Before we start, it would remiss of me if I did not say a few words about Neil Phillips, who passed away last week.
Neil was a stalwart quizzer, whom I first met when we both made our Mastermind debut in the same heat of the 2006 series, where we were both beaten by the redoutable Kath Drury. It’s a measure of the man that, to the best of my knowledge, Neil remained friends with all of the other contenders from our show.
Neil and I remained friends, and thus in 2010, the two of us came to form two thirds of the Radio Addicts, along with 2012 Mastermind champ Gary Grant, our inspirational skipper. I knew that Neil was good company before we met up for the audition in Cardiff, but I didn’t realise just how true that was, and the time we spent together during the filming of that series was an absolute pleasure.
To me, Neil will always be The Legend. I gave him this moniker following his incredible performance in the missing vowels round in our semi final. We had been thrashed all ways till Tuesday for most of the contest, yet Neil just kept buzzing and buzzing through the final round, and we won by a point. It was an incredible performance.
We didn’t meet again in person, but stayed in fairly regular contact, and Neil’s support during my depression last year was totally typical of the man, but still very much appreciated.
Thanks for being a good mate, Legend. Rest in peace.