A Go to the pub
B Strip to the waist and aggressively chant ‘Eng-er-land’ in the face of passers-by
C Say ‘Mustn’t grumble’
D Feel superior to the French
2. Which of these phrases recorded a 6,000 per cent spike in social-media mentions following the scandal of Dominic Cummings’s lockdown drive to Durham?
A Barnard Castle: a sight for sore eyes
B Dominic Cummings went to Barnard Castle and all I got was this lousy virus
C Should have gone to Specsavers
D Driving In My Car. Madness
Which of these phrases recorded a 6,000 per cent spike in social-media mentions following the scandal of Dominic Cummings’s lockdown drive to Durham?
3. Comedian Matt Lucas had a hit song offering coronavirus advice with the aid of which character?
A An animated bottle of hand gel called Lorraine Gel-y
B Sour Doe, the acerbic deer
C A baked potato
D Big Softie, the stockpiled toilet roll
4. Which of these did NOT get a multi-million-pound Government contract to supply PPE?
A A small Sussex pest-control company with assets of just £18,000
B A Northern Ireland chocolate wholesaler
C A social-media firm specialising in getting good Google results
D The former landlord at Matt Hancock’s local pub
5. What did Captain Sir Tom Moore say to the Queen as he was knighted?
A ‘Hope that sword is long enough for you to stay two metres away!’
B ‘You might as well give me the telegram while I’m here. Save a stamp’
C ‘If I kneel down, I’ll never get up again, Ma’am’
D ‘Just four more laps of the Palace lawn and I’ll have enough for a new defibrillator…’
6. Who told us to ‘imagine no possessions’?
A Rishi Sunak as he outlined the teensy-weensy tax increases needed to pay for the pandemic
B A bunch of Hollywood millionaires in a woefully misjudged lockdown rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine
C ‘Silver-tongue’ McGee, Dorset’s most prolific conman as he defrauded a family out of all they owned
D Australian insurance giant Escutcheon, telling customers to get philosophical after it refused to pay out after January’s devastating bushfires
7. What did Marks & Spencer do for the first time in its history, because of coronavirus?
A Started selling second-hand clothes – though its undies section proved less popular than usual
B Record a loss
C Elevate a fictional character to its board, with Percy Pig named chief strategy officer
D Accept digital currency Bitcoin as payment, as at this point, frankly, any store is one step away from bartering with magic beans
8. In her gossipy Westminster diaries, MP’s wife Sasha Swire claimed David Cameron once said her perfume made him want to…
B Dab it behind his own ears
C ‘Grab you and push you into the bushes and give you one’
D Launch his own fragrance: Privilege, by DC
9. Which of these did Rory Stewart propose to boost his campaign to be London Mayor?
A A six-fold increase to the speed of the London Eye to make it a proper fairground attraction, accompanied by a cockney shouting ‘Scream if you wanna go faster’ over a 1990s Vengaboys hit.
B To go around sleeping on Londoners’ sofas – with the promise he’d ‘bring a sleeping bag and a box of chocolates’
C An extension to the Congestion Charge to Watford, as ‘that should keep out the Northerners’.
D A cap on the price of beer at £8.50 a pint, prompting outrage from publicans who say they couldn’t possibly sell it so cheaply
10. How did America’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream get involved in British politics?
A By launching a flavour called Lisa Nandy’s Easter Candies
B By tweeting support for refugees, to Priti Patel’s chagrin
C With its controversial advertising strapline: ‘Best enjoyed frozen… just like public sector pay’
D By launching a flavour called Brexit Bonus, which was just bananas
God Help America
11. Which of these slogans did NOT feature on merchandising released by Four Seasons Total Landscaping – a Philadelphia garden centre nestled between a sex shop and a crematorium – after Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani bizarrely called a press conference in its car park:
A Make America Rake Again
B Lawn And Order
C In Sod We Trust
D Weed The People
12. Which of these gaffes did Joe Biden NOT make in 2020?
A Forgetting that Donald Trump was President
B Forgetting that he was running for President himself, not for Senator
C Calling the Constitution ‘the Constipation’
D Saying ‘badakathcare’ instead of healthcare
13. Voters in Vermont do not have to restrict their choice to official candidates. Three of the below got one vote, but who got zero?
