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Telly: Test how clever you are.

IF YOU thought the BBC was dumbing down, thinkagain.

Philip Schofield and Anne Robinson are back to strike fear into the hearts of dunces everywhere as Test the Nation returns.

In this glorified pub quiz, the National Lottery host joins forces with The Weakest Link veteran to see how clever we are.

And if you thought brain-teasers were just a bit of fun, take heart. The BBC's prime time head-scratcher could help you become less clumsy.

According to Dr Colin Cooper, from Queen's University, who devised the test: ``IQ tests are a very useful thing: they'regood for getting jobs,all sorts of things.

``Interestingly, the higher the level of IQ you have, the less accident prone you are.''

Anne Robinson says: ``This is a chance to test who truly is the smartest.''

In the 2002 test, smokers were declared brainier than non-smokers while West Bromwich Albion were revealed to have the cleverest fans.

And while blondes apparently have more fun, they also seem to have more brain power.

Of the 90,000 participants that took part last year, blondes were declared cleverer than redheads and those with black hair.

Gary Lineker probably glowed with pride to discover Leicester was found to be the brainiest city and Aquarians the highest-rating star sign.

Scorpios fared less well, coming last, while Burnley fans were the lowest- scoring football supporters.

Left-handed people scored a little higher than right-handed while blue eyed people beat brown-eyed.

In a test earlier this year, the cleverest UK residents lived in Northern Ireland. The people of Londonderry came top with an average IQ of 107.

Those in Birmingham,Glasgow and Plymouth fared less well with 103.

The last time we tuned into this show, seven teams battled it out.

Fifty people divided into blondes, tax inspectors, city traders, musicians, body-builders and mechanics. The seventh consisted of eight celebs.

City traders proved the smartest with an average IQ of 111 while the mechanics got the lowest at 92.

Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe proved a healthy body also equals a healthy mind, romping home with an impressive 125.

City trader Peter Wall was allowed to be smuggest member of the audience that night with an IQ of 135.

The latest interactive general knowledge test quizzes more viewers,celebrity guests and an audience comprising teams of plumbers, estate agents, examiners, cabin crews, housewives and football fans on a variety of subjects.

Test the Nation (BBC1, 7.30pm)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 6, 2003
Words:405
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