1.Wilbur Smith, the author and illustrator who lived an interesting life, died November. Which statement about Smith is false?

A) Before having sex, he loved dressing up like a pirate.

b. He was 13 years old when he killed his first lion.

c. His favorite aftershave was “Brut For Men”.

d) Two of his children once threatened him with legal action after he called them ‘biological freaks’

The author Wilbur Smith died in November, having lived a colourful life. Which one of these statements about him is untrue?

Wilbur Smith, the author and illustrator who lived an interesting life, died November. Which statement about Smith is false?


2.Oliver Burkeman has taken the title of his latest book from an average person’s life. It is:

A) 4000 weeks

b. 40,000 Weeks

The average week is c. 400,000

D) 4,000,000 Weeks


3. ‘We rather fancied her. She was a good-looking woman, like a Hollywood star.’ Who was Paul McCartney referring to in this passage from his autobiographical book, The Lyrics?

a) Jackie Kennedy

b) Barbara Castle

c) Hm the Queen

d. Margaret, Duchess Argyll


4. ‘IF YOU HAVE NOT TELEPHONED, YOU ARE TRESPASSING.’ According to a 2021 biography, who erected this sign on his property at the age of 24?

a) J. D. Salinger

Bob Dylan

Donald Trump

d) Woody Allen


5.Jane Ridley has written a biography about King George V and it shares the title of an album from Rod Stewart. How do you pronounce that title?

a) Tears Of Hercules

b) Another Country

c) Never a Dull Moment

d. Every Picture Tells a Stories

A new biography of King George V by Jane Ridley shares its title with an old album by Rod Stewart (above). What is that title?

Jane Ridley has written a biography about King George V. It shares its title (above) with Rod Stewart’s old album. How do you pronounce that title?


6. The hero of John le Carré’s posthumously published novel Silverview is:

(a) Jackson is a diplomat from Washington

b) A Beirut arms dealer called Mehmet

c. Darius is a Cairo-based professional poker player.

d) Julian, a bookseller from East Anglia.


7. Which of these 2021 novels did its author originally intend to be a children’s book, until their daughter told them it would leave any child traumatised?

A) Oh William! Elizabeth Strout

b) The Judge’s List by John Grisham

Stephen King, c. Billy Summers

d) Klara And The Sun By Kazuo Ichiguro


8. Joan Collins makes a rude comment about some of her co-stars in My Unapologetic Diaries. The insult should be paired with the star:

a) Glenn Close

b) Pamela Anderson

Catherine Deneuve

d) Sharon Stone 

i) ‘Such a bitch’

ii) ‘Perfectly awful… the yawn of the year’

iii) ‘Terribly pleased with herself’

iv) ‘All the taste and refinement of a hooker on holiday’

In My Unapologetic Diaries, Joan Collins (above) is rude about a number of her fellow stars. Pair the star with the insult

Joan Collins is known for being rude to some of her stars in My Unapologetic Diaries. The insult should be paired with the star


9. After Nick Cave’s keyboard player, Warren Ellis, attended a concert at the Royal Festival Hall in 1999, he nipped on stage to rescue a chewed comestible the performer had left behind. 

It remained as a family relic over the next 22 years and was published in an entire book this year. It was it?

a) Kylie Minogue’s Liquorice Allsort

b) Nina Simone’s gum

c) Tina Turner’s Fruit Pastille

d) Kiri Te Kanawa’s toffee


10. In his autobiography, what did Bob Mortimer describe as ‘the worst decision of my life’?

You were fishing in the River Ouse wearing ordinary wellington boots. You fell and nearly drowned.

b) Accepting the role of Elyot Chase in the 2016 West End production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives

c. Studying to become dental technicians

d) Taking LSD at university


11. Volumes one and two of Chips Channon’s unexpurgated diaries were published this year. 

While the millionaire party member seemed to be in good company with many of those notable from the 1930s and 40s, it was clear that he had poor character judgment. 

Combine the description and the described person:

a) Queen Mother

b. Adolf Hitler 

Winston Churchill

d) Neville Chamberlain

e) Hermann Göring


i) ‘A bully, an irritating tyrant, unfair, unkind, wrong’

ii) ‘Amiable’

iii) ‘The greatest man of all time’

iv) ‘Lovably disarming’

v) ‘At heart snobbish and insincere’

Chips Channon seemed to rub shoulders with everyone of note in the 1930s and 1940s, but he could be a poor judge of character. What did he say about Winston Churchill (above)?

Chips Channon was known for his ability to get along with anyone of importance in the 1930s or 1940s. But he can be an unreliable judge of character. He spoke out about Winston Churchill.


12. David Kynaston, historian of Britain 1962, quotes the following diary entry by Philip Larkin in his On The Cusp review: 

‘God, I must NEVER do such a MAD thing again: it was a boring, irritating HELL.’ Was Larkin really complaining?

