Documentary on One

They Didn't Suit You

The world of a laughing Irish 'quizzer' - John Nolan runs table quizzes, he hosts a quiz show on his local radio station and he's competing at the European Quizzing Championships in Liverpool - Does he have what it takes to win?

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Documentary Maker : Brendan Daly

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They Didn't Suit You

John Nolan is a ‘quizzer’: a self-confessed table quiz addict. As well as setting and competing in table quizzes, he hosts a weekly quiz show, After the Fact, on Claremorris Community Radio, he is co-founder of the Irish Quiz Organisation, and he runs his own blog, – subtitled ‘My adventures in quizzing’.

His addiction once nearly caused him to upstage the bride at a friend’s wedding. Dashing from a tablequiz to the church, John arrived just before she did: when the congregation turned around to see the bride, they saw John and his quiz partner walking up the aisle. John’s ambition is to compete on the international stage.

They Didn’t Suit You follows John’s journey to the world’s biggest table quiz: the European Quizzing Championships. Over three intense days, 200 quizzers from across the world – not just Europe – jostle to answer questions about magnesium chloride, an endangered Kyrgyzstani antelope, Roseanne Barr, an Ecuadorian rap artist, Hermann Göring, and a transgender Bosnian supermodel.

Attempting to offer a glimpse into a closeted world, we meet the fierce competition faced by John: winners of the TV quiz shows Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Mastermind.

We track John’s fortunes as he leads the Ireland ‘B’ team into battle against their main rivals: The Dubliners. We learn about the sacrifices demanded of elite quizzing, and we discover how quiz junkies relax after 15 hours of quizzing.

What makes someone want to spend three days of their life holed up at a quizzing festival groping for answers to ridiculously difficult questions? What kind of training is required to emerge victorious? And is it just about competing or is it about forming friendships with other quiz addicts and even finding love? They Didn’t Suit You tries to find the answers.

Documentary-maker, Brendan Daly, accompanied John to Liverpool to meet some of the smartest people in the world and to find out what they do when they're not quizzing - you may be surprised.

John Nolan's quizzing blog is

Click here for more information on the Irish Quiz Organisation.

Click here for more information on the International Quizzing Association.

First Broadcast 11th January 2014

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