1. In arguably the year’s most viral moment, Coleen Rooney was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” for taking to Twitter and Instagram to accuse fellow Wag Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories to the press. She cited three false stories that she sent to Vardy alone, all of which subsequently leaked to the Sun. Which of the below was not among those false stories?
a. The story about gender selection in Mexico
b. The story about returning to TV
c. The story about a hotel in Vancouver
d. The story about basement flooding in her new house
2. In October, Morrissey performed in Los Angeles wearing what controversial garb?
a. Boot-cut jeans and black shoes
b. A real fur jacket smeared with mink blood
c. A black vest saying “Fuck the Guardian”
d. A full SS uniform
3. Lord Buckethead, who contested the Maidenhead constituency against Theresa May in 2017, took up a challenge for Uxbridge against Boris Johnson and another Buckethead this month, under which new identity?
a. Viscount Basket-Cheeks
b. Count Binface
c. Earl Toiletchops
d. King Recyclingchin
4. Who described London as “not an English city any more” in May?
a. John Cleese, who lives in Nevis in the Caribbean
b. Morrissey, who lives in Los Angeles
c. Prince Andrew, who lives in hiding
d. Lewis Hamilton, who lives in Monaco
5. In March, JK Rowling revealed that her characters Dumbledore and Grindelwald were once lovers. Which of the following is not a revelation Rowling has made about her series since its completion?
a. Dolores Umbridge ended up in Azkaban prison
b. Wizards used to eschew toilets in favour of defecating where they stood and using magic to vanish their waste
c. Hagrid voted for Brexit
d. Wizards prefer not to wear trousers
6. In October, which 90s TV icon provoked such a stir when they joined Instagram that their arrival caused the social media platform to crash?
a. Dani Behr
b. Jennifer Aniston
c. Mr Motivator
d. The old Channel 4 logo
7. As part of his defence against defamation charges this year, what did Elon Musk argue was a common phrase in his native South Africa, and should not be taken as a literal and libelous pejorative?
a. Gun runner
b. Convicted fraudster
c. Pedo guy
d. Giant triangular space truck
8. Legendary newsreader Peter Sissons died in October. Which pair of notable figures were in his class at school in Liverpool?
a. John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck
b. Ringo Starr and Emlyn Hughes
c. George Harrison and Cilla Black
d. Paul McCartney and Ken Dodd
9. After his heroics at the Cricket World Cup, England’s Ben Stokes was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In 2014, his teammates gave him the nickname “The Hurt Locker”, but for what reason?
a. He motivates himself before every match by watching Kathryn Bigelow’s 2009 war movie of the same name
b. In a fit of frustration, he once punched a locker so hard he fractured his finger
c. Before becoming a sportsman, he trained to be an explosives technician in the army
d. His habit of wearing bulky overcoats so large they might be bombproof
10. Dolly Parton’s America was a breakout podcast hit in 2019, taking us through the life and times of Sevierville, Tennessee’s – and possibly Earth’s – greatest champion. Parton’s upbringing was so poor, it’s said her parents paid for her birth by which means?
a. Gave the doctor a sack of oatmeal
b. Promised the hospital a concert when she was old enough to sing
c. Robbed a post office of $4.57
d. Donated a third of their blood
11. The standout indie video game of this year was a quiet, wistful adventure concerning a mischievous animal of the genus Anser, and its various misdeeds in a small market town. What was its name?
a. Untitled Goose Game
b. What the Duck
c. It’s Raining Hen
d. Cock of the Walk
12. One of 2019’s pop sensations was redoubtable teen Billie Eilish. What is the singer’s full name?
a. Billie Eusebio Eilish McNamara
b. Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell
c. Linda Billie Eilish Dalglish Devenney
d. Billie Zangief Datsun Eilish O’Reilly
13. Maura Higgins became a breakout star on ITV’s Love Island, thanks in part to which pelvically inclined catchphrase?
a. Fanny flutters
b. Leg sweats
c. Vaginal sea-sickness
d. Gee gripe
14. Which of the following claims about the UK’s bestselling album of 2019 is true?
a. It’s entirely in French
b. It’s an audiobook of the Bible
c. It has been banned from play on the BBC due to its hardline Irish republican lyrics
d. It’s a film soundtrack that was released in 2017
15. At time of writing, the top five music videos by YouTube hits this year are all in Spanish. Just one comes from Spain, Rosalía’s Con Altura. The remaining four are by artists from which small territory in the Caribbean (population 3.2m)?
a. Puerto Rico
c. The Bahamas
d. The US Virgin Islands
16. Twitter user Willie McNabb became one of the year’s most widespread and irrepressible memes when he argued assault weapons were necessary for rural Americans, due to which clear and present threat?
a. Eight buffalo which have pursued him for an hour
b. A dozen wild turkeys crossing his threshold over a 20-minute period
c. 30-50 feral hogs, known to run into his yard within 3-5 minutes
d. A thousand wasps following him up a ladder for a full week
17. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Bernard Arnault have each been the world’s richest person at some point in 2019, with each of their fortunes topping at approximately $110bn. Discounting interest or inflation, were you to be given $1 every second, how long would it take you to reach that number?
a. Approximately 35 years
b. Approximately 350 years
c. Approximately 3,500 years
d. Approximately 35,000 years
18. In a first for the competition, 2019’s Man Booker Prize was awarded to two authors, Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo. Some critics felt the higher profile of Atwood’s The Testaments would dampen name recognition for Evaristo’s book. What is its title?
a. Man, Boy, King
b. Girl, Woman, Other
c. Up, Down, Sideways
d. Over, Under, Out
19. Lil Nas X smashed the record for most consecutive weeks at Number One in the Billboard Charts this year, with 19 consecutive weeks at the top. What was the name of his rap/country mega-hit?
a. Old Town Road
b. Big City Streets
c. Long Dirt Lane
d. The A6 Chorley Bypass, Park Road End
20. “OK, boomer” became an online retort by millennials in 2019. The term “millennial” was coined by sociologists William Strauss and Neil Howe, but it and “baby boomer” are just two of the six generations they outline for people born in the 20th century. Which of the following is not?
a. The GI Generation
b. The Lost Generation
c. The Silent Generation
d. Generation Z
21. In April of this year, the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump had reached 10,000 “false or misleading claims” during his presidency. Which of the following lies was not attributable to the president this year?
a. That his Bronx-born father was born in Germany
b. That wind farms cause cancer
c. That he offered to buy Greenland
d. That a Category 5 hurricane was scheduled to hit Alabama
22. While we’re on the subject, who said of Donald Trump in February: “He’s done more for America than we can ever imagine”?
a. Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton
b. Former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, Crystal Palace, Everton and England manager Sam Allardyce
c. Former Eurovision winner, Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker
d. Former CBBC host Andi Peters
23. The inaugural Cash Fest took place in Nashville, Tennessee, this November, celebrating Johnny Cash, some 13 years after his death. Which of the following about the Man in Black is true?
a. He sold honey made from bees that formed a hive in his first guitar
b. He was the first American to hear the news of Joseph Stalin’s death
c. He actually preferred to pay by card
d. He invented the technology that eventually became Autotune
24. Oxford Dictionaries has named which two-word term its “word of the year” following a global rise in its usage of 10,796% since 2018?
a. Border wall
b. Brexit Britain
c. Fake news
d. Climate emergency
25. This year, for the sixth International Woman’s Day (8 March) in a row, comedian Richard Herring answered cries of “why is there no International Men’s Day?” by publicising its date, and raising more than £120,000 for charity Refuge. To avoid future confusion, when is International Men’s Day?
a. 14 May
b. 19 June
c. 19 August
d. 19 November
26. Which of the following is not a real thing that new Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho has said in an interview?
