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 Dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum, Da-da!

Can you please tell me your name? This Troper.

What is your occupation? Media Snarker.

And your specialist subject? The BBC quiz show Mastermind.

OK, you have two minutes to answer as many questions as possible. Let's begin. What country produces this famous quiz show? Great Britain.

When was the first run of this show on TV? 1972 to 1997.

Who was the first host? Magnús Magnússon.

What is the format of the show? Four contestants answer two rounds of questions, one on general knowledge, one on a specialist subject. The highest total score wins.

What happened to the show between 1997 and 2003? There was a Radio 4 version, then a Discovery Channel version, the latter hosted by Clive Anderson.

Who hosts the current BBC version, running from 2003 to the present? John Humphrys.

Are you allowed to pass in this game? Yes.

What happens if you pass in this game? Pass.

If you get the answer wrong, what happens? The host reads out the answer, wasting time for the contestant.

What inspired Bill Wright, the creator? Being interrogated by the Gestapo.

Which pair of comedians famously spoofed the show by having one answer the question before last? The Two Ronnies.

Which board game is this show not to- (Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!) I've started so I'll finish... Which board game is this show not to be confused with? Master Mind.

At the end of that, you had one pass; if you pass in this game, the host reads out the correct answers to any passed questions at the end of the round. You have 11 points!


This show contains examples of:

  • Awesome McCoolname: Magnús Magnússon.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The only prize for winning is a large glass bowl. Of course, Mastermind champions practically become minor celebrities, particularly in the quiz circuit, because it proves that you're really that damn smart.
  • Catch Phrase: "I've started so I'll finish."
  • Cool Chair: It was once kidnapped and held for ransom. Seriously.
  • Hidden Depths: Often turns up stereotype-defying contestants, including a cab driver with extensive knowledge of 14th-Century Italian art.
  • Shown Their Work: The whole point of the "specialist subject" round.
  • Spin-Off: Several.
  • Theme Tune: Named "Approaching Menace" and conveying it as effectively as the theme from Jaws.
  • Write What You Know: That's not a joke — the show really is based on its creator's experience of being interrogated by the Gestapo in World War II.
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