Wednesday, 11 September 2013


The Inductees into the Irish Broadcasting Hall of Fame for 2013 are Radio
Jim will be forever associated with RTE's rugby coverage both on radio and television. Despite his versatility it was his match commentaries on International and domestic games that will be long remembered. He also had stints reading the news on RTE TV and presenting quiz shows including Cross Country Quiz. He is often heard on nostalgia shows as the lead swimming commentator of Michelle Smith's tainted Olympic swims in 1996.
Brendan was born in 1945 in Dublin. In 1964 he joined Radio Eireann and was heard on air until his retirement in 2010. From 1999 until his retirement he was in charge of music policy at RTE Radio 1. In 1986 he won a Jacob’s Award for the documentary series ‘The Spice of Life’ and from 1998 – 2001 he was the radio host for RTE’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. In March 2008 Brendan presented the final RTE Radio programme broadcast on medium wave. In 2007 Brendan launched his autobiography ‘Radio Man’.
After an early career in the Irish Army during the Second World War, John joined Radio Eireann in the early 1960’s. In 1962 following the launch of the new television service John moved to television from radio as a reporter on the programme ‘Broadsheet’. In the seventies he moved back to radio and in 1980 won a Jacobs Award for the series ‘Play It Again’. For many years John presented RTE Radio One’s long running series ‘Words and Music’ which was similar in style to BBC’s Desert Islands Discs. John passed away in 1992
Charlie Bird ( born 9 September 1949) was Chief News Correspondent with RTÉ News and Current Affairs until January 2009. He took up the role of Washington Correspondent, but prematurely returned to his earlier post in Ireland in June 2010. He retired from RTÉ in August 2012. Charlie Bird was born in Sandymount, Dublin in 1949 and educated at Sandymount High School. In the late 1960s, Bird took an active interest in far left politics, being a member of Young Socialists. In this role, along with Tariq Ali of the International Marxist Group, he attended the funeral of Peter Graham of Saor Éire who was assassinated on 25 October 1971 in an internecine dispute. A photograph of the funeral shows Ali and Bird giving a clenched fist salute at the grave.
Charlie Bird was recruited into RTÉ by Eoghan Harris in the mid 1970s. For many years in the 1990s, Bird was the only point of contact between RTÉ and the Provisional IRA. He witnessed at first hand the ceasefires and the subsequent twists and turns of the peace process.
Charlie first story to bring him national attention was when he interviewed Fr Niall O’Brien in the Phillipines. On 6 May 1983, O’Brien was arrested along with two other priests, Fr. Brian Gore, an Australian, Fr. Vicente Dangan, a Filipino and six lay workers – the so-called "Negros Nine", for the murders of Mayor Pablo Sola of Kabankalan and four companions. The priests where held under house arrest for eight months but "escaped" to prison in Bacolod City, the provincial capital, where they felt they would be safer. Charlie interviewed Fr. O'Brien in his overcrowded prison cell on RTE TV. When Ronald Reagan visited Ireland in 1984, he was asked on Irish TV how he could help the missionary priest's situation. A phone call the next day from the Reagan administration to Ferdinand Marcos resulted in Marcos offering a pardon to Fr. O'Brien and his co-accused.
In 1998, Bird and his colleague George Lee broke the story about tax evasion at National Irish Bank which involved Beverly Cooper Flynn, daughter of former Government Minister Padraig Flynn and herself a former TD.
On the international front, Bird reported on both Gulf Wars and was in Syria for the release of Brian Keenan who had been held hostage in Beirut for many months. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from University College Dublin in 2002. Charlie was attacked during the riots that followed the ‘Love Ulster’ parade on 25 February 2006, suffering a fractured cheekbone, soft tissue damage and bruising. On RTÉ News broadcasts later that evening, he spoke of his personal experience—and of how his assailants had recognised him and called him an "Orange Bastard". Witnesses included Sunday Independent journalist Daniel McConnell, who reported on the event the following day. In 2008, a man pleaded guilty to violent disorder and assaulting Bird. He presented the Charlie Bird Explores series in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In this collection of documentary programmes, he visited the Amazon, the Ganges, and the Arctic.
