Mayo Lad Still Dining Out On Blackboard Jungle Victory



NEARLY 20 years after captaining his secondary school to an epic quarter-final victory in the 1996 series of RTÉ quiz show Blackboard Jungle, Mayo native Seamie Dignam still gets lauded as he walks through his hometown of Killinaman.

Dignam, currently employed as manager in the local hardware shop run by his father, says that his experiences on the quiz team fielded by his school Colaiste Naomh Dunmharu set him up for a lifetime of celebrity in the small rural town, and that people still refer to him as ‘the lad that was on Blackboard Jungle’.

“19 years later and I still get people buying me the odd drink because of it,” said Dignam, during an exclusive interview with WWN.

“And in fairness, I deserved it. I carried that team through the first round into the quarter-finals; I got all my questions right, no conferring, and I totally beasted the rapid-fire round. I’ll never forget the mini-bus ride home from Dublin to Mayo; we got the driver to honk the horn through every town. We were like rock stars”.

Although Dignam’s team failed to make it through the quarter-final stages, (controversially beaten by a Dublin school team which had a member who was repeating his Leaving cert; a grey area in the Blackboard Jungle rulebook), the townsfolk of Killinaman have never let him forget his glorious victory when he was only a humble teenager in fourth year.

“People still ask me, ‘How is Ray D’Arcy these days?'” smiled Dignam, eating a pear while staring at the horizon.

“And I always say, I’ll tell him you said hello! But in truth, I haven’t met Ray since I was on the show. I rang in to Today FM a few years back and was on the Odd One Out quiz, but he didn’t seem to remember me”.

Dignam remains to this day the second most famous person in Killinaman, behind a local lady, now in her 60s, who once played Buzz-Off with Gay Byrne on the Late Late Toy Show in 1984.