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David Lammy’s hapless responses to Celebrity Mastermind in 2009 resurface when he lands a new role

Cringe-worthy moment when new shadow foreign minister said the 2003 Rose Revolution took place in Yugoslavia and Marie Antoinette won the Nobel Prize: David Lammy’s unfortunate responses to Celebrity Mastermind in 2009 resurface as he takes on a new role

  • David Lammy MP was promoted this week in Labour’s surprise reshuffle
  • In 2009 he thought that Henry VII ascended the throne after the death of Henry VII
  • He also got a football question wrong about his beloved Tottenham Hotspur
  • The MP has scored just 13 since 2000, eight of which come from his field
  • This week he said he was “honoured” to be the new shadow foreign minister


Labor’s new shadow foreign minister once thought the 2003 Rose Revolution was happening in Yugoslavia and Marie Antoinette won the Nobel Prize in Physics when footage of his appearance on Celebrity Mastermind resurfaced after his promotion.

David Lammy MP, who was given the new role of Sir Keir Starmer this week, gave some unfortunate answers when he appeared on the BBC quiz show in 2009.

During a general knowledge round in which he only got five answers right, the MP for Tottenham thought that Red Leicester cheese was accompanied by port and that Henry VII ascended to the English throne after Henry VIII’s death.

Mr Lammy also had the wrong question about his beloved Tottenham Hotspur when asked who scored England’s first goal during Fabio Capello’s reign, choosing to go for Aaron Lennon over Jermaine Jenas.

But as Labour’s new shadow foreign minister, his response to a question about the 2003 Rose Revolution will be deeply concerning.

Presenter John Humphrys asked “which country’s so-called ‘Rose Revolution’ of 2003 led to the resignation of its President Eduard Shevardnadze,” to which Mr. Lammy replied “Yugoslavia,” when in fact the correct answer was Georgia.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, was promoted to shadow foreign minister this week in a surprise reshuffle

During a surprise reshuffle on Monday, Starmer promoted a number of prominent centrist figures and demoted his key allies.

Mr Lammy took over the role of Shadow Secretary for Foreign Affairs from Lisa Nandy, who was pitted against Michael Gove as Shadow Secretary for Leveling and Communities.

Following his promotion, Mr Lammy, who has been an MP since 2000, said: ‘Honored to be appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

“At a time when Britain is rearranging itself on the global stage, I look forward to expounding Labour’s vision for a values-led foreign policy based on cooperation and internationalism.”

But within days of his promotion, his unfortunate appearance on Celebrity Mastermind resurfaced, much to the delight of social media users who called it “comedy gold.”

Days after his promotion in Labor's reshuffle, Mr Lammy's unfortunate appearance on 2009's Celebrity Mastermind resurfaced

Days after his promotion in Labor’s reshuffle, Mr Lammy’s unfortunate appearance on 2009’s Celebrity Mastermind resurfaced

Pictured to the left alongside Sir Keir Starmer, Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves, Mr Lammy erroneously said the 2003 Rose Revolution took place in Yugoslavia

Pictured to the left alongside Sir Keir Starmer, Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves, Mr Lammy erroneously said the 2003 Rose Revolution took place in Yugoslavia

Mr Lammy scored eight points during his specialist topic on boxing legend Muhammad Ali but was only able to get five correct answers during the general knowledge round.

When asked which fortress used to defend the gates of Paris was later used as a state prison, Mr Lammy said “Versailles” and also thought James Gandolfini appeared in the Godfather rather than the Sopranos.

He also thought that the surname of the scientists Marie and Pierre, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903, was Antoinette, rather than Curie.

He also posed five questions, including one about the name for the highest stand with seats in a theater, and the Purple Heart military award presented to those injured in action.

But among some of his more memorable incorrect answers, Mr Lammy could correctly identify that MI5 was formed in 1909 to counter the threat from German spies, that William Hague claimed he drank 14 pints of beer a day while working as a delivery boy, the Coldplay singer as Chris Martin, that Oprah Winfrey had other business ventures and that the term penthouse originally meant a shed or outbuilding.

The unfortunate appearance of David Lammy on Celebrity Mastermind

What was the married name of the scientists Marie and Pierre who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for their research into radiation?

Lammy: Antoinette

Answer: Curie

Cockpit Country is a rugged, inaccessible area on which Caribbean island?

Lammy: passed

Answer: Jamaica

Which former Conservative leader claimed in an August 2000 magazine article that he drank about 14 pints of beer a day while working as a delivery boy?

Lammy: William Haag (correct)

Which fortress was built in the 1370s to defend one of the gates of Paris and was later used as a state prison by Cardinal Richelieu?

Lammy: Versailles

Answer: The Bastille

Which Tottenham Hotspur player scored the first goal of Fabio Capello’s reign as England football manager in February 2008?

Lammy: Aaron Lennon

Answer: Jermaine Jenas

In which American television series James Gandolfini played a mob boss named Tony?

Lammy: Godfather

Answer: The Sopranos

What name is used for the highest gallery of seats in a theater?

Lammy: passed

Answer: The gods

Which organization was founded in 1909 as the home branch of the Secret Service Bureau to counter the threat of German spies?

Lammy: MI5 (correct)

Which U.S. military decoration is awarded to those wounded in action and bears the military merit inscription on the reverse?

Lammy: passed

Answer: Purple Heart

Which award-winning British band is Chris Martin the lead singer of?

Lammy: Coldplay (correct)

What variety of blue English cheese is traditionally served with port?

Lammy: Red Leicester

Answer: Stilton

What term for a luxury top floor apartment originally meant a barn or outbuilding?

Lammy: Penthouse (correct)

In 2006 Sandi Toksvig replaced Simon Hoggart as presenter of which current Radio 4 quiz show?

Lammy: passed

Answer: The News Quiz

Which American chat show host has business ventures, including Harpo Productions and Oxygen Media, that operate a 24-hour women’s cable television network?

Lammy: Oprah Winfrey (correct)

Who acceded to the English throne at the age of 9 after the death of his father Henry VIII in 1547?

Lammy: Henry VII

Answer: Edward VI

What French word is used in chemistry for a tube for transferring measured amounts of liquids?

Lammy: passed

Answer: A pipette

In which country did the so-called ‘Rose Revolution’ of 2003 lead to the resignation of its president Eduard Shevardnadze?

Lammy: Yugoslavia

Answer: Georgia

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