On 7 October 2008, Bird was announced as the latest person to fill the post of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Washington correspondent. His first report as Washington correspondent was on RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock about US Airways Flight 1549. RTÉ received 30 complaints after he "failed to wear a suit and tie" on RTÉ News: Six One during coverage of the death of Ted Kennedy. Bird provided coverage from the 2010 Haiti earthquake in January 2010. A two-part documentary about his first year in the United States was broadcast later that month on RTÉ One. In it he spoke of his "madness" in moving to the country and his lack of contacts and recognition in Washington DC. At the end of the second programme, he announced he would vacate his Washington post. Early viewing figures suggested that the two programmes got viewing averages of 473,000 and 563,000 people. RTÉ cited Bird's “popularity” when asked about the large audience. Bird returned to Ireland to take up his previous job of Chief News Correspondent with RTÉ in June 2010. He covered a high profile leadership challenge of Enda Kenny on his return. During August 2010, Bird began presenting The Marian Finucane Show. Charlie retired from RTÉ on 26 August 2012 deciding to take the redundancy package being offered by the state broadcaster as it attempted to cut its budgets. His last broadcast was presenting the The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
Larry Masterson is one of the most established and respected producers in the business. Apart from RTÉ he has produced for Channel 4 UK, Discovery Channel US, Learning Channel US, Travel Channel and TG4. Some of his productions including ‘If I Should Fall From Grace’ have been syndicated internationally. He has also been the recipient of many awards and was nominated for a Cable/ACE award in America. He began at RTE as a researcher including the 1976 & Days programme ‘It’s A Hard Auld Station’ about the lives of people in the Sherriff Street community of Dublin. He completed four years as Executive Producer of the Late Late Show and has produced other shows including The Miriam Show with Miriam O’Callaghan, The Saturday Night Show presented by Brendan O'Connor and the six part series with Dermot O'Neill, Dermot's Secret Garden.
Mr O'Shannon flew with the RAF during World War II - having joined with a forged baptismal certificate aged 16 - and later became a reporter with The Irish Times. He also worked on the paper's London desk, where he met and married the love of his life, Patsy. He was a journalist and documentary maker with RTÉ, filming the first deployment of Irish troops overseas on a UN mission to the Congo, among many other works.
But it is as a television presenter he is perhaps best remembered. Terry Wogan described him as possibly Ireland's greatest television journalist and programmes - such as his interview with Muhammad Ali - became iconic pieces of television. Among his other notable achievements was the Spanish Civil War documentary Even the Olives are Bleeding.
Hugh Hardy was a well known pirate radio station operator who is more famously associated with Radio Carousel and its network in Dundalk, County Louth and KLAS in Dublin. Described as 'one of Omeath's most famous sons', Hugh was a member of the Louth 1957/58 squad, which brought the Sam Maguire Cup to the 'wee county' for the first and only time.
ARD was the first pirate station to really break the monopoly of RTE especially on the airwaves of Dublin. progressing from a hobby, garden shed pirate radio station, with the assistance of Bernard Llewellyn, ARD built specialised studios, introduced regular schedules and a playlist. The station provided a launching pad for many of today's radio and TV stars.
Jimmy Greeley (born 12 July 1945)worked for 4FM until early 2012. Jimmy is a veteran of Irish radio having worked for many stations such as Millennium 88FM, RTÉ 2fm, RTÉ News and RTÉ Radio 1. In 1994 he joined Dublin's local station 98FM, presenting the weekday Morning News, alongside the Head Teena Gates. Greeley spent 14 years in that post. In 2006 he began a new show on the cable TV station City Channel called ‘On The Menu’. In early 2009, after spending 14 years as a newsreader, Greeley left 98FM to join Ireland's new national radio station 4FM, where he started off working Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., before moving to the 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. time slot. In May 2011, following a number of schedule changes, he returned to presenting Morning News and Sport. In January 2012, Greeley confirmed his decision to retire from radio broadcasting to concentrate more on voice imaging.

