Who is Jonathan Gibson? Meet the youngest Mastermind champion

JONATHAN Gibson has made Mastermind history as the quiz show's youngest ever champion.

His record-breaking run came as John Humphrys marked his final episode on the show before being replaced by Clive Myrie.

Who is Jonathan Gibson?

Gibson is a 24-year-old PhD student – and the youngest person to ever have won Mastermind.

Jonathan, who is studyinghistory at St Andrews, has been a competitive quizzer since the age of 12.

After watching Junior Mastermind and The Weakest Link as a child, he joined his Schools’ Challenge tournament.

Gibson is a Glasgow native – although you wouldn't know it by his accent.

In his introductory clip on the show, the young quizzer told the cameras: “I was born and brought up in Glasgow despite the evidence of my very confusing accent.

"No-one in my family understands why I speak like this.

"Family legend has it I had an audiobook of Stephen Fry reading Winnie-the-Pooh when I was two.”

How did he do on Mastermind?

Gibson astounded viewers with his in-depth and wide-ranging knowledge.

He scored an astonishing 11 out of 11 in his specialist subject.

Gibson's general knowledge round was even more impressive – he walked away with 17 points and no passes.

As a result, Gibson was crowned youngest ever Mastermind champion.

The previous record was held by Gavin Fuller, who now supervises the Telegraph library. Gibson is just 90 days younger than Fuller when he won.

But Jonathan said he only realised he could be a record-breaker when he got to the finals.

He said: "I didn't think about it as a possibility when I applied,

"Or until after I won the semi-final when the producers told me I would be marginally younger than Gavin Fuller was when he won.

"It's really incredible to make history in that way and it is beyond anything I could have imagined."

What is his specialist subject?

His specialist subject was the musical comedy duo Flanders and Swann – and the braniac answered every question in the round correctly.

Gibson said that he has been a fan of the niche comedy duo since childhood.

He said: “I was introduced to them by my Dad and I really have loved them all my life.

"When I was at primary school, I knew the lyrics to every one of their songs and would occasionally perform them for my music class, who were amused by the idea of a seven-year-old knowing comedy songs from the 1950s.”

In previous heats, Gibson chose Pitt the Younger and ITV’s Poirot series as his subjects.

He told BBC's Good Morning Scotland: "They were all things I have really loved since I was young,"

"The heat subject was the TV show Poirot, which I was introduced to by my mum and my grandma so that was really lovely to revisit.

"For the semi-final I did William Pitt the Younger, the late 18th century prime minister.

"That was inspired by a book my history teacher gave me in school and was one of the main reasons I decided to be a history student."

Has Jonathan Gibson been on TV before?

Avid quiz show fans may recognise Gibson from University Challenge. He was captain of the Magdalen College, Oxford team in 2017.

Gibson said: “I possibly would have liked to do a bit better on University Challenge than I did, but hopefully I’ve redeemed myself with this.”

But his experience on University Challenge didn't prepare him for the challenges of Mastermind: “Mastermind is the only quiz show format where, for the vast majority of the time, you’re just sitting there watching your opponents accumulating points and not being able to do anything to stop them.

“The chair I had to sit in as part of the row of contestants was the chair I dreaded far more than the actual black chair, because watching the others answer questions is when the feelings of powerlessness and panic really set in.”

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