Cerebral quiz in which 64 contestants (4 per show) were whittled down to a single mastermind after completing, in the first half of the show, a generally highbrow specialist subject and then in the second half a general knowledge round. Hosted by Magnus Magnusson who gave the show its main catchphrase 'I've Started So I'll Finish' because of his habit of asking again a last question after the buzzer (for each two minute round) had gone. The show grew out of an occasion when creator Bill Wright was shot down during world war II and interrogated by the Germans. Each contestant was called to the centre of the stage (the show was usually filmed in the halls of various universities or libraries around the country) and made to sit in a black chair with a spotlight on them. The prize was not money but a cut glass trophy and the kudos of winning. There was a celebrity special broadcast on 30 December 2002. After a gap of 6 years, Mastermind resumed 7 July 2003 on BBC2 with a new question-master, John Humphreys. The format was unchanged.
The subjects covered tonight are U2, the first ladies of the USA, Stanley Kubrick's films and Athens.
Four contestants battle It out over two rounds of questioning as they hope to secure a place in the next round of the competition. Tonight's topics are one hit wonders, UK general elections 1979 - 2010, West Bromwich Albion and Empress Livia.