Thursday, 5 September 2013



This six part interview series looks at the momentous moments as the new Wireless Telegraphy Act came into force at midnight on December 31st 1988 and closed the majority of the pirate radio stations that were dotted across the country. In the series we chat to some of those iconic names in pirate radio many of whom are still on the air today. We hear stories of guns being put to DJ's heads at Big D, The US Ambassador to Lebanon rescuing Radio Dublin DJ's who found themselves in a war zone, the raids, the fun, the postman who was arrested just because he was delivering post to a radio station as it was being raided. The characters some of whom are no longer with us but are fondly remembered. Tune in each Friday at 7 on UPC Channel 802, Dublin Community Telelvision, AERTV or on Vimeo.

Friday, 14 June 2013


My thanks to Burl Barer at the web site for this kind e mail.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


I was recently asked at my lecture on 1930s Irish Broadcasting History if I was aware that the first radio broadcast of Leslie Charteris's The Saint was on Radio Eireann in 1939. The Saint is perhaps more famous now through the television incarnations of actors Roger Moore and Ian Ogilvy. I had to be honest that I was not aware of that but it sent me on a little CSI style investigation.
My first port of call was the internet and the always reliable Mr. Google. There it was not 1939 but 1940. I was stunned. I checked a number of 'The Saint' fan sites all all pointed me in the one direction even Old Time Radio sites in the United States refered to Radio Athlone and its historic connection with the suave spy.
My attention was peaked and I continued to research the mighty internet. I began to look at the career of the actor who 'played' the role on Radio Eireann Terence DeMarney and sadly discovered that he died in 1971 when he accidently fell under a train in England. Then I came a cross a very disingenuous remark towards the Irish national station in a book on The Saint
This piece of misinformation and inaccuracy came from the 2002 James Chapman book 'Saints and Avengers, British Adventure Series of the 1960's'
'A short lived' station that is now almost a century old. I next checked the radio guide of the day The Irish Radio News and to my surprise there was no mention of the six part series. It occured to me that perhaps the books reference to 'commercial' may have indicated that the drama's was part of the sponsored programmes that were carried by Radio Eireann in the 1930s and early 1940s but when I looked up the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes archives as they were the main radio sponsors of the day, yet again nothing found on now the elusive Saint.
The research went on and I began to trawl the Irish Newspaper Archives and everything that had been written in articles, magazines and respected books was completely and totally wrong. Inaccuracy in facts has led to a myth that is simply not true. Radio Eireann did NOT broadcast the first radio incarnation of Leslie Charteris's The Saint. In fact the series was broadcast by the BBC.
This from the Irish Independent October 25th 1940
To prove that Radio Eireann/Radio Athlone did not broadcast the show as given in evidence on October 18th 1940 this is the programme schedule for the Irish state broadcaster for that Friday and no mention of The Saint or even a drama being broadcast
The only connection Ireland had with The Saint in October 1940 was the fact that showing in a number of cinema's was the movie 'The Saint Takes Over' starring George Saunders in one of his many 'Simon Templar' roles. But my next question in the investigation was why? Why had this myth grown up and how did it come about. The investigation was a little complicated as was many events during the Second World War.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the British War Office instructed the BBC to synchronize their transmitters to prevent the German air force from using the signals as beacons for their bombing raids. Most of the BBC’s transmitters for their national and regional services were synchronized on 449m and 391m medium wave. The problem for the War Office was that Radio Athlone’s powerful 100KW transmitter could be used as a directional beacon and despite low level communications between the British and Irish Governments initially their was no co-operation from Radio Athlone to synchronize their transmitter on 531m with those less powerful transmitters in Dublin on 223m and on 242m in Cork.
The BBC was ordered to take three of their transmitters out of service and use them to mask Radio Athlone. The BBC engineers would use a receiver to tune in the Dublin frequency and then relay by landline to three UK transmitters to rebroadcast programmes from Radio Athlone.
The three transmitters used were the five kilowatt transmitter at Redmoss outside Aberdeen in Scotland that originally broadcast on 373m but was moved to the Athlone frequency of 531m. This was similarly done at Penmon outside Angelsey in Wales and at Clevedon near Bristol in Somerset.
The BBC continued with these rebroadcasts from September 1939 until October 1940 when the Irish Government purchased the equipment required to synchronize the three Radio Eireann transmitters. Thus British listeners who had been listening to Radio Eireann's programmes which had been secretly rebroadcast by the BBC assumed once the Irish Government had synchronized the Irish transmitters that it was still Radio Eireann when in fact Redmoss, Clevedon and Penmon begun broadcasting BBC programmes once more to their own audience in October 1940.
This is a slice of espionage that Simon Templar would have been proud of.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


