Earlier this year it was announced John Humphrys would be leaving Mastermind after an 18-year stint, with BBC News journalist Clive Myrie confirmed as his replacement shortly after.
The News At Ten presenter is ready to welcome potential masterminds into the dreaded black chair, but he has revealed he’ll be making some changes to the legendary quiz show.
“I hope that I’m a friendly face when the contestants walk in,” Myrie told Radio Times magazine.
He also revealed that he would be wishing the contestants luck, marking a sharp departure from Humphrys’ style, which appeared to be geared towards amping up the quiz’s high-pressure environment – which was inspired by Gestapo interrogation practices.
When asked whether he shouldn’t be forbidding, Myrie explained: “The questions are forbidding, the chair is forbidding. I’m not going to be forbidding. I’m there as a friend and we could, potentially, have a drink afterwards.”
He added the audience don’t want to see contestants “squirming”. Yes, it should be a “battle royale”, he said, but “that is more likely if I’m smiling”.
Speaking of taking over from Humphrys and following in the steps of former hosts Magnus Magnusson, Peter Snow and Clive Anderson, Myrie said: “What a privilege it is to take on this new role. Mastermind with Magnus Magnusson formed the backdrop to my youth, and now to be at the helm is a dream come true. I’m excited and can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Clive Myrie’s Mastermind debut is scheduled for 23rd August. Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times, out now. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Entertainment hub for the latest news.