Fishermans Arms quiz team flying the flag for Hartlepoool in the Great British Pub Quiz

Left to right, Alex Park, Noel Cornforth, Mandy Jackson and Dave Bell with Mark 'THE BEAST' Labbett from ITV hit show The Chase
Left to right, Alex Park, Noel Cornforth, Mandy Jackson and Dave Bell with Mark 'THE BEAST' Labbett from ITV hit show The Chase

PUB punters want to crown themselves as Britain’s brainiest quiz team after they made it to a national competition for the third consecutive year.

The four-person strong team from the Fishermans Arms, on the Headland, finished sixth in the The Great British Pub Quiz two years ago and were disappointed with their 11th place finish after qualifying again last year.

But this year they are aiming for the top spot, even though the quick-thinking general knowledge brainiacs know the standard will be incredibly high.

Mandy Jackson, 49, who runs the pub, in Southgate, alongside Steve Bell, 50, and is one of the members of the team, said: “We are hoping to win, that would be brilliant, but after seeing the standard last year we know how difficult that will be.

“But it’s the third year in a row we’ve made the national final so we have the experience and hopefully this year will be our best yet.”

The masterminds making up the Fishermans Arms team this year are Mandy, Dave Bell, Alex Park and newcomer Noel Cornforth.

Mandy says the team have a “good spread of knowledge” which stands them in good stead for the variety of questions they will have to deal with at the national competition at Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, in September.

To earn a spot in the final they joined more than 1,120 pubs across the country taking part in an eight-week competition, organised by Punch Taverns, which saw the teams with the best average scores commence to the regional finals.

The Fishermans Arms team eased through to the regional competition, held in Seaham, and won it for the third consecutive year earning their spot in the national final in the process.

They also got the chance to meet Mark “The Beast” Labbett at Seaham, the writer of the quiz and well-known as one of the “Chasers” on hit ITV show The Chase.

The focus of the quiz boffins from the popular Headland pub now turns to the national competition, although Mandy said preparation for the final is difficult.

Mandy, who is the mum of Emily Whitehead, 14, said: “The questions are really diverse, often it’s a case of you either know them or you don’t. But we will do what we can before the competition and hopefully this will be our year.”