Celebrations as Haywards Heath quiz team star in national show

(From left): Pub quizzers Mark Skinner, Mary McDowell and Mark Thompson
(From left): Pub quizzers Mark Skinner, Mary McDowell and Mark Thompson

The celebrations were in full swing for a Haywards Heath quiz team who starred in a national television show.

Despite never winning a pub quiz together trio Mark Skinner, Mary McDowell and Mark Thomson decided to pit their wits against some of the nation’s best in Al Murray’s Great British Pub Quiz.

Representing the Burrell Arms, in Haywards Heath, the team battled against fellow quizzers through rounds of questions before being crowned champions in front of thousands of witnesses.

Mr Skinner said: “I can’t believe we actually won it. I was shocked really especially when we saw the opposition.”

The group have been competing together in quizzes at the Burrells for many years. However, the idea to take on a greater challenge was that of seasoned television gameshow competitor Mark Skinner.

The tiler has spent a lot of time in front of the camera, appearing on multiple television gamshows including Deal or No Deal, Cannonball and Alan Carr’s I Don’t Like Mondays.

He said: “Obviously this one came up and doing the pub quiz down the Burrells we thought why not. We thought if we are going to win one we might as well win one on TV.

“It was like a massive whirlwind and it flew by so quickly. I was really shocked to win but really fun at the same time.”

The show itself is hosted by the pub landlord Al Murray and sees teams from across the country compete against one another in a trivia battle to be crowned the best pub quiz team.

The Burrells trio, captained by comedian Ed Byrne, were up against experienced quizzers from The Manor House pub in Coventry, captained by fellow comedian Kerry Godliman.

The competition was close run with the Burrells starting well. The Manor House battled back in the final round however, despite the late comeback team Burrell claimed victory by 24 points to 20.

Mr Thomson said: “We were all shocked to be honest. We have never won the Burrell pub quiz so it was ironic we won Al Murray’s.”

A special screening of the show was held at the Burrell Arms as it aired live on Quest last Thursday evening.

The team took home £1,000 in cash as well as the coveted Great British Pub Quiz tankard which will now be kept on display at the pub.