Producer rejects Mastermind 'dumbing down' claim
Mastermind programme-makers defended the show against "dumbing down" claims.
Series producer Jon Kelly said it was a "common misconception" that the BBC2 quiz did not use to include popular culture subjects.
The show, which included Jennifer Aniston as a specialist subject in 2007, is spawning a Champion of Champions series pitting older winners against more recent ones.
Kelly told the Radio Times: "The show reflects the interests of modern Britain and they can be popular culture subjects.
"I think there's a common misconception that the previous Mastermind didn't have any popular subjects, but it did.
"Punk rock was once a subject, as was Doctor Who. People like to think that the olden days were better."
Rejected subjects included Routes to Anywhere in Mainland Britain by Road from Letchworth, the Banana Industry and Orthopaedic Bone Cement in Total Hip Replacement.
"They have to be subjects that we can set questions on that are interesting and engaging to the viewers," said Kelly.
"We rule out things that we have done too recently and the subject has to be sufficiently dense that we can write enough questions."
Last autumn Jeremy Paxman was quoted as saying questions on Mastermind became easier, while University Challenge "dumbed up".
Kelly also warned against potential contenders picking subjects that were too broad.
He said: "One man wanted to do The History of the World since Jesus Christ.
"We told him he'd better narrow it down. He came back with The History of Europe Since Jesus Christ.
"We realised then that he wasn't for us."
:: The full interview appears in the latest issue of the Radio Times.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
JK Rowling pens new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians