As I have mentioned before I became embroiled in the Ffiesta when I happened to mention that I thought it would be a good idea to play a round of 'Name that fruit' and was instantly volunteered to organise it.
This meant that first of all I had to devise a format. I think, from something Jasper said, that he envisaged something relatively mundane, with a couple of contestants with buzzers and 'I'll have a Pea please Frankie' (OK, I know a pea is not a fruit, but the opportunity to recycle a Blockbusters joke was just irresistible) (And if a pea is a fruit, then I really don't want to know!). However I envisaged something glitzy but naff, with a suitably smarmy host. (Think of a cross between Bob Monkhouse and Bruce Forsyth, or for those old enough to remember, Hughie Green!) I think we can agree that at least I got the naff right, glitzy however it ain't!
My dad made the wheel of fruit for me out of a bit of hardboard, a couple of lumps of wood and some old shelf brackets he had hanging around in his 'useful cupboard'. Rory and I painted it and stuck on some pictures of fruit, gussied it up with a fluffy flashing thing that Marissa unwisely left lying around the house and ..ta da! Unfortunately however we soon discovered that it was ever so slightly unbalanced and defaulted to 'Watermelon' We tried sticking small weights on the back to even it out, but it didn't work, and they fell off anyway, so we made a virue out of incompetence and fudged the questions slightly.
My original idea had been that there would be six categories of question, one of which was a blind tasting and one of which was pot luck. When it became apparent that almost all of the questions would fall into the same category, I just made that one pot luck and sprinkled the 'Tasting' cards throughout the pack. It made it much simpler for 'Adrian' anyway, he didn't have too remember which category was which.
For some reason we all got it into our heads that the host was Adrian Lush, when, as I'm sure you all know, it should have been Frankie Saveloy. John, in a frightening rubber wig, with Jo as his lovely assistant, summoned up exactly the right blend of unctuous creepiness anyway, even if he was the wrong person and the audience, and the first ever participants, selected as a result of winning a quiz, all seemed to enter into the spirit of things.
John and his rubber wig, Jo and her lemon slice earrings, the wheel and the questions made a further appearance at the second Ffiesta and were just as well received. By this time the contestants' failure to make the wheel stop anywhere but watermelon was already a running joke.
Unfortunately by last year John and Jo had set off to seek a better life in New Zealand (a better life? Ffiesta ffree? surely not!) so Gill's brother Neil and his wife, Katie, stepped in as Frankie Saveloy and assistant and a very good job he made of it too. This year we have a new Frankie Saveloy, but the wheel remains the same, so brush up on your fruit knowledge and it may be your chance to Name That Fruit!