On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

14th September 2012 at 01:00

This week: Anthony Seldon

Last week the naughty step welcomed Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted's chief inspector, who made an unlikely TV appearance on a re-run of Homes Under the Hammer. This week the incumbent is Wellington College headmaster Anthony Seldon, who made a less successful TV appearance on a celebrity special of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

The perennial game show featured five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and his 14-year-old son Zak. The rower and his Wellington College-educated son were successfully ploughing through the questions in the name of charity when, with the chance of winning #163;50,000, the pair became stuck.

The question stopping them in their tracks was: "Which country has the oldest monarchy still in existence?" Having whittled the possible answers down to two, Japan or Denmark, and still without a clue, they turned to their "phone a friend": Dr Seldon. But when Sir Steve put the puzzler to Dr Seldon his response was less than confident. "Well, Steve," the headmaster said. "The answer is ... I don't know."

After he helpfully pointed out that the answer could be either, Dr Seldon was unceremoniously cut off, but not before he left the audience with a prolonged and rather gurgling "errrrrrrrrrm" as he groped helplessly for an answer (it's Japan, by the way).

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