A Jesus Christ
B The ghost of Abraham Lincoln
C ‘A Scjwamzemegger’
D Cheddar cheese
14. When did Donald Trump say: ‘I’ve never signed anything with a T on it before’?
A As he signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package
B As he awarded a $100 million contract to the Dunald Tromp Organization, insisting it was nothing to do with him
C After he asked ‘What’s that funny cross thing at the start of the word?’ as he signed a declaration of hostility towards Tehran
D As he signed the naked breasts of stripper Titania, who has her initial tattooed on to her chest, before appointing her head of Homeland Security
15. A hacker got into Donald Trump’s Twitter account after successfully guessing his password was…?
16. A likeness of which of these was temporarily placed on the plinth left empty after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol was toppled by activists?
A Keep-fit guru Joe Wicks
B Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance
C Darth Vader
D Top teenager Tik-Tokker Charli D’Amelio
17. How did BBC newsreader Simon McCoy react to the Corporation’s decision, later reversed by a new boss, not to sing the lyrics to Rule, Britannia at the Last Night Of The Proms?
A By tweeting, wryly: ‘There are no words…’
B By suggesting a singalong to Fairytale Of New York instead
C By forming an impromptu choir with George Alagiah, Huw Edwards and Reeta Chakrabarti to sing it loudly outside the window of then director-general Tony Hall at 2am
D By saying it was quite right and that it should be permanently replaced by the EU anthem Ode To Joy
18. Which of these was NOT a genuine marketing ‘fail’ of 2020?
A A drinks company that, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, suggested it was the No1 gin for rioters because of its ‘high flammability’ – and posted images evoking Molotov cocktails
B The confectioner which launched a range of gender-fluid jelly babies
C A gym which likened a tough workout routine to slavery
D The chocolate brand that offended all of Wales by comparing their place names to ‘someone sitting on a keyboard’
19. How was the 18th Century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft honoured this year?
A With a statue of a smoking-hot babe with her boobs out
B With a commemorative emoji
C By a porn website offering a ten per cent discount
D Nothing… the feminists have got a female Doctor Who, so what more do they need?
20. Which of these was a proposed new bingo term to be introduced for snowflakes?
A ‘Wills and Kate’ for 88 instead of the body-shaming term ‘two fat ladies’
B 22 to become ‘vegan stew’ rather than two little ducks, for fear of offending those who don’t eat meat
C ‘People of all genders thrive’ for 5 instead of the offensively binary term ‘man alive’
D 80 no longer announced as ‘eight nothing’ for fear of offending anorexics
21. Which of these did the Scouts introduce a badge for?
A Spotting fake news
C Getting grandparents to use Zoom
D Trans rights
22. Why did India seize a pigeon from Pakistan?
A For pooping on a statue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
B For some poultry reason…
C On suspicion of spying
D For attempting a coo
The Crown, for real
23. What did Prince William say keeps him awake at night?
A Kate snoring ‘like a walrus with bronchitis’
B The global failure to tackle environmental problems
C His conviction he could feel a pea somewhere under the mattress
D Who will play him in the next season of The Crown
24. What did Meghan Markle propose that elephants dreamt of in her schmaltzy, unscientific voiceover for Disney’s ‘documentary’ on the beasts?
A Giant pink jackrabbits
B A bit of privacy from these intrusive cameras
C The first time they were shown their island home ‘by their ancestors’
D ‘That there might one day be a compassionate, empowering, uplifting, transformative, empowering, empathetic and, most importantly, empowering podcast about inclusivity. And empowerment.’
25. Prince Harry helped record a charity single with Jon Bon Jovi called…?
A Woke Me Up Before You Go-Go
B We Gotta Get Out Of This Palace
C Meghan Your Mind Up
Nowt so queer as famous folk
26. Which of these was not a genuine celebrity headline of 2020?
A Cher turns attention to mall gorilla after freeing ‘world’s loneliest elephant’
B Orlando Bloom kept skeleton of his dead dog and its penis as an ornament
C David Beckham completes PhD in the sex lives of apple fly maggots
D Piers Morgan forced to deny he’s the pigeon lady from Home Alone 2
27. Who claimed to find poo in the bed, food smeared everywhere, blood dripping down the walls and a live bird flying around?