I spotted this advertisement for Today FM at Blackrock Dart station yesterday. What strikes you as odd about the photo used?
This is Cork born Matt Cooper posing on a London styled taxi, that is painted in New York cab colours. It featured a rugby player and Rugby is an English game the invention of William Webb Ellis in 1823. The cab has a running board similar to the gangster movies of the prohibition era in the United States.
There are clearly too many passengers for this cab. The nurse has a stethescope invented in France. The 3D glasses are an American creation,popcorn has its origins in Peru, South America and the electronic megaphone is a 1954 US invention.
The runner is wearing sneakers an American product while the businesswoman is wearing high heels a European fashion creation with origins in the Middle East.
The show is sponsored by Irish Life who are owned by a Canadian firm.
So thats what I got out of Today FM today, not much Irishness for the national independent broadcaster.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Ireland and Irish television has a proud history of non human puppets anchored at the top of the ratings. They have entertained, educated and brightened up our viewing experience. There has been a lull, an uneasy peace from our on screen heroes. They have represented us in the Eurovision, taught our children to be safer on the roads and abused celebrities on our behalf but now is the time for a new hero on screen.
Introducing Ireland Has Puppet Talent 2, the search for a new puppet star to take on the mantle of Judge, Podge and Rodge and Dustin. Let the talented creative people of Ireland, design and display their new creations live on television. Just like any of the current crop of talent shows on ITV or BBC, the new show will be judged by experts in the field and hosted by Podge and Rodge. The Irish viewing public will vote on the winner, with the prize of a new television show and new safety campaign aimed at the youth of our nation.
That's the dream. Maybe it can become a reality with the right people, are you listening Ciaran, Mick and John. While we are waiting here is a look at the non-humans who as a nation we have taken to our hearts and have grown up with over the decades.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


In 1970 a group of enthusiastic activists crowded into a small caravan in County Galway and asserted their right to have a dedicated Irish language radio station on the air. Two years after those pioneering pirate broadcasts Radio na Gaeltachta took to the airwaves and has been broadcasting nationally ever since. In recent years other stations have provided programming in the native tongue including Radio Na Life (, Radio Failte and local community stations across the country. These have been augmented in recent years by internet based Irish language radio stations.
In the early days of Irish radio (2RN going on air in January 1926) Irish language supporters believed that the airwaves were not being used properly for the promotion of the native language. Activists initially wanted the state run station to be solely broadcast in Irish and that it should support National ideals and traditions but there was very little support from the political establishment who were unsure how to treat the new medium and were suspicious of the intentions of traditionalists. Over eighty percent of the station’s output was in English, the language of Government and the Irish language did not even make up the entire remainder as French, German and Esperanto all received significant airtime. Less than half of all music played on the new station was Irish traditional and this caused much debate in the newspapers of the day.
The Irish language has always been a hot potato when it comes to broadcasting and the positioning of various lobby groups has often affected the direction of both programming and language revival. In 1989 when the Independent Radio and Television Commission perused proposals for the new commercial national franchise there was derision in the media when former pirate broadcaster Chris Cary (Radio Nova) in his submission advanced his proposal for an Irish language ‘word of the day’. This English born entrepreneur seemed unable grasp the importance of the native tongue on a national stage but fast forward twenty years and the national franchise now Today FM offers a thirty second occasional slot ‘creid é no ná creid é’ not far off Cary’s 1989 thoughts on the subject in 1989.
Radio Eireann in 1939 was the chief provider of Irish language broadcasting but this year would see four different stations in three different countries broadcast ‘as Gaeilge’. Vatican Radio aired Irish programmes at 7.30pm hosted by the Rector of the Irish College in Rome broadcast on short wave for the faithful in Ireland to listen to. In Germany, Nazi state radio began broadcasting in Irish on December 10th 1939. The presenter was Hans Hartmann and their propaganda was anti British and an overt attempt to reinforce Ireland’s position of neutrality during the Second World War and finally the IRA’s Broadcast station that was located in Ashgrove House, Rathgar began all their broadcasts with a speech in the native tongue usually delivered by Seamus Byrne who became a successful playwright after the War. The station was raided and closed at the end of December 1939.
(The first radio programme in Gaelic was not transmitted by Radio Eireann but on 2BD in Aberdeen on October 10th 1923)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013



Monday, 27 May 2013


With my plans for a TV series commemorating the introduction of the 1988 Wireless Telegraphy Act now in full flow, I was trawling through my 'pirate radio library' and decided to share these with you.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

'Dublin Pirate Radio' TV history series needs YOU!

