There can’t be many Londoners who haven’t watched “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and wondered exactly how much use £32,000 or £64,000 would be to them. If you’re one of the pitiable people (myself included) who choose to live in this capital city, you will be familiar with the daylight robbery that is known as “flat hunting in London”. So, Mr. Tarrant – is this what the London version might look like?
For £100: a one month Travelcard for four zones – what does the abbreviation s/c stand for?
a) self contaminated
b) self contained
c) structurally condemned
d) spontaneously combusts
For £200: Travelcard and £100 accommodation agency fee – why does south east London not appear on tube maps?
a) There are no tubes in south east London
b) LU had to find somewhere to put the information box
c) It’s a north London conspiracy
d) It’s the best way to keep tourists out
For £300: three nights in a central London hotel – The Big Issue is …
a) How much it costs to live in London
b) Whether you will ever get to work on time
c) A magazine produced and sold by homeless people
d) Your new employer if you don’t find a flat next week
For £500: one month’s deposit on a cheap studio flat – what does the word “bond” mean to you?
a) A large deposit requested by avaricious landlords
b) The street where all your trinkets came from
c) James, licence to kill
d) The warmth you feel towards your landlord
For £1,000: one month’s rent and one month’s deposit – now we’re cooking! – what is the meaning of “pcm”?
a) per cubit metre
b) piss covered mattress
c) per calendar month
d) probably costs more
For £2,000: rent, deposit and your Annual Season Goldcard – where can you get a good sauna for free in London?
a) On the Central Line from Bond Street to Holborn (at 9am)
b) On the Victoria Line from Stockwell to Oxford Circus
c) On the Northern Line from Kennington to Bank
d) On the Piccadilly Line from Green Park to King’s Cross
For £4,000: 5% deposit on an £80,000 ex-council flat in Barking, Dagenham or anywhere else you wouldn’t really choose to live – who is the new Mayor of London?
a) Ken Livingstone
b) Kenneth Branagh
c) Kenny from South Park
d) Clark Kent
For £8,000: 5% deposit, legal fees, stamp duty, ground rent, Council Tax, water rates, gas and electricity for one year – what is Madame Tussaud’s?
a) A Soho strip club
b) A waxworks museum
c) The home of the new Commons Speaker
d) A casino in France
For £16,000: deposit, furniture, holiday, car – OR – a mobile home in Peckham – what is a “studio” flat?
a) A wonderful “compact and bijou” little pad perfect for single people
b) A box room with a sink, shower and WC if you’re lucky
c) Whatever the landlord says it is
d) You wouldn’t know, you live in a house
For £32,000: as before + MITB (money in the bank!) – OR – a 32’ canal barge moored in Twickenham – what is your favourite London Underground excuse?
a) Power supply problems
b) Lack of drivers
d) Escalator problems
For £64,000: full purchase price of an ex-council Barking studio flat – which of the station currently has escalator problems?
b) Liverpool Street
c) Kings Cross
d) All of the above and many, many more as well
For £125,000: One bedroom maisonette in Balham, Lewisham or Stratford – which Underground Line might occasionally deliver you to work on time?
a) Northern Line
b) Central Line
c) Circle Line
d) None of the above
For £250,000: Two bedroom Victorian conversion in Acton, Streatham or Crouch End – how do MPs cope with travelling around London to meetings etc?
a) In chauffeur driven limousines at the taxpayer’s expense
b) Stuck in tube trains for hours, missing meetings like everyone else
c) On foot (a brave few)
d) They fly – don’t you know pigs have wings?
For £500,000: Four bedroom house in Putney, Barnes, Chiswick or Surrey – which is your all time favourite Railtrack excuse?
a) Leaves on the line
b) Signalling problems
c) Train derailment
d) Bodies on the line
For £1,000,000: One bedroom mansion flat in Little Venice – OR – half a dozen decent homes anywhere else in the UK – which train operator has just increased fares by 36%?
(The answer’s (a) by the way, but they’re all extortionate anyway.)