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Being on Pointless can’t be easy.
There’s the glare of the lights, the presence of the cameras and – most importantly – not wanting to disappoint presenters Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman with a daft answer. Yes, the pressure can get to even the cleverest contestants.
Unlike most quiz shows, there’s no passing in Pointless. You have to say something – anything – when presented with the category board. Even if it’s ‘Fruits beginning with the letter J’.
So let’s all spare a thought for these seven people who gave these amusing answers when they stepped up to the podium…
1. The end of a friendship
When Sarah, who lives in England and studied A-Level Geography, couldn’t name a country that ends with two consonants it was pretty embarrassing.
What made it worse was that she gave the answer Paris - neither a country, nor does it end in two consonants.
However, the ultimate pay-off was the reaction of her friend and teammate. It was truly priceless.
2. Shooting star
In a round all about historical assassinations, one contestant decided to answer the clue: ‘Assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas’ with two letters: 'JR'.
Alexander Armstrong struggled to hold back the laughter, while Richard Osman held his head in his hands
He of course was referring to JR Ewing from TV show Dallas, rather than the correct answer, US President John F Kennedy.
As the audience tittered, Osman said: “But that’s good, because people often ask ‘What’s the funniest answer you’ve ever had on Pointless?’, and now I shall remember this.”
3. Say what you see
If you really don’t have a clue with the board you’re presented with on Pointless, there’s little you can do about it.
When former Strictly Come Dancing professional Erin Boag had to say which comedian was famous for playing the character of Randy Mandy, she was stumped.
Backed into a corner and told to say the name of any comedian, she took a leaf out of Roy Walker’s book and decided to say what she saw. Much to his delight, Erin’s answer was Alexander Armstrong.
Needless to say, she scored 100 points and was put right with the correct answer of Dick Emery.
4. Coast busters
When one contestant was asked to name a US state with a coastline, their answer was Mexico – which is of course a country and not a part of America at all.
Although if we were to try and take away some positives here, we’d say that Mexico does at least have a coastline and it is near the US. At least they least they didn’t say Moscow.
5. Funny bunny
Countries are tricky so and sos, and sadly you can’t answer every question with ‘Central African Republic’ (the programme’s all-time most ‘pointless’ country when given as an answer!).
When one contestant was asked to name a country ending with a vowel, they gallantly came up with Angora – the hair made from a species of rabbit. They, of course, meant to say Andorra.
6. He zed what?!
Asked to name words ending in ‘z’ on Pointless would be hard enough. So spare a thought for the contestants who were tasked with coming up with an answer to ‘Words ending in zz’.
We’ll spare your blushes as to what this contestant’s answer was. But suffice to say, he got an encouraging round of applause from the audience, and managed to score an impressive 7 with his answer. So maybe he wasn’t so silly after all.
See the answer he gave in the clip below:
7. Swiss miss
In a round of ‘Famous Williams’, there’s one overriding and obvious answer that you’d expect to see up there: William Shakespeare.
However, arguably Britain’s most famous playwright had eluded one Pointless contestant, who was tasked with answering who wrote Hamlet.
Their answer? The Swiss folk figure, William Tell.