a. “Young players are like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100% sure that the melon is good”
b. “You may as well put a cow in the middle of the pitch, walking. And then stop the game because there was a cow”
c. “If they made a film of my life, I think they should get George Clooney to play me. He’s a fantastic actor and my wife thinks he would be ideal”
d. “I’m the Special One”
27. The UK’s most watched football match drew an audience of 11.7 million in 2019, but which two teams were playing?
a. Aston Villa and Derby County
b. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur
c. England and USA
d. Flamengo and River Plate
28. HBO mega-hit Game of Thrones finally ended in May. Numbers service Statista suggests that 5,863 people were shown to be killed in the show’s eight years on screen. How many characters from the first episode are confirmed to be still alive by the climax?
d. None, including us, its viewers
29. Childish Gambino and Kacey Musgraves tied for most wins at February’s Grammy Awards, with four each. Only one of the following acts has ever won a Grammy. Who is it?
a. Diana Ross
c. Katy Perry
d. Kanye West
30. How did Kim Jong-Un describe Joe Biden in 2019?
a. “Surprisingly down to earth, and very funny”
b. “A dirty rat, who should be drowned in a cellar”
c. “A lazy horse, who should have ginger put in his anus”
d. “A rabid dog, who should be beaten to death with a stick.”
1. c) ‘The story about a Canadian hotel’ was not mentioned by Coleen Rooney, but her husband did separately accuse the Sun of running ‘a smear’ involving him and a young woman in a Vancouver hotel
2. c) A black vest saying ‘Fuck the Guardian’
3. b) Count Binface. The ersatz Lord had to retire his former moniker due to a legal challenge from the director of the film Gremloids, whence he originally took the name
4. a) John Cleese, who lives in Nevis in the Caribbean
5. c) Hagrid voted for Brexit. JK Rowling has, mercifully, refrained from clarifying the 2016 voting of any of her characters
6. b) Jennifer Aniston
7. c) Pedo guy
8. a) John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck
9. b) He punched a locker
10. a) They gave the doctor a sack of oatmeal
11. a) Untitled Goose Game. Honk, and indeed, honk!
12. b) Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell
13. a) Fanny flutters
14. d) It’s a film soundtrack that was released in 2017, The Greatest Showman
15. a) Puerto Rico. They are Con Calma (1.6bn views) by Daddy Yankee; China (928m) and Secreto (910m) both by Anuel AA; and No Me Conoce (Remix) (830m) by Jhay Cortez
16. c) 30-50 feral hogs, known to run into his yard within 3-5 minutes
17. c) Approximately 3,500 years
18. b) Girl, Woman, Other
19. a) Old Town Road
20. d) Generation Z. That grouping were all born in, or after, the mid-2000s.
21. c) That he offered to buy Greenland. He has in fact done so
22. b) Former Bolton etc manager Sam Allardyce. ‘He’s a businessman isn’t he,’ continued the man who left the England job when news of his own questionable business arrangements were revealed, ‘he knows when the time is right to get the deal done or not’
23. b) He was the first American to hear the news of Joseph Stalin’s death, having intercepted the news from Soviet communications while working as a radio operator at Landsberg US Air Force Base, in Germany
24. d) Climate emergency
25. d) 19 November, so don’t forget it next year
26. d) He actually said: ‘I’m a Special One’
27. c) England and USA, in the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup that drew an audience of 11.7m on BBC 1
28. a) Five: Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Bran Stark and Tyrion Lannister
29. d) Kanye West has 21
30. d) ‘A rabid dog, who should be beaten to death with a stick.’ A statement so strong it prompted Donald Trump to magnanimously tweet: ‘Joe Biden may be sleepy and very slow, but he is not a rabid dog. He is actually somewhat better than that’
Special thanks to Dara O’Reilly for additional Big Brothering on even more questions than last year
Source: The Guardian