Music · On my radio · Trivia

One Thousand Rounds of Pop Master

Here, for the third year in a row, is a summary of my time spent listening to Pop Master, the mid-morning quiz on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2. This piece from 2017 (“100 Rounds of Pop Master”) explains the format of the quiz, and notes that this is the most listened-to slot on UK radio, outside of Breakfast Shows. Every Monday to Friday, at 10.30am, around 7.5 million people tune in, a greater audience than any other radio station, or indeed any TV station, attracts at that time of day.

This piece from June 2018 summarizes my scores from hearing 600 rounds of Pop Master, either live or on the iPlayer. Now, thanks to a recent catch-up on the BBC Sounds App, I am up to 500 consecutive quizzes (1,000 consecutive rounds), up to and including last Thursday (11 April 2019). It’s a nice round number, so this seems like a good time to post an updated set of figures from the spreadsheet that I use to record the information. The starting point for it all, as in the earlier pieces, is 17 April 2017 (Easter Monday that year). As usual, these findings are for my benefit, if for nobody else’s. The raw data is in a table at the end of this post.

As before, the figure that interests me most is how many times I have achieved the maximum score of 39. It’s 330, or 33.0% of the time. After 600 rounds my average was better, at 34.6%. 39 is still my Mode score, the one that I have achieved more than any other, but either the questions have got harder or I have got worse. I think it’s the former. I have achieved the maximum score most often during the first round on Mondays (41 times out of 101), which is a change from the last analysis, when the first round on Friday was my most productive time. Last time I checked, the second round on Friday was my least productive time, but that has also changed. It’s now the second round on Tuesdays (only 22 maximum scores out of a possible 100).

Overall my average per round is now 34.30 points, down slightly from last time (34.57). My highest for a specific time in the week is the second round on Wednesdays (35.15), and my lowest is for the second round on Tuesdays (33.45)

The answer to each question is worth either 6 points (for a Bonus) or 3 points (for a regular question), so scores are usually in multiples of 3, but not always. Ken will sometimes give 2 points for a Bonus answer that is part-right, or 1 point for an answer to a regular question that is part-right. This might happen if a question requires the name of an artist and the title of a song, but the contestant only gets one part of it right. The following table shows how many different scores I have achieved, and how often, from a high of 39 to a low of 15. (My lowest score, in the first 600 rounds, was 21.)

Score How many times
39 330
36 192
35 2
33 234
32 4
30 122
29 1
27 70
26 1
24 31
21 11
18 1
15 1

The highest average score over the course of a single week was 37.2 (week ending Friday 26 January 2018, and again week ending 15 February 2019). The lowest average was 29.9 (week ending Friday 16 November 2018).

I had hoped to draft a separate piece about the kind of questions that have given me most problems over the years, but have still not done so. It’s often the recent releases that trip me up, even when I have heard them. At the start of this month I did not know that “No One” was a recent single by Jess Glynne (that cost me a maximum score on Wednesday 3 April) or that George Ezra’s latest is called “Shining Happy People” (that cost me a maximum score on Monday 1 April).

I will, however, post a piece listing the “3 in 10” part of the quiz, where the winning contestant has 10 seconds to name 3 Top 75 hits by a specific act. [Here it is, initially up to April 2019, to be updated fromt time to time.]

Here is the table of raw data, showing week by week all scores from 17 April 2017 to 11 April 2019.

[M1 = Monday Round 1, M2 = Monday Round 2, Tu = Tuesday Round 1, and so on. X=Christmas Day.][Cl = Champions League Pop Master, different scoring system to regular Pop Master.]

