'Only Connect' quizzers stand up to trolling of team captain over 'do your job' comment

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·4-min read
Programme Name: Only Connect S17 - TX: n/a - Episode: Only Connect S17 - Team Generics (No. Team Generics) - Picture Shows: Golfers  - (C) Parasol Media Limited - Photographer: Rory Lindsay
Golfers team captain Frances Clark-Murray was unfairly criticised by viewers. (Parasol Media Limited/Rory Lindsay)

Only Connect's finalists have called out trolls who labelled one team captain "rude" over a missed reference in a phrase she used to encourage her teammates.

Frances Clark-Murray captained the Golfers team to second place in Monday's series final of the notoriously tough BBC Two quiz against winners the Data Wizards, but endured abusive comments online from some viewers.

Read more: The most controversial TV moments of 2021

The controversy kicked off as the Golfers team took on the third round of the quiz hosted by Victoria Coren Mitchell, a wall of words which they must sort into four related groups, and Clark-Murray told her teammates "do your job".

Programme Name: Only Connect S17 - TX: n/a - Episode: Only Connect S17 - Presenter Generics (No. Presenter Generics) - Picture Shows:  Victoria Coren Mitchell - (C) Parasol Media Limited - Photographer: Rory Lindsay
Victoria Coren Mitchell hosts the tough quiz. (Parasol Media Limited/Rory Lindsay)

Some viewers said they were shocked at what they thought was a rude comment, although teammate Evan Lynch clarified it was actually a motivational phrase that they had all agreed on using during the series.

One viewer tweeted: "Is it me or Frances rude to team mates, 'do your jobs'."

Someone else wrote: "Frances Clark Murray is always incredibly snappy with their teammates on the wall in Only Connect… they’re just trying their best ffs"

Another viewer added: "'Do your job!' - Frances ruling with an iron fist when attempting the wall, but not winning Only Connect, was glorious. I wouldn't stand for being spoken to on TV like that."

Programme Name: Only Connect S17 - TX: n/a - Episode: Only Connect S17 - Team Generics (No. Team Generics) - Picture Shows: Data Wizards  - (C) Parasol Media Limited - Photographer: Rory Lindsay
Winners the Data Wizards stuck up for their rivals. (Parasol Media Limited/Rory Lindsay)

But Golfers team member Lynch tweeted that it actually referred to a mantra from American football coach Bill Belichick: "Can’t believe the #onlyconnect viewing public didn’t recognise 'do your job' as the Bill Belichick coaching mantra we repeated to ourselves all series - tragically I failed to do my job of spotting the hidden words on the wall #Golfers"

Captain of the winning team Timothy Brown added in support: "Important context for #onlyconnect. Teams practise, develop their language, know how to communicate fast. Chatting with friends under 2:30 time limit not the same as how you talk to a stranger in the street."

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Lynch replied to him: "Absolutely - we knew we were weak on word games so for the whole series that phrase was our easy reminder to get me to constantly look for hidden words and for George to try for prefixes and suffixes (which in the end was really all we needed to be doing!)"

However, many of the comments criticising Clark-Murray spilled over into personal insults which she and Brown both called out.

Clark-Murray tweeted: "Always nice to have it proven that any perceived negative actions by trans women are carte blanche for people to misgender and abuse us, and that the intensity of the hatred has absolutely no correlation to the magnitude of the offence."

She added: "Extremely cunning plan to avoid all the abuse ppl will be sending my way this evening by being asleep throughout the whole thing.

"My teammates @charlsgeorgeson and @EvanWLynch, who are both significantly better at this whole quiz lark than I am, carried us to the final, and despite what @VictoriaCoren might have feared we do still speak to each other after the lillies incident.

"Final soppy note: 2021 had been very difficult for me in a whole bunch of ways. it’s no exaggeration at all to say that Only Connect was the highlight of that year. thanks to everyone who helped make that happen, and I hope everyone else enjoys the show."

Brown stuck up for his rival by tweeting: "And I would like to unequivocally state that @FClarMurr and her team are extraordinarily good opponents. And if you feel you need to comment on anything other than their quizzing ability or general OC conduct, then leave it the f*** out of my timeline."

Watch: Victoria Coren Mitchell baffled by 'ungettable' Only Connect question

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