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Case Studies

Mastermind Grand Final - BBC TWO, Sunday 5 December at 9.00pm

BBC News article

Shaun Wallace, a barrister from Wembley, has tonight (5 December 2004) won the acclaimed title of Mastermind Champion 2004 following a nail-biting finish to a closely contested final.

He becomes the 27th winner of Mastermind and the first black winner.

After both the specialist subject round and the general knowledge round, the result was decided on the number of passes with Shaun coming out on top with a score of 24 points and no passes.

John Humphrys was the host for the Grand Final and BBC Chairman Michael Grade was on hand to present Shaun with the Mastermind commemorative glass bowl.John Humphrys congratulated Shaun on his win: "Another worthy champion. How can they know (and remember) so much? It is truly daunting."

Shaun, who has worked as a barrister for over 20 years, lives within a stone's throw of Wembley Stadium which provided the inspiration for his specialist subject. His knowledge of his specialist subjects was outstanding as he went into the final with a fantastic record of having answered every question on his specialist subjects correctly.

But the pressure of the final took its toll. This time Shaun's chosen specialist subject was FA Cup Finals since 1970 - he scored a total of 12 points putting him in second place at the halfway stage.

But Shaun fought back with a fantastic general knowledge round scoring another 12 points and crucially no passes giving him a total of 24 points. Shaun was delighted to become Mastermind Champion 2004: "I'm living a dream that I never thought I would fulfil. But it is real and I'm really enjoying it. It's been one of the happiest days of my life!"

Mastermind is produced by Pam Cavannagh and Sally Evans for BBC Manchester.

Richard Hopkins is the Creative Head of BBC Format Entertainment and Helen Bullough is the Managing Editor of Entertainment and Features at BBC Manchester.

Mastermind Grand Final will be repeated on Monday 6 December at 8.00pm on BBC TWO.

Notes to Editors

The other contestants in the final were:

Jim Cook, factory worker from Stourport in Severn in Worcestershire

Specialist subject: American Presidents of the 20th Century

Final Score: 17 points

Previous specialist subjects: US Manned Space Flights 1961-75, 20th Century British Prime Ministers

Michael Kane, retired chemist from Barrow-in-Furness

Specialist subject: British Pop Music of the 1960s

Final Score: 9 points

Previous specialist subjects: The Life and Music of Buddy Holly, The Life and Reign of Charles I

Brent Peeling, financial advisor from Billericay in Essex

Specialist Subject: English Test Cricket since 1877

Final Score: 21 points

Previous specialist subjects: History of Essex County Cricket Club, Zulu War of 1879

John Tweddle, job seeker from Middlesbrough

Specialist subject: Homer's Iliad

Final Score: 15 points

Previous specialist subjects: World Heavyweight Boxing Championships 1895-1978, US Presidential Elections 1940-2000

Don Young, retired from Lancashire

Specialist subject: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth I

Final score: 24 points (and two passes)

Previous specialist subjects: Homer's Odyssey, King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Mastermind was first recorded at Liverpool University in 1972.

The black leather chair struck fear into the contestants and even the theme tune - Approaching Menace by Neil Richardson - is designed to intimidate.

The series ran until 1997 and was presented by Magnus Magnusson.

It returned in 2003 presented by John Humphrys.

The quiz was devised by Bill Wright, the programme's first producer, who died in 1980.

A former RAF gunner, he drew on his wartime experience as a PoW in Germany of answering three questions - name, rank and number.

Contestants always sit in the chair and go through the ritual - name, occupation and specialist subject.

If you'd like to be a future contestant on Mastermind, please send a stamped addressed envelope to:

Mastermind Applications Room 4012, BBC Manchester, New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester M60 1SJ

Or call 09066 800602 (calls cost no more than 25p per minute) or email: