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Treasure Quest

PUBLISHED: 11:12 25 November 2010 | UPDATED: 11:57 28 February 2013

Treasure Quest

Treasure Quest

BBC Radio Norfoik's cult hit show with Becky Betts and David Clayton

Quest is a real treasure


Every Sunday morning she hot-foots across the county in search of clues, while he attempts to guide her in the right direction. Angi Kennedy gets clued up on BBC Radio Norfolks cult hit Treasure Quest with David Clayton and Becky Betts.


Its the radio quiz that has led to many an uncut lawn or late Sunday lunch. BBC Radio Norfolks Treasure Quest has built up a huge following, as listeners attempt to solve the cryptic clues that will lead the ever-enthusiastic quester Becky Betts to the mystery location.
For a manic three hours every Sunday morning, Becky dashes from place to place around the county, under the direction of radio presenter David Clayton who tries to unravel the
Treasure Quest clues with the help of the general public.
The show has reached cult proportions now, with a large online Facebook following and fans around the world, and this month David and Becky will be revealing some of the maddermoments of the show when they present Treasure Quest Live at Norwich Playhouse to raise money for Children In Need. They promise a mixture of behind the scenes insights, bloopers and plenty of interactive fun.
The radio show first aired in Easter 2008, when it became an immediate hit. With the mystery location unsolved by the end of that first programme, David took the decision to let it over-run and drop the programme scheduled to follow it. The audience was swept up in the excitement of the hunt and it was soon agreed that Treasure Quest should fill the three-hour Sunday slot from 9am each week.


I get genuinely upset if I fail I feel I have let the listeners down.

Key to its success is the bubbly Becky who admits: I get genuinely upset if I fail I feel I have let the listeners down.
It is the only programme I know that can release every emotion I get happy, sad, weep tears. I have never felt so emotional about something; by Sunday afternoons I am totally wiped out!
And back in the studio David does his best to remain calm and composed even when the clues are totally befuddling. I honestly dont know what will happen during the show or where Becky will be sent until it happens, he says.
I have been on the radio for many years now but this is the best thing to do because I dont have to do any preparation in advance indeed I cant. But even now I am learning things about the county that I didnt know and I believe that when people have listened to the show in the morning, quite a few of them go out in the afternoon and follow the trail of where we have been that day.
Becky adds: Thats a big part of the enjoyment for people they really do interact with the show and are so proud of their part of the county. People come out of their houses and wave as we
drive past.
For David and Becky the biggest thrill came when Anneka Rice of the TV series Treasure Hunt to which Treasure Quest pays gentle homage paid them a surprise visit. She is my absolute heroine in this job, says Becky. But she must have thought I was bonkers I was standing on top of Norwich Castle shrieking to anyone passing Its Anneka flipping Rice!


David Clayton
Aged 57
Lives in Hemblington, near Norwich
Married with three grown-up children


I was born in Yorkshire but moved to Norfolk when I was a boy and went to school at Great Yarmouth Grammar. My first job was as an accounts clerk.
I started the Gemini Mobile Disco in 1971. In fact I have recently got back my decks from a friend who had kept them for me and I am having them restored.
I was a DJ at The Talk of East Anglia in Norwich and The Ocean Rooms in Gorleston, and worked on Hospital Radio Norwich, before joining BBC Radio Norfolk first as a freelance then being taken on as a radio presenter.
I won a Sony Award in 1986, with my broadcasting partner Neil Walker for Norfolk Airline, and we went on to present Local Network for Radio Four. I was appointed editor at BBC Radio Norfolk in 1998 and have done that for the past 12 years, but there has never been a time when I havent been presenting on the radio sometime during the schedule.
It is fair to say that when I first moved here in the 1960s I didnt feel like a Norfolk boy, but now when I drive home from anywhere in the country I get that feeling as I cross the border this is definitely my home. My wife is from Norwich and my roots are all here.


Becky Betts
Aged 32
Lives in Norwich
Single


I was born in Suffolk and had a convent education.
My first job was in BBC Radio Suffolk while I was doing my degree in performing arts. I worked for them for eight years and then came to BBC Radio Norfolk as the Action Desk manager.
I also manage the Big Screen outside Chapelfield for the Olympic 2012 partnership scheme between the BBC, Chapelfield shopping centre, Norwich City Council and London 2012.
As well as working on Treasure Quest, David and I now do a show on Friday mornings together where we catch up with some of the people we didnt get a chance to talk to properly while I was chasing about after clues. We often come across really interesting people with a great story to tell, but I am racing against the clock so I feel really rude when I have to tell them that I cant stay and talk!
I do like living in Norwich but it is strange for me to be in the city, because I really am a village girl.


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I normally start planning it on the Monday morning before the show, with all of the locations sorted and the clues written ready to be sent out in the post to their various locations by Thursday afternoon.
The Easter specials have always been some weeks if not months in the planning, where we have had things such as a clue printed in the Radio Times or a conductor on a specific train Becky had to catch.
I try to rotate the show around different areas of the county each week, so everyone gets a fair crack.
I Google the areas or look on maps, and phone places of interest, tourist attractions or quite often parish councils to see if theres somewhere in their village that might make a good location, and whether theres someone who would be willing to put the clue in place for us on a Sunday morning.
There would be no time during the week for me to check the route personally (and in any case, I dont drive), so I rely on an online journey calculator to work out driving times between locations.
The actual clue-writing itself is quite an easy process, and usually takes about half an hour or so. The clues can have various elements anagrams, facts or folklore about the location, plays on words or homophones, and various pop culture references to films, TV shows or music and musicians.
I enjoy the clue-writing and find it the simplest part of putting the show together, although I always make sure someone else casts their eye across them before I send them out, just to make sure the audience wont feel cheated or theyre not too hard or obscure!


BBC Radio Norfolk presents Treasure Quest Live at Norwich Playhouse, St Georges Street, Norwich, NR3 1AB, on Saturday, 20 November, 3.30pm and 7.30pm, all tickets 10, proceeds to Children In Need; box office 01603 598598.


A charity Treasure Quest calendar featuring photos of David and Becky will be on sale at the live show at Norwich Playhouse and afterwards from the Jarrold Shop in The Forum, Norwich or www.bbc.co.uk/norfolk. Priced 6.50 with all the profits (at least 2 from each copy sold) going to BBC Children in Need.

2 comments

  • Stay with the Radio--I like the "excitement" of trying to visualise where Becky is and going to. Also it is great entertainment while driving. TV will take away this pleasure.<br/><br/>One doesnot need to be sitting in front of a TV all the time!

    Add your comment |

    arvees554

    Thursday, January 1, 1970

  • Please bring this to main stream TV - I used to love Anika Rice in the original treasure hunt series and would so easily be converted into this with people playing this interactivley at home

    Add your comment |

    kayzee

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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