Another day, but this time another 2 shows. Yes, a double helping of Celebrity Mastermind to bring this series to a hopefully rousing climax. Who would win what John described as an elegant paperweight ? Tonight’s brave contenders were Mark Foster, Nigel Planer, Ching He Huang, and John Suchet.
Olympic swimmer Mark Foster for once kept his shirt on. He was representing the charity The Anaphylaxis Campaign and took the New Romantics as his subject. To be fair, Mark can’t have been more than a lad when the New Romantics were in their short lived early 80s heyday. This was a real trip down memory lane for anyone in their mid forties, though, and I actually scored not too badly on this. As I suggested I think Mark was a little too young for this round, and he scored 7.
Heavy , heavy, heavy – its Neil in the black chair being hassled by John Humphrys ! Apologies to anyone under 40 for that. Nigel Planer, whose fees were being donated to Families Need Fathers, gave us popular Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. I’m sure that you already know that Stevenson came from a family of lighthouse builders, and believe me, they are a very interesting subject in their own right. Still, Nigel made short work of the black sheep of the family, scoring an extremely impressive 17 and no passes.
Celebrity chef Ching He Huang was representing the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Her specialist subject was the American TV show Entourage. I’m afraid that while I’ve seen trails for the show once or twice I know next to nothing about it, so I can’t tell you whether Ching’s performance was good or great. What I do know is that she scored 12.
John Suchet, aka Poirot’s brother, offered a popular composer in the shape of Beethoven. John Bird did well yesterday taking a composer, and going last in the first round, so the omens were good. Of course, omens can only get you so far, and if you don’t have the knowledge then you’re not going to do very well. I’m delighted to say that John did have the knowledge, and he scored 15 to be in a handy second place at the halfway stage.
Mark Foster was the first to return for the GK round. John Humprhys suggested that at 38 years of age he was possibly a little long in the tooth for competing in last year’s Olympic Games. Well, to paraphrase a well known saying, if you’re good enough, you’re young enough. It was ironic that he was asked about the tango, following his appearance in last year’s Strictly. Alas, he got it wrong. Still, he ploughed gamely on, to end with 16. Ching He Huang was greeted by “We all know you from your brilliant Chinese cooking !” Well, I’m sorry , John, but she was previously unfamiliar to me. Not that there’s anything to be ashamed of in that. Ching is actually 31, but looks a lot younger, and as we all know, youth is not actually an advantage in Mastermind. She scored a modest 4 for 16.
So, with the relative sideshow over, John Suchet returned to the chair and breathlessly explained his obsession with Beethoven, and the fact that fragments of his skull are being DNA tested. That’s Beethoven’s skull, and not John Suchet’s. He struggled a little, but made it into double figures, and 16 gave him a little bit of a chance, even if Nigel Planer was by this stage a short odds favourite. John Humphrys paid tribute to the huge variety of roles Nigel Planer has played since his beginnings in the Your Ones. Well, that’s the thing, see John. If you’re that good, then you’ll always work. He’s not just good at acting either. Nigel adopted the strategy of answering very slowly, even asking for a couple of repeats, but answering very correctly as well. He scored a praiseworthy 14 for a grand total of 31. so we have yet another member of the 30 plus club.
|Mark Foster||The New Romantics||7 – 2||9 - 4||16 - 6|
|Nigel Planer||Robert Louis Stevenson||17 – 0||14 - 1||31 - 1|
|Ching He Huang||Entourage||12 - 3||4 - 6||16- 9|
|John Suchet||Beethoven||15 - 0||11- 2||26– 2|