Jonathan Gibson has rightly been praised for his stunning performance in last Monday’s Mastermind final, in which he easily defeated five other competitors to win the trophy. Aged 24, he became the youngest person ever to win the competition. He has boyish charm by the bucket load, and the fact that he is now a student at St Andrews adds to his status in my eyes.
There is, however, a curious omission in the Mail’s report of Gibson’s ascent to the black leather throne: his name. Six hundred words of text, but it’s all about the retirement of the “ferocious” question master, whose style, we are told, is based on that of a wartime Nazi interrogator.
Gibson is referred to in the text, but only as a “student from Glasgow”, while the writer waxes lyrical about the ferocity of John Humphrys whose quizzing style I have always found rather irritating. Numerous references to “I know, it’s the black chair” and a tendency to put on silly voices and accents can be extremely patronising. Not to mention the interminable length of the questions (in the final, a maximum of eleven asked in two minutes!), although this is probably the producers’ fault rather than his.
It’s probably a good thing that Humphrys is moving on. I’m already looking forward to the autumn, and the return of BBC2’s Quizzy Mondays.