Hi All,
In July and August 2013 we will be recording a TV series for the voluntary based Dublin Community Television channel (UPC 802 & AerTV) of 1 to 1 interviews commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the closure of pirate radio in Dublin. This was as a result of the introduction of the 1988 Wireless Telegraphy Act in December of that year that cleared the airwaves for the new legal franchises.
This nostalgic and educational look back at the heady days of Dublin's colourful pirate radio era will be both studio based and shot on location. If you were involved at any stage in pirate radio pre-1988, I want to talk to YOU. It's your story I want to tell. Did you or someone you know broadcast on air, built transmitters, were involved in raids or just answered the telephone?
There were thousands of people involved over the decades and our air time is limited to one series but every story and anecdote counts.
You can contact me Eddie Bohan at and we can have a chat and take it from there.
DCTV are also looking for Volunteers who feel they can contribute to the making of their programmes. This is an ideal opportunity to get involved and gain experience in studio operations, camera work, video and sound editing, research, studio management and production design. Contact DCTV with a CV or watch for forthcoming announcements.

Monday, 6 May 2013


It has been twenty five years since the introduction of the 1988 Wireless Telegraphy Act and the licensing of legal independent radio. The 1988 legislation was designed to wipe pirate radio off the airwaves with stiff penalties and strict enforcement.
Throughout the May Bank Holiday Monday, I listened and visited pirate radio stations across Dublin. These were not stations confined to the internet but broadcasting openly on an already cluttered FM band. Unlike the early 70s when pirate radio stations began to develop and would only broadcast for a couple of hours late or night or a Sunday afternoon for fear of being raided and closed, today’s pirates are broadcasting 12 to 18 hours per day every day despite the possible €10,000 fine that can be imposed.
Across the band listeners could tune into NRG, Ministry, Easy, Play and Tonik, all pirate radio stations but why after a quarter of a century are pirate radio stations still on air?
It is hard to judge how many people are listening to these pirate operations but at one station judging by requests received from callers and texts over a three hour period the numbers listening was well into four figures. But why is a listening demographic between 15 and 25 not being catered for by the plethora of Dublin legal stations?
Having spoken to a number of callers to these stations I was quickly aware of patterns at each of the stations. The above named stations apart from Easy broadcast dance, trance and house music. While Spin 1038 would be the closest in music policy to the pirates they are a commercial operation and programming is driven by ratings and advertising revenue. The two main reactions to the pirate stations were that young listeners felt connected to the music they wanted to hear and that the pirates played music they could not hear on any other radio station.
The following is the list of reasons why listeners were tuned into the pirate stations.
1. They felt a connection with the station.
2. They liked the sound of DJ’s their own age. Some of the DJ’s were only sixteen on the day I visited.
3. The pirate stations played the music they were dancing to in the clubs, especially young dance music orientated venues.
4. The stations played extended dance tracks especially remixes often 10 minutes long something rarely played on licensed radio. The stations often play non commercial tracks.
5. The stations were ‘clutterfree’ or advert free. When I asked how the stations paid their way such as electricity bills, I was told that stations organised ‘event nights’ where they would use the door money to pay the bills. The overheads at pirate stations are low as DJ’s are volunteer and the stations do not pay the legal requirements of PAYE, PRSI, PPI or IMRO.
6. The stations take requests and play them. One listener told me that ‘making a request to FM 104 is like a privilege when it should be a right’.
7. The pirate station is giving a young local DJ to learn the skills of operating a radio studio. The stations are often very locally based despite their signal covering much of the city. There was a strong loyalty to the local station but listeners were able to identify other pirates who broadcast a slightly different music policy i.e one station played house while another specialised in trance.
8. ‘They don’t air the boring news’. Pirate stations by their nature of illegality were not subject to the restriction imposed on licensed stations by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
9. Young listeners liked the irreverence of the DJ’s sometime using bad language but the DJs seemed to be more in tune with the listeners than their legal counterparts.
10. Stations were giving opportunity to DJ’s who were creating music in their bedrooms and garages and providing outlets for small record labels on the fringes of the Irish music scene.
Rules are made to be broken and as long as people feel that they are being ignored by the establishment, pirate radio stations will remain on the air.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


What constitutes a quiz show? – Deal or No Deal is a game show as is The National Lottery Games like Winning Streak where luck plays a major role. Quiz shows are where questions and their answers whether general knowledge or specialized decides the winner
In 2013 the British channels BBC, ITV and Channel 4 broadcast numerous quiz formats especially on their afternoon schedules. RTE do not broadcast any except for quizzes aimed at the youth audience. TV3 broadcast Junior Mastermind, while TG4 broadcasts Ceist GAA. None of these shows offer major cash prizes for successful contestants.
In April 2013, none of Ireland's main terrestrial channels carried any quiz shows with only National Lottery sponsored game shows on RTE. This can be attributed to the lack of finances and sponsorship and a lack of creativity being unable to create unique formats, relying instead on imported tried and tested formats which in itself costs valuable resources. The lack of quiz shows is very evident during afternoon programming. The UK channels have a varied choice that each day provides contestants with a chance to win or share in almost £400,000. Many of the shows have daily rollover jackpots.
Perfection (Jackpot total averages £4,000)
Pointless (Jackpot total usually reaches £7,000)
Eggheads (Jackpot total usually reaches £4000)
Only Connect
University Challenge
Tipping Point (Possible daily jackpot £10,000)
The Chase (Typical jackpot available £12,000 but success is limited)
1001 Things You Should Know (Possible Jackpot 13,000)
Deal or No Deal (Top prize £250,000)
5 Minutes To A Fortunr (Top prize £100,000)
(Quiz Shows Broadcast Monday April 29th 2013)
2010 -
Hector O’Heochagain
Joining Hector on Ceist GAA was resident captains Evanne Ní Chuilinn RTÉ Sport and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill from TG4's GAA BEO.
18th September 2011 – November 2011
Sunday Nights 7.30pm
Grainne Ni Seoige
A celebrity quiz show using their sporting knowledge loosely based on BBC’s A Question of Sport. The show was hosted by former TG4 and Sky News Ireland newscaster Grainne Ni Seoige.
Two teams of three sports personalities were led by captains, jockey Ruby Walsh and former GAA player and RTE pundit Pat Spillane.
17th June 2012 - Present
Nora Owen (Former TD & Government Minister)
In 1983 RTE hosted a season of BBC’s Mastermind series with the UK host Magnus Magnusson with Irish timekeeping Mary Hogan. The aim was to find an Irish champion for the International Mastermind series.
In 2011 Mastermind was made by TV 3 and recorded at The Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. The series began with a Celebrity version followed by Junior Mastermind
February 2012
Alan Hughes
Two family or celebrity family teams made up of five members are asked to guess the results of surveys, in which 100 people would be asked open ended questions. Each round begins with a member of each team in rotation approaching the podium and host Alan Hughes. As the question is read, the first of the two nominees to hit a buzzer gives an answer. If this is not the top answer, the other nominee is asked. The team with the higher answer then chooses whether to "play" the question, or "pass" control to the other team. The host then passes down the line of the controlling team, asking for an answer from each. After each answer, the board reveals whether this answer featured. If a family managed to come up with all the answers on the board that begins with six choices reducing to four, they win the euro equivalent of the total number of people who had given the answers.
Every time someone gave an answer that was not on the board or ran out of time, the family was charged a strike or 'na nah' accumulating three strikes means the family loses control of the game and the other family has the chance to steal, with only the head of the family giving one answer. If the answer is one of the remaining answers, they won the round and the money; otherwise, the opponents won the money that was on the board.
For the final round two members of the winning family attempt to find the most popular answers in various categories to reach two hundred points with a bonus prize if all the top answers are found.