Rachel Riley: Can you take on star’s mammoth 100-question quiz?


Rachel Riley: Can you take on star’s mammoth 100-question quiz?

The nation is turning to quizzing in lockdown – and who better to test our general knowledge than maths expert Rachel Riley?

As Sky launches three factual TV channels – Sky Nature, Sky Documentaries and Sky HISTORY – the presenter is hosting a “national general knowledge test” to get our grey matter in gear during the coronavirus lockdown.

Made up of 100 questions people should know the answers to, according to the brains behind the test, there are sections on everything from geography and history to popular culture and arts and literature – although, sadly, no Countdown maths round.

You can see how you get on with the 10 questions deemed the toughest below.

Currently in lockdown with her husband – Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev, their five-month-old daughter Maven, and her mother-in-law – who was visiting from Russia when flights were cancelled due to the pandemic – Riley tells Sky News she hopes one of the positives to come out of the COVID-19 lockdown is an increased thirst for learning.

“I hope so. I mean, this challenge [coronavirus] has certainly brought out our value in experts,” she says. “We’ve needed experts the whole way through this to guide us through. And as more knowledge has come through, advice has been changing and we’ve been seeing the scientific method in action and it’s hopefully saved lives.

“But more than that as well, in lockdown, I think loads of people have just turned to quizzes for having a bit of fun.

“I mean, we can’t get together, but a quiz is a great way to… go online, go on Zoom, go on FaceTime or whatever and friends and family can have a good old quiz without being in the same room.

“I think we’ve seen across the country, loads of different quizzes have been happening, whether it’s just a private one or with some kind of organisation. I think everyone’s fallen in love with quizzing again.”

Quiz popularity is soaring, with more than a third of people saying it has now become a weekly routine while we are all stuck indoors, according to a study of more than 2,000 people commissioned by Sky.

As a maths graduate and the numbers star on Countdown, sums are clearly Riley’s area of expertise. But are there any other subjects she’s quietly confident about?

“Well, I did Mastermind and I tried to stay away from anything mathsy because I didn’t want my career to be at stake,” she jokes. “I did Manchester United. I love football, [I’m] missing a bit of football at the moment, but also wildlife and animals.

“One of the reasons I wanted to be involved in this campaign is that I love wildlife shows, and there’s a new one coming out all about baby animals. So anything to do with animals.”

During her research, Riley has been learning about all sorts of things – including some interesting facts about octopuses.

“How many hearts does an octopus have? (3) I had no idea… I had a little Google and then I found out that they could have up to nine brains as well.

“So, kind of interesting. If we are ever allowed down the pub again it’s something to entertain your mates with over a pint.”

Tonight, Riley will be hosting an Instagram Live with stars including comedian Russell Howard, magician Dynamo and diver Tom Daley, to put their general knowledge to the test.

Viewers can join in and also take the general knowledge test themselves online now.

While she helped curate the 100 questions, she admits she didn’t know the answers to all of them.

“There were definitely questions I didn’t know the answer to. If I knew [all] the answers that would just be a bit weird.”

Sky Documentaries, Sky Nature and Sky HISTORY are available now, free for Sky customers

(c) Sky News 2020: Rachel Riley: Can you take on star’s mammoth 100-question quiz?