Mastermind 'guidance' defended after presenter's remark

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The Independent Culture

The BBC insisted that Celebrity Mastermind questions are challenging to contestants, after radio presenter Victoria Derbyshire said she was offered a "crib sheet" to appear on the show.

The Radio Five Live presenter had told her show's listeners that despite the offer she decided not to appear as she was not confident of getting the answers right.

She said she had been approached in November to take part in festive celebrity specials of the show.

Derbyshire later issued a statement, clarifying her remarks and emphasising that she was not being offered the answers to her specialist subject, the novels of Thomas Hardy.

She said: "What I meant on the programme (yesterday) was the Celebrity Mastermind team offered research guidance on my specialist subject area.

"This is what I meant by a 'crib' sheet and not answers to specific questions."

The BBC said in its statement that it merely points some struggling contestants in the right direction for their research.

The statement said: "Celebrity Mastermind does not provide contestants with 'crib' sheets and all contestants work hard in the run up to the recording.

"Through our extensive experience in researching and compiling questions, production have become experts in identifying helpful and accurate resource tools.

"If a contestant is struggling to find adequate information, production can point them towards these in order to prevent them from using unsuitable material.

"We ensure the questions asked on Celebrity Mastermind are interesting for the viewers as well as challenging for the celebrity contestant."