Piccadilly Pulse: Can Mancunians beat George Osborne at multiplying 7×8 after his TV maths gaffe?

George Osborne dodged a simple maths question earlier today while being interviewed by a panel of school children on Sky News.

Seven-year-old Samuel Raddings, from Manchester, who contributes to a children’s newspaper called First News, asked Mr Osborne whether he ‘was good at maths?’ before directly following up his question with another teaser when he said: “What’s seven times eight?”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer answered the first question perfectly well and said: “I did maths A-level so I have been tested at school.” 

However, the answer to the latter proved a little more challenging and Mr Osborne, who some may claim has got his sums wrong in the past, said:  “I’ve made it a rule in life not to answer a load of maths questions.” 

Mr Osborne’s guarded response begs the question: did the man in charge of Britain’s purse strings actually know the answer?  Or had seven-year-old Samuel really managed to stump him?

Just in case, you are overthinking the question, the answer is 56.

Here at MM we took to the streets of Piccadilly to ask the public the same question:

What is seven multiplied by eight?



Not bad Manchester.

In fact, the majority of those who answered correctly managed to do so in less than three seconds. 

It seems that all of those primary school days spent endlessly reeling off times-tables have been useful ones after all.

In fact, those who answered quickest were the eldest people we approached.  Stockport-based Sonia Cliff, 70 and Julie Talbot, 60, from Wythenshawe, both answering in less than two seconds.

Slightly worryingly, however, one accountant who was approached gallantly answered ‘64!’ before realising she was wrong and turning as red as the seats at Old Trafford.

Mike Price, a 45-year-old souvenir shop employee from Ancoats, thankfully answered correctly after a 16 second-countdown before commenting: “I should know this – I was playing darts all day yesterday!”

Meanwhile, 26-year-old David from Salford simply replied: “Do I fuck!” when asked if he knew the answer.

Is it important for the Chancellor to know his times-tables though?

“Well it doesn’t fill you with much confidence if he doesn’t, does it?” said 37-year-old consultant Chris Jones.

Kyle Kuzon, a 17-year-old college student, simply shook his head in disbelief when we informed him of Mr Osborne’s embarrassing situation.

Designer Kelly, 37, took a more balanced view asking: “Does he really need to know?  Surely he can use a calculator if he really needs to!”

Image courtesy of Sky News via YouTube with thanks

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