Watch Mastermind on UK BBC TV
BBC Television Provide UK Web Users with Free Coverage of Mastermind on BBC iPlayer.
The big black chair. The solitary spotlight. The thundering music. It can only be long running quiz show, Mastermind.
Originally developed by Bill Wright and inspired by his personal interrogation by the Gestapo during the Second World War, Mastermind has stayed true to its original format for over four decades. The series is well known for its incredibly challenging questions and the intimidating air that the contestants have to endure to get through the rounds.
The first round sees the nervous contestants walking to the chair and taking their seat for a round on their specialist subject. Topics are chosen by contestants prior to going on the show and in the past have ranged from Shakespeare to Father Ted. Contestants are given two minutes to answer as many questions as they can.
Contestants can answer or say “pass” to move on, and if the questioner is in the middle of a question at the end of the round, they will utter the show’s most famous catchphrase “I’ve started, so I’ll finish” before reading the rest of the question and giving the contestant a chance to answer.
After all the contestants have sat their specialised questions, they return to the chair for a second round of questioning, this time on general knowledge. The winner is the contestant who finishes the rounds with the most accumulated points. If there is a tie at the end of the round, the contestant with fewest passes wins.
The highest score on Mastermind ever achieved was by Kevin Ashman who got an incredible 41 points across the two rounds. Ashman has also been the world International Quizzing Association champion four times, holds the score for highest ever total on Brain of Britain and is now one of BBC 2’s Eggheads, and his score is one which every challenger aims to beat.
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