specially commissioned to mark the launch of a series of factual TV channels - Sky Nature, Sky Documentaries & Sky HISTORY – available on Sky from Wednesday May 27th, has led to the creation of the new ‘National General Knowledge Test’. The new channels include a host of documentaries and factual programming to help people brush up on their general knowledge.

The wide-ranging 100-question test has been devised by a panel of professionals from Britain’s leading universities; including Bill McGuire, Emeritus Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at UCL, John Sutherland, Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at UCL and Kate Williams, Professor of Modern History at Reading University.

Celebrity experts including Rachel Riley, Patrick Aryee, Kelly Cates, Jamie Carragher, Joan Bakewell, Kay Burley and Dynamo, have helped to review questions for the test in their areas of expertise, which spans science, the natural world, sport, art, current affairs, entertainment and pop culture.

The study also reveals the 10 quiz questions that leave Brits baffled, with the tricky question what is the world’s smallest country?’ topping the poll, followed closely by ‘what are the first three books of The Old Testament?’

The top 10 trickiest quiz questions that people get wrong, as voted for by Brits, are revealed as:

  1. What is the world’s smallest country? (76%)
  2. What are the first three books of The Old Testament? (74%)
  3. How many sides does a dodecahedron have? (73%)
  4. What were the names of Henry VIII’s six wives? (71%)
  5. Banksy is most associated with which city? (64%)
  6. What nationality was Charlie Chaplin? (60%)
  7. What are the names of the five oceans? (58%)
  8. What are Africa’s BIG FIVE animals? (56%)
  9. Which chess piece can’t move in a straight line? (55%)
  10. Which planet is closest to the Sun? (54%)

(*answers in notes to editors)

The whole quiz can also be played online and downloaded as a PDF.

The research team spent a month during lockdown drawing up the questions which are available on SkyTV social channels. The whole quiz can also be played online.

People can also watch some famous Sky faces have their general knowledge put to the test in a @SkyTV Instagram Live on the evening of May 27th. The Instagram Live will be hosted by Rachel Riley and celebrities taking part include Russell Howard, Dynamo, Tom Daley, Jamie Carragher, Kay Burley and Patrick Aryee.

TV presenter and lead expert Rachel Riley said: “Over the past few weeks the nation has remembered how much we all love a good quiz! I certainly do, and have done since my uni days, quizzing in the college bar with friends. Recently we’ve seen how they can still bring us all together, even as we’re all at a distance. The 100 questions in this one have been carefully selected by academics and experts in their fields and are guaranteed to entertain and educate.”

Zai Bennett, Sky Managing Director of Content, said: “Quizzing has always been a British pastime, and we’ve truly been putting our trivia to the test in lockdown. Sky’s new factual channels will no doubt help the nation to brush up on their general knowledge, with a host of informative and enlightening programming.”

Kate Williams, a Professor of Modern History at Reading University and one of the test’s academic experts, said: “The National General Knowledge Test has been compiled to offer a comprehensive overview of all the questions we really should know the answers to. The test covers all typical quiz categories with a wide range of questions, testing participants on everything from their historical know how to how up to date they are on current affairs.”

Over half the nation (53%) believe Brits have become hooked on quizzes during lockdown.

Findings from the study also reveal that 90% of Brits wish their general knowledge was better and two thirds (60%) admit to being embarrassed by their lack of general knowledge.

Science and technology (54%) topped the list of subjects Brits wish they knew more about, followed by history (49%) and arts and literature (47%).

Of those surveyed two in 10 (20%) admitted to cheating during a quiz. Londoners are the least honest quizzers with a quarter (26%) admitting to cheating, compared to just 16% of Scots.

Sky Nature, Sky Documentaries and Sky HISTORY will be launching on May 27th 2020 and feature programming such as; McMillions, Hillary, Tiger Woods: Back, Wild Animal Babies, Gangs of Lemur Island, UnXplained and Ancient Superstructures.

The new channels will include hundreds of hours of factual programming on demand with original commissions and acquired content. They will be available to Sky customers at no extra charge and will also launch on NOW TV, available as part of the NOW TV Entertainment Pass.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Sky

With 24 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Our 32,000 employees help connect our customers to the very best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own local, original content.

Following the success of Sky originals like Chernobyl, we plan to double our investment in original content by 2024. We’re also developing a new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which is expected to lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in UK creative sector in the first five years alone.

Our technology allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, and as we connect millions of families to content they love, we believe it is our responsibility to do it safely. That’s why we offer services like Sky Broadband Buddy and the Sky Kids app. And our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

We also believe that a company of our scale has a responsibility that goes beyond our business, and into the community. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 – two decades before we have to – and we’re an inclusive employer recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity.

About Sky Documentaries

Home of world-class, real life stories from award-winning film makers, including HBO, SHOWTIME® and Hulu exclusives and new Sky original documentaries. With a mix of feature length documentaries and series that will challenge, provoke and entertain, the channel will house 100 on demand titles. The channel will cover a wide range of topics from sport, to politics, to real-life controversies. Hillary (TX 11 June) provides a remarkably intimate portrait of public woman Hillary Clinton; McMillions (TX 27 May) tells the story of a gaming scam that lasted a decade; Ali Vs Cavett (TX 29 May) portrays the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali through the lens of his frequent appearances on the Dick Cavett Show; Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (TX 24 June) looks back on the group’s career combining intimate and reflective interviews from each of the nine living members, and The Plastic Nile (TX 1 June) looks at the devastating effect of plastic pollution on the world’s longest river.

About Sky Nature

Home to breath-taking natural history programming, dedicated to exploring the beauty and wonder of the natural world and inspiring us all to do more to look after it. The channel will feature landmark Sky original series Wild Animal Babies (TX 31 May) which follows Patrick Aryee and an adorable cast of baby animal characters as they face their first days, weeks and months on planet earth. The channel will feature Sky’s existing David Attenborough collection and will be the home of Love Nature 4K’s programming in the UK, with shows including Gangs of Lemur Island (TX 27 May), Africa’s Underwater Wonders ( TX 27 May) and Mysteries of the Mekong (TX 28 May).

About Sky HISTORY

Ground-breaking stories full of colourful characters through a mix of award-winning, talent-led UK commissions, premium innovative documentaries and global hit franchise programming. Join host William Shatner and discover stories that have mystified mankind for centuries in The UnXplained (TX 9 June); explore the unique investigations into the engineering mysteries behind the world’s most breath-taking ancient monuments in Ancient Superstructures (TX 1 June). Secret Wars Uncovered (TX 19 June) reveals the facts behind battles that were shrouded in corruption and misinformation and Washington (TX 4 July), produced by renowned historian Doris Kearns Godwin and narrated by Emmy award-winning actor Jeff Daniels ,chips away at the marbled image of America’s first president to seek the truth behind the legend.

Answers: the top 10 trickiest quiz questions that people get wrong, as voted for by Brits, are revealed as:

  1. What is the world’s smallest country? Vatican City
  2. What are the first three books of The Old Testament? GENESIS, EXODUS & LEVITICUS
  3. How many sides does a dodecahedron have? 12
  4. What were the names of Henry VIII’s six wives? Catherine Parr, Catherine Howard, Anne of Cleves, Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon
  5. Banksy is most associated with which city? Bristol
  6. What nationality was Charlie Chaplin? British
  7. What are the names of the five oceans? Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Southern
  8. What are Africa’s BIG FIVE animals? Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Cape Buffalo
  9. Which chess piece can’t move in a straight line? Knights
  10. Which planet is closest to the Sun? Mercury


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