Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eight days, and counting

In eight days time I'll be facing John Humphrys across a darkened Mastermind studio and spouting my knowledge - or lack of it - about Soviet rocket engineer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.

It's getting close now and the gaps in my knowledge appear to be widening not shrinking.

I operate best as a storyteller and can spin the yarn of the Chief Designer's life and achievements until the cows have probably circled the earth many more times than Yuri Gagarin (...well ok, he only went round once, and didn't actually complete a full orbit). Where it all goes hazy is on two fronts: dates and science...a bit of a handicap methinks.

If I'm asked questions about the key facts and personalities around SP's life, about Sputnik, Vostok, the R7, Voskhod and the N1, fine. If it's stuff around the chemical formula in the mix of Gluschko's rocket engines, or the precise apogee of Sputnik 5, there'll be a fair few passes.

I'm under no illusions about my Mastermind appearance: my delight (and slight terror) is just making it to the show. When I did the Weakest Link, I felt I could win and most certainly wanted to. I will be VERY VERY fortunate to get beyond my Mastermind heat, and could very easily finish a distant fourth.

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