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Quiz queen Janet never short of answers

QUESTION TIME ... from left, Bill Kindred, Linda Major, Janet Vacani and her husband Bob, Laurence Younger, and Judith Dean, manager of The Grey Hen. Bill, Linda and Laurence have been quiz players for more than 20 years.

QUESTION TIME ... from left, Bill Kindred, Linda Major, Janet Vacani and her husband Bob, Laurence Younger, and Judith Dean, manager of The Grey Hen. Bill, Linda and Laurence have been quiz players for more than 20 years.

A POPULAR quizmaster is never short of an answer after asking pub regulars more than 100,000 questions over 30 years.

Janet Vacani has been running quiz nights every Sunday at The Grey Hen pub in South Shields for the last three decades.

The 63-year-old took on the role as she worked as a barmaid at the watering hole, in Temple Park Road – and she’s been there ever since.

Mrs Vacani said: “The quiz master had left, so the landlord asked if I would step in – and I did.

“Then the following week, he still hadn’t found a replacement, so I did it again.

“But then I think he must have just stopped looking, and I continued with the quiz night every Sunday. Some of the teams have now been playing for more 20 years – they’re a great bunch, and I love doing it.”

Mrs Vacani, who lives in Harton with her husband, Bob, 71, spends most of the week looking for good questions.

She also scours newspapers donated by friends, and tunes into various television shows to make sure she’s always got the latest knowledge, while Mr Vacani, who is dubbed her ‘glamorous assistant’, helps out with the scores and gets the drinks in.

The mum-of-one added: “All of my questions have a theme, and on an average night I will probably ask about 70 to 80.

“I am always on the look-out for new questions, and I read almost every newspaper because there is a current affairs section.

“I love general knowledge and I am a film buff so I like watching out for good ones. One of my first-ever questions was ‘who were the six wives of Henry VIII?’

“But if any of the regulars are ever stuck and can’t answer one, they just write ‘Roger Moore’ because it’s a long-running joke that I have been madly in love with him for years.”

On Sunday, pub manager Judy Dean thanked Mrs Vacani for all her hard work while presenting her with a trophy and a bouquet of flowers.

Mrs Vacani also had a special question for her regulars and asked how many questions she has posed in her career, with Jeff Ramsdale – the regular who got closest to the correct answer of 101,430 – winning £30 in vouchers to spend in the pub.

Mrs Vacani added: “It was lovely – a few of them wrote in my cards ‘Here’s to the next 30 years’. So I have said they had better make space for my Zimmer frame!”

 

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