A The guest who left the best TripAdvisor review that one Welsh hotel has ever had
B Visitors to Tate Modern, only to be told that was the annual Turner Prize exhibition
C Amber Heard, giving evidence against her ex, Johnny Depp
D Parents who were scarred by a harrowing visit to the worst Santa’s grotto in Britain
28. ‘He is Mr Darcy and I am Bridget Jones. We have this fire.’ Who said this, and about whom?
A Nigel Farage on his ardent love for Donald Trump
B Normal People actress Daisy Edgar-Jones about her co-star Paul Mescal
C Nicole Scherzinger after becoming infatuated with Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, leading to a restraining order
D Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner on her boss Sir Keir Starmer
29. What did Kanye West give his wife Kim Kardashian for her 40th birthday?
B A sapphire cut to the exact shape and size of her famous posterior
C A holographic projection of her dead father
D The entire town of Budleigh Salterton, after hearing it was in the West Country
30. What does X Æ A-XII mean to tech billionaire Elon Musk?
A It’s his email password
B It’s the worst Scrabble hand he’s ever been given
C It’s the unusual name he gave his child, who was born in May
D It’s printed on his bank statement after the balance got so big they ran out of conventional numbers
31. Adventurer Ben Fogle received a backlash for suggesting…?
A That maybe Bill Bailey shouldn’t have won Strictly
B That the nation come together as one and sing Happy Birthday to the Queen
C That bat-meat would make an ideal Sunday roast
D That the knots securing the tent where Boris Johnson spent his windswept Scottish holiday should have been clove hitches, not anchor bends
32. Which of these was not a recipe Nigella Lawson unveiled this year?
A Buttered toast
B Banana skin curry
C Pot Noodle consomme
D Leftover pizza with a poached egg on top
33. Which of these did Tiger King Joe Exotic NOT say on the Netflix documentary that was a hit of lockdown?
A ‘I am as gay as a three-dollar bill, and I’m standing in a cage with five full-grown tigers and lions’
B ‘The tiger tore her arm off… I can give you your money back or I can give you a rain check’
C ‘I’d like to introduce my wife, but my husband’s at home feeding my brand-new baby kangaroo.’
D ‘How could a man with a mullet this fine possibly have done anything illegal?’
34. Who did Vogue hail as an unlikely fashion icon?
A Boris Johnson, saying the ‘divorced dad sleeping in his car’ look was coming back
B Prince Charles for his sustainable approach to clothing, ie, sticking to the same look for ever
C Bananas In Pyjamas for being years ahead of the biggest style trend of lockdown
D Jacob Rees-Mogg, saying his look will be wowing society in ’21 (1821, that is)
35. Which of these British destinations did Taylor Swift sing a tribute to?
A The Lake District
B A Wetherspoons pub in Barnsley
C The Blackwall Tunnel
D Kent’s Teapot Island
36. Which of these did NOT happen in Emily In Paris, one of the worst reviewed, but most watched, Netflix series of the year?
A Emily gets an international job working in social media after bringing her number of Instagram followers up to… 48
B She doesn’t bother to learn a word of French and expects everyone to speak English
C She encounters a man in a beret and striped top, cycling along with a string of garlic around his neck and a basket full of baguettes
D The French are variously depicted as chain-smoking, shower-dodging, aloof but stylish, sex-mad snobs
Which of these British destinations did Taylor Swift sing a tribute to?
37. How did Albert Ndreu’s grand marriage proposal go wrong?
A The tattoo he got was misspelled, so asked: ‘Will you be my loving wifi?’
B When he went down on one knee it was seen as a Black Lives Matter gesture, sparking city-wide protests
C He spelled out the words ‘marry me’ in tealights, which burned down his flat
D As he presented the ring, it was carried off by a seagull, never to be seen again
38. Why did engineer Deano Wilson say that he had changed his name to Mr Fire Exit?
A So he could claim royalties for the signs in every building
B So he could see his name in lights
C Because he’s so often alarmed
D Because it was such a way-out idea
39. Which of these couples married, to create the perfect name?
A Kieran White and Tilly Christmas to become the White-Christmases
B Beyoncé and BBC broadcaster Andrew Castle, to become Beyoncé Castle
C Comedian Sean Lock and actress Lesley-Anne Down, to become the Lock-Downs
D Dutch footballer Leroy Fer and actress Alice Lowe, to become the Fur-Lowes
40. Which Briton did local media call the best-known Westerner in China?
A Oliver Dowden, when, as Digital Secretary, he banned Huawei from the UK’s 5G network
B Marshall from Paw Patrol, or, as the show is known over there, Handsome Adventure Dogs In Precarious Escapades!
