Newcastle upon Tyne 2018

newcastle pic free

Date: Saturday 24th March 2018.
Venue: The Lonsdale Hotel, Lonsdale Terrace, West Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE2 3HQ (websitelocation).
Admission: £15, including hot buffet lunch at 1pm (PayPal preferable, please).
Doors open: 9:30am for a 10:30am start.
Presented by: Countdown champions and quiz show veterans James Robinson (Eggheads, Fifteen to One, Mastermind, Pointless) and Innis Carson (Only Connect, University Challenge).
Format: Subject to number of entries.
Finishes by: 6pm; dinner booking for 7pm (details below).
Wheelchair accessible?: Yes. ♿️
Wifi?: Yes.


Hosts Innis Carson and James Robinson, pictured in between matches at FOCAL’s Glasgow tournament in 2016.

FOCAL Countdown makes its northeast début in 2018!

Host James Robinson, co-founder of our Huddersfield tournament since 2012, will be joined by fellow quiz aficionado Innis Carson for a day of high quality puzzles and conundrums.

How does it work?
First of all, everybody plays from start to finish — there are no knockouts!

There will be a big screen for the game graphics and everyone plays to the same letters, numbers and conundrums rounds. We try to replicate the studio conditions, including giving everyone turns at picking the selections. There will be comfort breaks in between games, as well as the buffet lunch.

focal rapidness
Following the successful introduction at Huddersfield in 2017, we’re using a two-part format for the day:
Heats: Players are drawn at random into groups (normally four) to play the first games of the day. Each player who wins their group automatically qualifies for Division A.
Finals: Based on the results from the heats, everybody is seeded and goes into divisions for the quarter-final, semi-final and final. These later selections follow a Swiss system, rather than a knockout, so you are progressively paired against people with the same results as you.

How do you get an overall winner?
At the top of the tree, the two finalists in Division A will sit out the final match, to play our showpiece Grand Final at around 5pm. So if you don’t make the top two, why not recharge your glass at the bar, sit back and enjoy the show!

What else do I need?
Pens and paper will be supplied, but please feel free to bring your own notebooks. We will only require the scores from each game, not the full round-by-round declarations.

Different formats work better with different numbers of sign-ups, so we’ll announce the format in the run-up to the day.

And there’s a dinner in the evening?
Yes, we have a group table booked for 7pm at Za Za Bazaar, priced at £15pp (websitedirections), which will be a brilliant way to finish off your fun in the Toon!

How much does it cost?
Admission costs £15pp for the event (including the lunch buffet) or £30pp if you also want to join us for dinner. You can make your booking with James now:

– By PayPal:
Event and dinner (£30), or
Event only (£15).
Please ensure that you select ‘pay family/friends’, otherwise the full amount payable will not come through.

– By cheque (address available on request).

Any questions?
If you need any help, including any pointers on planning your journey or your stay, email us at