You will be attending a carol ceremony at Holy Trinity Church in Hull

b. Taking his mom on a bus tour to the Peak District

c. Watching John Osborne’s BBC Play For Today

Monica Jones and he spent an afternoon in November playing Scrabble together


13. The Duchess of York wrote a romantic novel published by Mills & Boon. Is this the title of it?

a) Her Heart for A Compass

b) Her Legs For A Barometer

c) She Back to The Wall

d) Her Face For A Fortune


14.The Duchess describes several kisses that her heroine has had in the same novel. The Duchess of York wrote three descriptions and me the other. Is there a strange one?

a) ‘They kissed. Deep, starving kisses, adult kisses, their tongues tangling, hands clutching and clinging’

b) ‘His tongue touched hers and she broke away, breathless and confused’

c) ‘Their tongues met and clenched, finding a warm spot towards the back of her mouth where they might huddle together like two babes in a wood’

d) ‘The giddy feeling, the rush of blood to her head, the soft pressure of Sebastian’s lips on hers made her want to swoon’


15. On the topic of kissing, another novelist who was the subject of a biography in 2021 stated that he disliked French kissing and declared: 

‘To go searching around the cavern of a woman’s mouth with a jutting insinuating tongue was never my idea of fun’?

Charles Dickens

b. Philip Roth

c) Patricia Highsmith

d. W. Somerset Maugham

Still on the subject of kissing, which novelist, the subject of a 2021 biography, expressed a dislike of French kissing?

To continue on with the topic of kissing: Which 2021 biography’s subject expressed an aversion to French kissing?


16. A book about Watergate revealed that President Nixon praised his mother for having ‘never indulged in the present-day custom, which I find nauseating’. Which custom was he referring to?

a) Wearing short skirts

b. Kissing and hugging her children

c) Slow dancing

d. Swearing


17.Combine the name of your celebrity’s 2021 autobiography with it:

a) This Much is True

b. A Funny Life

c) Windswept & Interesting

d) Before & Laughter

e) Fight!


Jimmy Carr

Harry Hill – ii

Miriam Margolyes

iv) Michael McIntyre

v. Billy Connolly

Can you pair Michael McIntyre (above) and the other four  celebrities with the titles of their 2021 autobiographies?

Can you pair Michael McIntyre (above) and the other four  celebrities with the titles of their 2021 autobiographies?


18. ‘He gave the impression that, along with Arthur Daley in Minder, he might have an unpaid tab at the Winchester Club.’

Alwyn Turner, historian of England in the early 21st century described who in All In It Together: England in The Early 21st Century.

Boris Johnson

b) Nigel Farage

c) Kenneth Clarke

d) Neil Hamilton

Was Boris Johnson (above), Nigel Farage, Kenneth Clarke or Neil Hamilton described as having 'an unpaid tab at the Winchester Club'?

Did Boris Johnson, Kenneth Clarke, Kenneth Farage or Neil Hamilton have a ‘unpaid tab at Winchester Club’?


19. Marcus Berkmann’s Pop Miscellany revealed that Leonard Cohen made a cameo appearance in the 17th episode of the second series of which TV show?

Miami Vice

b. Sex And The City

c. Mad Men

Buffy The Vampire Slayer


20. ‘Ambitious’, ‘bully’, ‘callous’, ‘capricious’, ‘childlike’, ‘competitive’, ‘controlling nature’, ‘cruelty’. These are the descriptions in the index to whose biography 2021?

a) Meghan Markle

b. Sir Terence Conran

c) David Cameron

d) Adolf Hitler


21.Which comedian wrote a book on prayer in 2021?

Frank Skinner

b) Jimmy Carr

c. David Baddiel

d) Sara Pascoe


22. The former Tory MP Alan Duncan’s diaries were full of insults directed at his former colleagues. Compare the insult to the fellow:

(a) Cut out cardboard

b) The weird and wonderful

c. Self-important, boring bore

d) The person who does nothing

e) Angst-ridden oddball

f) A selfish, ill-disciplined, shambolic, shameless clot


i) Theresa May

Boris Johnson

Priti Patel

John Bercow (iv)

Dominic Raab

vi) Michael Gove


23.What roly poly figure ordered 14 Chinese take-outs for the price of one?

Robert Maxwell

b. Sir Cyril Smith

c. Meat Loaf

d) Demis Roussos


24. The 2021 Dese teamCastaway at rt Island Discs with your favorite book

a) Deborah Meaden, businesswoman

b. Tracey Ullman is a comedian

c) Alexei Sayle, comedian

d. Billie Piper actress

e) Tim Peake, astronaut


Evelyn Waugh’s Sword Of Honour Trilogy

iii) A History Of The World in 100 Objects By Neil MacGregor

Deborah Levy, iii. The Cost of Living

iv) The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend

v. An Atlas

Can you match Billie Piper (above) and the other 2021 Desert Island Discs castaways with his or her favourite book?

Is it possible to match Billie Piper and other 2021 Desert Island Discs castaways?


25. Jordan B. Peterson is an accomplished Canadian intellectual. He followed up 12 Rules For Life, An Antidote to Chaos with Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life. 

These are three of the rules in his book. One is not. Name the odd one:

a) Discipline yourself. You will be punished

b. Do not conceal unwanted items in fog

c) Don’t do anything you don’t like

d). See it. Speak it. Sorted


1) c. 2) a. 3) c. 4) b. 5) c. 6) d. 7) d. 8) a,ii; b,iv; c,i; d,iii. 9) b. 10) d. 11) a,v; b,ii; c,i; d,iii; e,iv. 12) b. 13) a. 14) c. 15) b. 16) b. 17) a,iii; b,iv; c,v; d,i; e,ii. 18) b. 19) a. 20) b. 21) a. 22) a,i; b,vi; c,v; d,iii; e,iv; f,ii. 23) a. 24) a,ii; b,iv; c,i; d,iii; e,v. 25) d.