Sunday, 3 April 2016

Mastermind 2016 Grand Final: Alan's Story

Just this morning 2016 Champion Alan Heath sent me a lovely email, and he included his take on the final, and gave me permission to post it. So here it is: - 

I was incredibly nervous during the final, much more so than the previous two rounds as you would expect.  It’s the waiting to go on that affects me. It didn’t help that we were kept hanging around in the green room for ages before hand whilst they fixed some technical problems.  I can imagine how prisoners may feel before they are led into the interrogation room! and my pulse was really racing as we walked out in front of the audience.
My specialist round was okay but my stumble on the one question made me wonder if I would be punished by the others.  After watching Jim put in his usual perfect round I thought that my worst fears had been realised.  I didn’t think that I had done enough in the GK round and watching Jim’s round (although not counting) I was sure that he had done enough to lift the trophy.  After he finished his round, but before his score was announced, there was an interminable delay whilst some issue was being resolved by the back room boys.  Whilst Jim was stuck in the chair I was quietly consoling myself that to come second in the series was quite an achievement.  Richard Tring then leant over to say that he thought that I hadn’t finished.  He had experienced a tie break in the semis so knew what was happening.  I then heard John H. speaking into his mic “has this ever happened before in a final?” and I realised that I was still in it.  So having been resigned and calm the dreaded nerves came rushing back.  Jim was then given his score and the tie break was on.
We actually had two tie breaks.  The first ended 3-3 and John H  announced that we will ignore that as though it had never happened and will do it all again.  The tension was rising in the studio and I was wondering if it would ever end!  I was really disappointed with my second tie break.  I over thought the fish question and guessed incorrectly.  I had heard of Galatea before but couldn’t bring it to mind.  I also knew that Sue Townsend had written that book but suffered a mental block and her name just wouldn’t come to me.  I was lucky with the remaining two questions especially as the night before I had been walking along the Manchester Ship Canal with my son-in-law, who is from Lancashire, and he been telling me all about it.  Nevertheless, I sat down once again thinking that it was over and that I had probably lost knowing some of the questions I had answered incorrectly.  Fortunately for me Jim struggled with the questions more than I did and I got the luck of the draw.  It was a roller coaster of emotions and I couldn’t believe that I had actually won!
I would like to congratulate Jim Maginnis on his performance.  He was the best prepared of the six of us which showed in the SS round.  He was also a great sport and a true gentleman before, during and after the show.  I am sure that his time will come if he decides to go through the mental torture again I will be cheering for him all the way. 
I stated in my insert (although that part wasn’t broadcast) that I thought that any of the finalists were capable of winning it and be worthy winners.  I would also include Mark Livesey, who was the reserve for the final and there on the day, in that group.  It was just my good fortune that the questions fell my way.  A different day, a different set of questions and there would have been a different result.
Amen to that Alan, and so could say most of us. Thanks for sharing this with us all. 

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