Shotley Open Spacers Scramble Eggheads

A quiz team from Shotley have created history by not only beating the mighty Eggheads but by answering every single answer correctly in the process.

Shotley Open Spacers became the first team of challengers to complete the feat in more than 1,800 episodes and took home the prize fund of £11,000.

Captained by Derek Davis, a freelance journalist and Babergh district councillor, Shotley Open Spacers stunned the Eggheads and host Jeremy Vine, as one by one they won their particular categories and became just the fourth team to get all their players into the final round and win.

Derek Davis, Gary Richens, a retired engineer and SOS chairman, Bristol Arms landlord and top chef Shane Rolin, retired wildlife expert and community legend Ian Peters, and retired teachers and valuable SOS committee members Marian and Geraint Pugh, filmed the show in Glasgow in January 2018. 

They were up against Chris Hughes, a Mastermind and International Mastermind champion and former Brain of Britain winner, Pat Gibson, who is a four-time world quiz champion and won £1million on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, Lisa Thiel who got to the final of the Weakest Link and The Chase, Barry Simmons, another Brain of Britain winner and won £64,000 on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, and Beth Webster, who holds the record for most appearances by a woman on Mastermind and competes in the UK Quizzing Grand Prix circuit.

When asked by Jeremy Vine what the SOS strategy was he was told: “Just to get all the answers right.”

Jeremy also wanted to know the secret to their success and Derek the skipper quipped: “A few beers and a quiz game on the train coming up.”

Derek said afterwards: “It was great fun and we were amazed to be told we were the first team ever to answer every single question correctly.

“We went there to promote the Shotley peninsula and highlight the good work Shotley Open Spaces does for our community.

“It has been purgatory waiting for more than a year not being able to tell anyone how we got on, but now I hope everyone enjoyed watching the show and will be inspired to give it a go themselves.”

Although all the SOS players enjoy quizzes, none are in a regular team but take part in random quizzes at the Bristol Arms and Shotley village hall.

If you would like to take on the victorious Egghead beaters in a charity quiz please contact one of the Shotley Open Spacers or call Derek on 07824167196 or email

Egghead facts:

  • The programme first aired in November 2003
  • The biggest prize won was £75,000
  • Jeremy Vine first started hosting the show in 2008, eventually taking over from Dermot Murnaghan
  • In series 10, episode 91, the Cartoonists became the first team to get all five members to the final round
  • Shotley Open Spacers’ victory took the total prize money paid out to £2.016million
  • In Series 20, episode 81, Shotley Open Spacers became the first team of Challengers ever to answer every question correctly

** The Recording

Shotley Open Spacers travelled by train from Ipswich to Glasgow via Peterborough and Edinburgh and stayed in a decent hotel, all paid for and organised by the production company.

An early morning call and we went by taxi to the BBC studios, with views down the River Clyde, where we were briefed by Ellie and her team. Then it was into make-up, some us needed more than others. 

It was then sound checks and further instructions and last minute adjustments of mics and clothing before we were all asked to introduce ourselves to camera.

In came Jeremy Vine and what a professional the was, putting us all at ease before getting things underway with Derek going up against Chris first.

It was nail-biting stuff s one by one we knocked out our individual Eggheads leaving just Lisa to face us all in the final, with Marian, who had not had to face an Egghead, our spokesperson. The rest, as they say, is history.

Watch again on BBC iplayer

To become an Egghead team of challengers, go to: 12-yard Productions 

© Copyright Shotley Peninsula News and Features