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29 October 2014
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Rt Hon David Blunkett MP to appear on Mastermind

The Home Secretary David Blunkett, Stephen Fry, chair of BBC TWO's quiz QI, and EastEnders' Barry Evans, Shaun Williamson, head the list of celebrities invited to sit in the infamous black chair and pit their wits against the clock and each other in three Mastermind Celebrity Specials for BBC TWO.

Also taking their place in the hot seat will be bird-watcher Bill Oddie, the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, newsreader Julia Somerville, Jeremy Bowen, Gyles Brandreth, Germaine Greer, athlete Tanni Grey Thompson, celebrity chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson and Charlie Higson from The Fast Show.

Each of the special episodes will put the contestants through their paces - they will each have to face the lonely walk to the black chair, the two minutes in the spotlight and the brusque and intimidating questioning of quizmaster John Humphrys, who will be presiding over each of the contests.

A commemorative glass bowl will be presented to each of the winners.

The three specials will follow the same format as the original series with all the contestants having to answer questions on their chosen specialised subject together with a testing two minutes of gruelling general knowledge questions.

The specialist subjects on which the celebrities will answer questions include: Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (Stephen Fry), The Life and Works of Richard Burton (Shaun Williamson) and The Harry Potter Novels of J K Rowling (David Blunkett).

David Blunkett MP said: "I'm very much looking forward to taking my seat in the famous black chair and I'll be trying hard not to let nerves get the better of me.

"Being grilled by John Humphrys on the Today programme will, I'm sure, seem like a picnic in comparison to this ordeal."

Mastermind is produced by Pam Cavannagh for BBC Manchester Entertainment and Features.

The Mastermind specials will be screened on BBC TWO later this year.

Notes to Editors

• The first Mastermind Celebrity Special was broadcast in 2002 and featured: Dr Adam Hart-Davis, Vic Reeves, Janet Street-Porter and Jonathan Meades.

• The television quiz show 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.

• Mastermind returned to our screens this summer after a five year break with John Humphreys as the host. The final of the current series will take place on 3 November on BBC TWO.

• Some of the most unusual specialist subjects to be featured on Mastermind have included Theropod Dinosaurs, Sweet Peas, Iron Graveslabs of England and the Life and Times of Author and Broadcaster Magnus Magnusson!

Mastermind Grand Final 2003 (28.10.03)

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