Edinburgh quizmaster humbled by honours recognition

What do you do if you run a pub quiz company during a global pandemic?

Andrew 'Goose' Wildgoose has brought people together during the pandemic through his firm's online quizzes. Picture: Andrew Wildgoose
Andrew 'Goose' Wildgoose has brought people together during the pandemic through his firm's online quizzes. Picture: Andrew Wildgoose

It is a question Andrew Wildgoose - better known as Goose - never thought he would be asked. But as it turned out, he hit upon the perfect answer.

The 33-year-old, who has been recognised with a British Empire medal for services to charitable fundraising during the Covid-19 crisis, runs Goose’s Quizzes, an Edinburgh firm that oversees up to 45 weekly pub quizzes across the Central Belt.

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As the dangers of the pandemic became clear, he decided to suspend the company’s services in mid-March when official advice was issued urging people to avoid large social gatherings.

But that did not mean that Goose’s Quizzes had been mothballed. Instead, he set about adapting its model so that it could provide home-based quizzes over online streaming platforms.

It was, Goose admitted, a “tough” decision to take at a time when pubs remained open, but within the space of 24 hours the company had its first online event up and running.

It has since delivered more than 550 online quizzes, with around 700 teams a night taking part. Goose and his team have found a new rhythm, putting together thousands of questions and marking thousands of answer sheets every week.

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While the free quizzes allows friends and families to come together and form teams, word of mouth has also seen participants from around the world joining in, with players from as far afield as the US, Bermuda, Kazakhstan, and Greenland.

Goose has also set up a charitable initiative called GQTON, which sells T-shirts to finance quiz events for charities.

“It’s a huge honour to be recognised, and we’ve always been a company that’s about people, so we just wanted to keep doing what we love,” he said.

“One of the couples who take part in our quizzes are engaged, but one of them has been in Germany during the pandemic, and the other has been in the US, so it’s such a nice way of bringing people together.”

Now Goose and his team are gearing up for a special online quiz on Hogmanay, where not a single question will focus on the events of 2020. “I think people have had enough bad news for one year,” he joked.

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