I received an email from the 2000 Mastermind Champion Stephen Follows, which I take the liberty of posting here,
As one of the four 'missing' winners, I'd like to thank you for pointing out that we exist! I too wish that the current Mastermind production team would have the honesty to admit that BBCTV are not the only people to have used the format. I didn't see the Discovery version, but the three Radio 4 series were at least as good as the Magnusson series, and several fine quizzers took part in them. To airbrush them from history is insulting to everyone connected with them.
I have commented on this before. I really don't understand why the show continues to act as if the two BBCTV versions are the only ones that count. For the record, the 4 champions are: -
BBC Radio 4
1998 - Robert Gibson
1999 - Christopher Carter
2000 - Stephen Follows
2001 Michael Penrice
You know that I've gone on record in the past and made the point about how much I enjoyed participating in the Champion of Champions series in 2010, and it's true. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the fact that not one of the champs from 1998 - 2001 took part was a shame. Maybe one or more of them was actually asked if they'd like to take part - but I doubt it. As I said in my post on the Grand Final, if you won a Mastermind series, then you're a Mastermind champion. I find it difficult to believe that the TV team don't understand this.
Stephen's email continued,
One other thing: not only was the Verdi round unnecessarily picky and tangential in a lot of its questions, but a correct answer was disallowed - 'Stiffelio' was, as Sian said, renamed 'Aroldo' to get the piece past the censors. If the question was somehow worded to exclude this answer, then it was at the very least misleading; my memory of it, and Sian's stunned reaction, suggests that it was just plain wrong. I can't really understand why she didn't challenge it.
I'll be honest, my knowledge of Verdi, or lack of it, meant that I certainly didn't pick this out. I don't know if anyone else has an opinion on this. I know that I myself would have thought very, very carefully before making a challenge to a question, even if I had been certain I was right. In all honesty I don't know how common challenges are. I never saw one in the five shows in which I was a contender, and the 3 other shows in which I have been a member of the studio audience.