Stuff the Begrudgers !
Yesterday I commented on the wonderful performances of Seren Jones and all of the finalists of Mastermind Plant Cymru. If you read the piece you might recall that I mentioned that Seren's mum Jackie and I are workmates. When I saw Jackie this morning she mentioned that she had read my blog, and also a lot of other web pages about Seren's win. Then she said that she was only going to read the nice ones from now on. When I asked her what she meant, she said that she had read some websites last night where there was some criticism of Seren's choice of subjects, supposedly for being easier than some of the other children's.
What are we coming to that we can't all simply applaud the achievements of a group of terrific, bright and intelligent young people ? That we have to analyse everything,looking for bias, or unfair advantage ? Alright, so the argument over what should be an acceptable subject and what shouldn't be an acceptable subject on the adult, original "Mastermind" is a very old one. But come on ! Criticising the children - any of the children who took part, regardless of how well they did on the show - is below the belt. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth, and betrays an atmosphere of mean- spiritedness that all of us who watched the final could see had no part in the proceedings whatsoever.
For the record, though, let me say something about Seren's choice of subjects. Her first round subject was "Dr. Who". Have you any idea of the amount of work you'd need to do to be confident of answering a set of questions on this subject ? I doubt very much that those who criticised this choice of subject have. "Dr. Who " was also a subject for 1993 Mastermind winner Gavin Fuller. Ask him if Dr. Who is a soft option. It isn't. Seren's final subject was "The St. Clare's books by Enid Blyton." There are 9 books in the series. That's a huge amount of revision and learning. These options are looking harder all the time, aren't they.
As I have already pointed out, any criticism of any of the children who take part in the show, or in Junior Mastermind, is totally unjustified, and uncalled for. I find it difficult to understand how anyone could be so petty minded as to suggest that any of the subjects that the children picked are somehow less worthy than others.
Might I humbly say this to anyone who believes that there is such a thing as a soft option for "Mastermind". You should apply to go on the show and have a go yourself. Take your own 'soft' option and see just how soft it really is. At least you wouldn't be commenting from a position of ignorance, as I would suggest that you are now.