Beat the Boss! thanks to BBC Wiltshire

The week of November 15th started off with a bit of a scurry, when I had an unexpected phone call from BBC Wiltshire, asking me if I could get together a team to take part in their fun competition, ‘Beat the Boss’.

They wondered if I could pull together a team to be ready to play the game at 12.30 pm, that Monday morning, then every day at the same time for the next three days.

As I don’t have a business team as such in my office – I work with other freelancers and clients. I contacted people who I regularly work with, including, Joe Briggs my mentee; writing mentor and author, Lis McDermott; professional photographer Barbara Leatham and Fi Da Silva Adams a client. I did this because I knew there would be a heavy bias on knowledge of Wiltshire and I have many clients who are not based in the county.

My first phone call on that Monday was to Lis, asking “What have you got on at 12.30pm  today?” When she answered ‘nothing’, I said, ‘You have now!’

Everybody else also got a manic call to fit them into each of the following days of that week for the competition. Luckily they were all ‘game’ to take part.

What is Beat the Boss?

It is a competition run by Graham Seaman on his lunchtime show, where he sets team members against the boss.  Each day the boss and a staff member have to answer three questions each.

Two questions could be about anything, although normally, something related to what has been talked about during the show that day. The final question would be about Wiltshire.

Whoever loses there’s a forfeit to be decided by the winner. In my case, if my ‘staff’ were to lose the challenge, at the end of the week they would have to recite a verse of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I studied his work for A Level and for some reason that poem has stuck with me. Even Graham Seaman thought it a weird choice.

However, if the boss (in this case, me) was to lose, they had to choose a forfeit that would be hard for them. As it had to something that I was not comfortable with – it was decided I would have to eat an olive.

They taste like salty medicine to me, absolutely disgusting. Graham also found it amusing that I was only going to eat one, and surely, I could eat three olives. Not a chance, even one would make me want to gag!

The questions included, Birds, Food, Formula One, Celebrities (which celebrity is older), Reality television, Musicals and Wiltshire.

The competition:

Day one, I went up against my bestie, Lis. She was convinced I’d beat her easily, because I follow the media and know more about current affairs then her. However, afterwards, said she thought her questions were easier than mine, and that the questions were stacked against me. She beat me, 2.0. We both got our first questions wrong, which were about food.

Day two, I was against Fi Da Silver Adams. We both only got one correct.

Day three I was up against Joe. We were at a lunch meeting at a golf club where there was hardly any signal for our phones. So, prior to the show, we were rushing around to find a place to take the phone call. We had to split up, so we were on separate phones, outside in the freezing weather!

Day four, and double point day, was Barbara’s turn to beat the boss. I was on my way to my eldest daughter, Sammie’s graduation celebrations in Cheltenham. Not the best time to be taking part in a challenge on the radio, but I did my best.  I put up a good fight, but sadly, the team beat me, 7 to 5 points. At least it wasn’t a thrashing!

It was great fun, and we all enjoyed it. A good piece of PR for us all, as I was able to introduce each of my team members, sharing what they did. Also, good for me, because I reacted promptly and enthusiastically when asked to take part.

However, they probably came to me, because I already have a good relationship with the radio station, and regularly take part in discussions and other programmes when I’m deemed to be a suitable guest. Plus, I also suggest clients to them when they are looking for people to talk about specific issues – I will always try to help.

Thanks to my loss, all of the team now own BBC Wiltshire mugs to drink their morning coffee or tea! And I’m in recovery from consuming an olive. It still baffles me how anyone can like them!

The result is here –

  • Next week I’m talking about ‘what Christmas really means to me’.