Would you like to be the next Mastermind champion ? If your answer is yes – well , sorry , but you’re out of luck, since they’ve already been recording the first round of the next series. So unless you’re already in it, you’re too late. Now, it doesn’t matter where I was or what I was doing. I’ll tell you all about it in the future. However I have it from cast iron sources that there’s a fundamental change to the format of the show. Basically the filmed inserts have all gone. Ok, we can all live with that, I’m sure. Albeit that they were an improvement on the inter round chats from previous Humphrys era series. This frees up the time to increase the GK rounds to 2 and a half minutes. This is not a rumour, or a mooted change – its already happened.
You know me. I’m essentially a pupil of the school of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ , so my feelings about this change are mixed at best. Its interesting to think that Bill Wright, the show’s creator, originally envisaged it as consisting only of specialist questions. Happily the classic format of contenders being given equal time on both specialist and general knowledge was established during the very first series in 1972, and this basic principle was adhered to right up to the semi finals of the series that finished earlier tonight.
On the other hand . . . well the principle was abandoned in this year’s semis, where the specialist round alone was reduced to 90 seconds, and yet we still saw some exciting shows. If anything they moved along at an even more cracking pace, having no filmed inserts to hold up the specialist rounds. So I think that we have to give it a try, and reserve judgement until we see it in practice.