Remember when a fresh-faced George Michael became a Pop Quiz trivia king on TV?

31 January 2022, 11:53

Despite only being 19 years old, George proved to be the most knowledgeable contestant on Pop Quiz that episode.
Despite only being 19 years old, George proved to be the most knowledgeable contestant on Pop Quiz that episode. Picture: BBC

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

Hosted by DJ and journalist Mike Read, Pop Quiz was once the go-to music show on British television.

Two teams battled it out on each show to determine which had the music impressive music knowledge, with Mike Read adjudicating.

It was undoubtedly the blueprint for most music shows that followed such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Though it's initial run only went from 1981-1984 before being taken off our televisions (and revived from time to time), the show saw a huge roster of major names show-off their music knowledge.

The likes of Phil Collins, Cliff Richard, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Queen's Roger Taylor, and Duran Duran's John Taylor were all competitors on the series' original five seasons.

But one budding pop star that made a claim for Pop Quiz king was a very young and very fresh-faced George Michael.

With plenty of dodgy outfits on display (let's not get started on the haircuts..), the likes of Jools Holland, legendary prog rock drummer Bill Bruford, and the wonderfully named Buster Bloodvessel would guest on each team.

After each team member is introduced, without doubt George Michael garners the biggest screams. Some of which were eardrum-bursting.

By that time, Wham! had only released two singles - 'Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)' and 'Young Guns (Go for It)', the latter of which reached No.3 in the UK charts.

Though it was clear from the start that all eyes were on George and how he would perform under the pressure of being on a television quiz.

George appeared on Pop Quiz a second time in 1984, even as a huge star in the UK.
George appeared on Pop Quiz a second time in 1984, even as a huge star in the UK. Picture: BBC

Straight off the bat he answers the album sleeve question correctly, knowing fully well that the small image of boxing gloves belonged to David Bowie's Let's Dance album artwork.

He then goes on to guess the correct lyrics to Elton John's 'Crocodile Rock' as the screams become more deafening with each correct answer he dishes out.

It continues to get better for George (and his reputation as a true music connoisseur) as he helps his team to an emphatic victory.

Even as his stardom grew he returned as a contestant on Pop Quiz again the following year to give the show another go, proving that he clearly loved to put his music credentials to the test.

And he passed with flying colours.