ANYONE who is a regular watcher of the popular daytime quiz show Pointless will have seen a picturesque part of Powys feature this week.

The scenic Heart of Wales Line was the subject that appeared in the final on Wednesday, with the contestants tasked to name a station along the rural route – much of which traverses through Mid Wales – that would not have got any votes from a poll.

Of the 32 stops between Shrewsbury and Swansea, a staggering 29 of them would have been pointless answers. Unfortunately, it was not to be for husband-and-wife team David and Linda, originally from Essex but now retired to North Wales, who supplied three wrong answers – and thought Ystrad Mynach was one of the stops along the route.


The couple wanted to see Welsh mountains and lakes come up in the final, when asked by Pointless host Alexander Armstrong, or knitting patterns. When ‘Scenic Railway routes in the UK’ appeared, with the Heart of Wales Line one of the two choices, they probably thought they were in with a shot at the £1,700 jackpot.

Host Armstrong asked them: “That’s as close to the Welsh mountains as you’re going to get, isn’t it?”

Broadcaster, chef and singer Andi Oliver, one of eight celebrities who have replaced former co-host Richard Osman, called it a “tricky one”, to which Alexander replied: “Unless you might be from Wales?”

David and Linda selected the railway option from four choices, that also included the ‘Duke of Wellington’, ‘Bands from Athens, Georgia’ or ‘Tennis at the Olympics’, with their category also providing them with a chance to name stations based along the Settle to Carlisle Line in the north of England.

All of their answers – Ystrad Mynach, Penrith and Sedbergh – proved fruitless. Ystrad Mynach was the sole answer the retired couple could muster for the Heart of Wales Line, and when told it wasn’t a station on that line, David said “it should be”, despite it being 47 miles away from the nearest one, Swansea.

The show attracted the attention of the Heart of Wales Line itself, who posted images of the show on its Facebook page.

David and Linda’s choice of stations, or lack thereof, attracted the attention of some people living locally to them.

“What an awful mess they made of answering the questions,” said Simon Pilkington, replying to the Heart of Wales Line’s post.

County Times:  Contestants David and Linda failed to win the final after impressively reaching the final. Contestants David and Linda failed to win the final after impressively reaching the final. (Image: Matt Jones)

Of the Heart of Wales Line’s 34 stations that stretch from Swansea to Shrewsbury, 13 are in Powys: Knighton, Knucklas, Llangunllo, Llanbister Road, Dolau, Penybont, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Road, Cilmeri, Garth, Llangammarch Wells, Llanwrtyd Wells and Sugar Loaf.

Knighton, Knucklas, Llandovery and Sugar Loaf were the 4 pointless answers shown on screen at the end of the final, with Andi revealing that only three weren’t pointless – Landrindod, as well as Shropshire stop Craven Arms and Llanelli in Carmarthenshire (Swansea and Shrewsbury were not counted).

The co-host struggled to pronounce Llandrindod, telling viewers: “I’m just going to apologise to all Welsh speakers. Please don’t hold it against me, I’m from Suffolk.”