Mastermind: shambolic pseudo-contest rewarding the ultra niche.

I only watch TV on 2 nights of the week: Friday, to empty my brain from a typical week of controversy, and Sunday, to watch Jeremy Clarkson play the eternal europhobic grinch (who actually watches Top Gear for the cars?). At the moment, the Friday night on BBC 2 starts with the quiz show ‘Mastermind‘, a trimmed down contest between 4 humans dazzling us with their niche – and general knowledge. Tonight the four special interests where

Now, who do you think scored the most points and who scored the least in the niche knowlegdge round? Exactly. The woman sporting her intricate knowledge of this insipid ‘mystery’ show scored exactly double as many points as the guy specialising in Tacitus. I wonder why. Maybe it was due to the fact that Tacitus was an accomplished politician, historian and author of the first century BC. 5 of his tomes have survived, as have the autobiographical details of his rich life. And Johnathan Creek is a TV Show with 20 odd episodes.

As the producer of this programme I would ask myself whether I might not made a mistake here and produce a rather uneven set of candidates. The only redeeming thing about these 30 minutes was that the contestant who ‘sparkled’ with her knowledge of this TV thing only scored 9 points in the general knowledge part of the quiz and hence did not progress.

P.S. To top it off, John Humphreys (the guy hosting the show) denied the Tacitus contestant a point by not realising that ‘Iberia’ is ‘Spain’. Duh.

P.P.s And the “toughest questions on TV” must surely be on University Challenge..

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