Iconic quiz Mastermind returns to BBC Two as it celebrates its 50th anniversary
Mastermind celebrates a ‘golden’ anniversary on 11 September, 50 years on from the first ever episode broadcast in 1972
Mastermind is back this September in a new series that marks 50 years of the nation’s sharpest minds competing in a tournament for the ultimate quizzing honour of being crowned Mastermind Champion.
Hosted by BBC journalist and presenter Clive Myrie since 2021, the new series of Mastermind will see 96 contenders follow the tried and tested formula of facing two minutes of questions on their specialist subject, followed by two and a half minutes on general knowledge.
The winner of each heat qualifies for a place in the semi-finals, and six finalists then compete in the Grand Final, where only one of them will win the ultimate quizzing accolade of becoming the new Mastermind Champion and take home the coveted Mastermind Glass Bowl.
Clive Myrie says: “As a kid growing up watching Mastermind, I could never have imagined hosting this most iconic of quiz shows, in its 50th anniversary year. Its enduring appeal is down to its simplicity; a test of knowledge against the clock. Riveting and entertaining, it is still Britain’s toughest quiz. Happy Birthday Mastermind.”
The specialist subjects are as eclectic as ever, ranging from Professor Stephen Hawking, Toy Dog Breeds and Guest Stars in the Sitcom Friends, to the Spanish Artist Francisco de Goya, Shakespeare’s Comedies and The Great Fire of London.
The now iconic quiz, created by Bill Wright, celebrates a ‘golden’ anniversary on 11th September, 50 years on from the first ever episode broadcast in 1972. The very first series of Mastermind was won by Nancy Wilkinson, a 53-year-old lecturer from Cambridgeshire, while the most recent Mastermind champion, grandmother Alice Walker, is the oldest ever female winner at 66.
Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director of Hat Trick Productions, comments: “It’s a great honour for us to be chosen as the custodians of one of the most iconic long running shows in television history.
“David Young and his amazing team and the brilliant Clive Myrie have ensured that Mastermind is as fresh and exciting now as it was when it first launched 50 years ago.”
Sarah Clay, Commissioning Editor, says: “Mastermind is one of the BBC’s legacy shows and a real jewel in our schedule, with a simple yet highly effective format which has been popular with audiences for decades. It entertains and educates audiences, with many loyal fans playing along at home.”
Mastermind is a Hindsight & Hat Trick Production for the BBC. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Sarah Clay and the Executive Producers are David Young, Jimmy Mulville, Kate Middleditch, and Chris Jones for Hindsight & Hat Trick. It is filmed and produced in Belfast with support from Northern Ireland Screen.
Mastermind returns to BBC Two this September, with the full series available on iPlayer.