W/E M1 M2 Tu1 Tu2 W1 W2 Th1 Th2 F1 F2 Total Ave
21/04/2017 33 39 21 33 24 39 33 30 39 33 324 32.40
28/04/2017 30 33 30 24 21 39 36 33 27 33 306 30.60
05/05/2017 32 39 27 39 39 39 33 27 39 33 347 34.70
12/05/2017 36 21 39 24 39 33 30 36 39 27 324 32.40
19/05/2017 33 32 39 39 36 33 39 33 36 30 350 35.00
26/05/2017 39 36 21 39 33 27 36 39 39 30 339 33.90
02/06/2017 39 36 30 39 36 36 36 27 33 36 348 34.80
09/06/2017 27 24 24 27 39 33 27 39 39 36 315 31.50
16/06/2017 33 21 36 30 33 39 33 36 36 33 330 33.00
23/06/2017 36 36 30 39 33 39 33 24 33 39 342 34.20
30/06/2017 39 33 39 39 33 39 39 33 33 36 363 36.30
07/07/2017 39 33 39 30 39 39 39 36 39 30 363 36.30
14/07/2017 36 39 33 30 39 36 39 30 39 36 357 35.70
21/07/2017 39 30 39 39 33 30 33 33 36 33 345 34.50
28/07/2017 36 35 39 33 33 27 36 33 36 36 344 34.40
04/08/2017 33 36 39 33 39 33 39 39 39 33 363 36.30
11/08/2017 33 39 27 39 39 39 39 36 36 39 366 36.60
18/08/2017 39 39 33 39 39 33 24 36 39 33 354 35.40
25/08/2017 30 30 36 33 24 36 39 39 36 36 339 33.90
01/09/2017 33 27 33 39 39 30 33 33 24 33 324 32.40
08/09/2017 33 39 36 33 27 33 33 36 39 30 339 33.90
15/09/2017 30 39 33 36 33 36 39 36 39 33 354 35.40
22/09/2017 30 39 39 30 33 39 27 33 39 33 342 34.20
29/09/2017 39 27 36 30 39 39 33 36 33 39 351 35.10
06/10/2017 27 39 39 33 39 33 39 36 39 39 363 36.30
13/10/2017 39 36 36 27 27 39 36 39 24 36 339 33.90
20/10/2017 33 27 36 33 36 39 39 33 30 33 339 33.90
27/10/2017 39 39 39 36 36 33 30 30 39 30 351 35.10
03/11/2017 39 30 30 36 33 39 33 39 36 33 348 34.80
10/11/2017 39 33 33 39 39 39 39 39 33 36 369 36.90
17/11/2017 33 39 39 33 30 33 36 33 36 33 345 34.50
24/11/2017 36 36 39 24 30 33 36 33 39 30 336 33.60
01/12/2017 39 39 33 27 33 36 30 36 33 27 333 33.30
08/12/2017 33 39 39 30 39 39 33 30 39 39 360 36.00
15/12/2017 39 36 39 30 Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl 144 36.00
22/12/2017 Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl
29/12/2017 X X 36 30 36 27 39 36 33 39 276 34.50
05/01/2018 33 39 33 33 36 39 39 33 27 30 342 34.20
12/01/2018 27 33 39 39 36 39 39 33 39 33 357 35.70
19/01/2018 39 39 39 30 36 24 39 36 30 36 348 34.80
26/01/2018 39 36 33 39 39 36 39 39 39 33 372 37.20
02/02/2018 39 33 33 36 39 33 33 36 36 39 357 35.70
09/02/2018 33 39 32 30 30 39 36 36 39 30 344 34.40
16/02/2018 36 33 36 36 36 33 36 36 39 36 357 35.70
23/02/2018 39 30 33 33 33 30 30 36 36 36 336 33.60
02/03/2018 33 27 39 33 33 33 33 39 30 33 333 33.30
09/03/2018 39 36 30 36 39 36 39 39 27 33 354 35.40
16/03/2018 33 33 39 39 36 33 39 27 39 39 357 35.70
23/03/2018 36 27 30 33 24 36 39 39 27 27 318 31.80
30/03/2018 39 36 39 36 39 29 39 30 36 36 359 35.90
06/04/2018 30 33 33 39 30 36 36 36 39 27 339 33.90
13/04/2018 33 39 39 39 33 30 33 36 39 36 357 35.70
20/04/2018 36 27 39 36 33 39 36 36 33 33 348 34.80
27/04/2018 30 39 33 39 24 36 30 36 39 21 327 32.70
04/05/2018 30 27 39 36 39 39 36 39 39 30 354 35.40
11/05/2018 39 30 27 33 39 33 39 33 39 39 351 35.10
18/05/2018 39 39 24 33 39 30 39 39 36 39 357 35.70
25/05/2018 39 33 30 36 33 27 33 36 33 39 339 33.90
01/06/2018 24 39 33 36 21 39 39 39 39 33 342 34.20
08/06/2018 39 39 30 24 27 36 27 30 33 39 324 32.40
15/06/2018 30 36 27 39 39 36 30 39 30 39 345 34.50
22/06/2018 27 33 39 36 39 39 33 33 39 33 351 35.10
29/06/2018 30 30 33 30 39 33 36 33 33 30 327 32.70
06/07/2018 39 21 30 30 30 36 30 39 27 30 312 31.20
13/07/2018 33 39 24 33 36 36 33 39 39 39 351 35.10
20/07/2018 39 36 33 39 39 36 24 33 39 24 342 34.20
27/07/2018 27 36 24 33 36 39 33 33 36 39 336 33.60
03/08/2018 30 21 27 39 39 39 33 39 30 39 336 33.60
10/08/2018 39 36 39 30 33 36 36 30 33 30 342 34.20
17/08/2018 33 33 33 33 33 36 33 30 27 27 318 31.80
24/08/2018 39 24 39 33 39 36 27 33 33 39 342 34.20
31/08/2018 39 33 39 33 36 27 33 24 39 33 336 33.60
07/09/2018 36 33 21 36 30 39 30 33 39 36 333 33.30
14/09/2018 39 36 39 27 33 36 39 39 33 39 360 36.00
21/09/2018 33 39 39 24 36 36 33 30 33 36 339 33.90
28/09/2018 30 39 24 33 30 30 39 15 30 39 309 30.90
05/10/2018 36 36 36 33 33 36 36 36 36 39 357 35.70
12/10/2018 33 39 33 36 24 36 27 36 30 33 327 32.70
19/10/2018 39 39 30 30 33 39 33 39 30 36 348 34.80
26/10/2018 27 39 39 33 27 39 30 39 30 33 336 33.60
02/11/2018 39 39 30 33 30 36 39 30 33 27 336 33.60
09/11/2018 36 33 36 39 39 39 27 36 27 30 342 34.20
16/11/2018 27 30 27 21 36 33 26 39 30 30 299 29.90
23/11/2018 39 39 39 30 39 39 36 36 39 27 363 36.30
30/11/2018 33 33 36 33 39 39 30 27 30 39 339 33.90
07/12/2018 27 33 30 36 27 33 39 39 39 30 333 33.30
14/12/2018 30 39 Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl 69 34.50
21/12/2018 Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl n/a n/a
28/12/2018 39 33 X X 39 39 30 39 27 39 285 35.63
04/01/2019 33 33 33 36 39 33 39 33 39 33 351 35.10
11/01/2019 33 39 27 33 30 30 36 24 39 33 324 32.40
18/01/2019 39 36 39 36 27 33 33 30 30 39 342 34.20
25/01/2019 24 36 30 30 30 39 30 39 33 36 327 32.70
01/02/2019 39 39 39 33 33 33 30 36 33 39 354 35.40
08/02/2019 39 24 33 36 35 30 27 39 36 39 338 33.80
15/02/2019 39 36 39 36 36 39 39 36 39 33 372 37.20
22/02/2019 36 39 33 33 30 39 39 33 36 39 357 35.70
01/03/2019 36 27 39 36 30 27 39 39 33 27 333 33.30
08/03/2019 24 30 39 27 39 33 39 33 33 39 336 33.60
15/03/2019 39 36 39 36 27 33 33 36 36 39 354 35.40
22/03/2019 39 36 18 30 39 33 33 33 27 33 321 32.10
29/03/2019 39 33 33 24 36 39 39 27 33 39 342 34.20
05/04/2019 36 39 33 30 36 39 36 36 32 36 353 35.30
12/04/2019 39 39 36 39 33 36 39 33 294 36.00

[M1 = Monday Round 1, M2 = Monday Round 2, Tu = Tuesday Round 1, and so on. X=Christmas Day.]
[Cl = Champions League Pop Master, different scoring system to regular Pop Master.]

 

 

 

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