C Nigel Dixon, the man behind a Mr Bean tribute act called Mr Pea
D Jeremy Corbyn, after the Communist Party said he was a bit too Left-wing for them
41. British academic Martin Hairer won a £2.3 million maths prize for working out…?
A The exact odds that Matt Hancock will still be in his job this time next year
B The fluid dynamics of stirring a cup of tea
C A new theoretically tiny number… only to find even that wasn’t small enough to describe Steph McGovern’s Channel 4 viewing figures
D What the hell Priti Patel meant when she said the number of Covid tests carried out had reached ‘three hundred thousand, and thirty-four, nine hundred and seventy-four thousand’
42. Who became the president of the Royal Horticultural Society this year?
A Janet Root
B Keith Weed
C Flora Champion
D Jack Rhododendron-Bush
43. Which of these is NOT the name given to a gritting machine in Manchester this year?
A Gritti Patel
B Snowbi-Gone Kenobi
C Spreaddie Mercury
D Gritter Thunberg
44. What linked ‘nincompoop’, ‘sozzled’ and ‘cad’ in 2020?
A They were in the lyrics to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s first drill rap track
B They’re the names of Victorian pornographic magazines, newly added to the British Library’s collection
C They made a list of words that mean nothing to the under-30s
D They are kindest words anyone could come up with to describe Boris Johnson
45. What was the name scientists gave to the hardy bug that survived three years on the outside of the International Space Station?
A The Germinator
B Conan The Bacterium
C Maximus Baccillus Meridius
D Miley Virus
46. Why was the triumvirate ‘wumben, wimpund, woomud’ in the news?
A They are made-up insults Boris Johnson used against Nicola Sturgeon
B They are the words J. K. Rowling used in her contentious tweet as she fake-struggled to translate the woke phrase ‘people who menstruate’
C It was revealed to be what the www stands for in internet addresses, coined by an oddball computer technician in the 1970s
D What Rudy Giuliani started babbling when he finally completely lost the plot in a press conference
Questions of sport
47. KFC went viral with a series of tweets likening football clubs to items in its outlets. Why was Norwich FC compared to a plastic straw?
A Because it won’t be around for much longer
B Because it’s great at corners
C Because it’s liked by suckers
D Because it’s kinky
48. Which of these was NOT spotted among the cardboard cut-out ‘crowds’ at certain football matches this year?
A Piers Morgan at Spurs, after he said he’d rather be seen at a vegan barbecue than their stadium
B Osama Bin Laden at Leeds
C The Queen, in full replica kit, at Millwall
D Wally from the Where’s Wally? books at Nottingham Forest
49. Athlete Noah Lyles shattered Usain Bolt’s 200m record at the Inspiration Games in July… but why was it disallowed?
A The race started from the wrong spot, so he ran only 185m
B It was wind-assisted, thanks to the hearty meal of sprouts and baked beans he ate before the race
C Robot legs
D The track iced over, so he slid the last 70m
50. Mike Tyson revealed his trick for passing drug tests during his boxing days was…?
A To only take drugs so dangerously untested that the authorities had never encountered them before
B The Whizzinator: a fake penis that could conceal ‘clean’ urine
C To try to pee into the test tubes while still wearing his boxing gloves, and swap the labels on samples in the ensuing chaos
4 D – He won a contract to provide test tubes for Covid-19 tests.
How did you do?
0-10: You really are very out of touch with what’s important to people. Have you thought about becoming head of BBC News?
11-20: Did you read any news at all this year? If not, prepare for some pretty major plot twists when you do get to catch up.
21-30: You’ve got a rudimentary grasp of what’s going on, which is certainly more than most of the Cabinet.
31-40: You are consuming so much news, you really should get out m… no, forget that.
41-50: There can be only one word for it: ‘unprecedented’.