TELEVISION / Production Notes

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The Independent Culture
Penny Cowell Doe, producer of Mastermind, on the contestants' pre-match nerves: 'They arrive at 3pm, usually quite nervous. We have a rehearsal so they can get used to walking to the chair and remember not to jump off it after their two minutes: the relief is normally so great they're dying to get away] The rehearsal consists of two sets of general knowledge questions, no specialist subject. They start to get nervous again before actual recording; it's like waiting for an exam. They also have to go through make-up, which takes them aback, especially the men. We've never had anyone actually fall apart, though a contestant once forgot his occupation. By the time they go on record, a sort of camaraderie has developed even though they're against each other.'

Minutiae: The 'Mastermind Club' has a quarterly magazine entitled Pass. Membership is for ex-contestants plus selected BBC employees. The AGM has a quiz chaired by Magnus Magnusson.

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