Each week, Griff Rhys Jones will visit a different museum from around the UK with two teams of competing experts. From well-known historians to mathematicians, from art experts to scientists, the competitors will be familiar BBC Four faces, chosen for their specialism or skill relating to the museum which the quiz is visiting.
Part quiz, part panel show, The Quizeum is not just a straightforward Q&A. The quiz elements are creative and not taken overly seriously, encouraging lively and educated conversation between the experts. For some rounds of the quiz, artefacts will be brought to the table for questioning, while others will require the competitors to explore the museum on a treasure hunt. Each programme is tailored to the museum it is set in, with favourite rounds reappearing, but new ones being introduced to showcase the artefacts on offer.
Host Griff Rhys Jones says: “There are spectacular treasures in all of our museums. The Quizeum will uncover the stories behind some of the lesser-known ones. From Roman penknives to Canalettos, from enamelled reliquaries to model boats, we will be looking for connections, testing history, unearthing startling facts and putting real experts on the spot. And most of all, we’re on the road exploring fabulous collections in unexpected places. This is a really exciting series to be involved with – pure joy.”
Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four says: “We have so many fantastic museums up and down the UK and I’m delighted that BBC Four’s The Quizeum will be visiting some of these great institutions and exploring their collections, while putting our range of experts to the test. And with Griff Rhys Jones hosting, it promises to be a real treat full of fun and surprising facts!”
Competitors who will make regular appearances throughout the series will include historian and expert on Antiques Roadshow Lars Tharp, art and cultural historian Janina Ramirez and author and historian Kate Williams.
Other competitors include: Michael Scott (Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show On Earth, BBC Four), Dan Cruickshank (Family That Built Gothic Britain, BBC Four), Helen Czerski (Super Senses: The Secret Power Of Animals, BBC Two) and Admiral Lord West (formerly Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism and First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff).
Confirmed museums featured on the series include: the Ashmolean in Oxford, the museum of art and archaeology; the Foundling in London, the art collections held in the former Foundling Children’s Hospital; and the National Maritime Museum in London, the world’s largest maritime museum.
The Quizeum was commissioned from Modern Television by BBC Four Channel Editor Cassian Harrison and Mark Bell, Head of Arts Commissioning, BBC.
The Executive Producer for the BBC is Greg Sanderson and for Modern Television, Sarah Broughton.