Harry Potter: it either casts a spell on you or it doesn’t. Down at the BBC it would seem that they fall into the latter category these days, because the iconic film and literary giant has now officially been banned as a specialist subject on the evergreen TV quiz Mastermind.
No less than 262 applicants proposed the boy wizard as one of their three areas of expertise, prompting bosses to adopt an ‘enough is enough’ attitude.
In an interview with the Radio Times, the show’s producer Mark Helsby said: “As a minimum, we would want there to be at least two good quality books on a biographical or historical subject. TV, film and literary subjects are a bit more subjective, but we would never allow just one book or one film.”
So no worries on that score for the JK Rowling franchise, but with the rules stating that no specialist subject can crop up on two consecutive series, the scope becomes more limited than Taylor Swift’s vocal range.
Yours truly even applied last year, receiving a reply months later saying: “We’re sorry but the standard was very high this time around.” Hang on! I wasn’t even given the chance to audition! And I didn’t list Harry Potter as one of my subjects either. Anyway, just thought I’d take the opportunity to get that out there – rant over.
It also transpires that one applicant chose pork as a subject recently. One person instead of 262? You’d think that he or she would be onto a winner, but no, it was deemed too obscure. It looks like butchers as well as millenials are out of luck.
So if you’ve got dreams of sitting in the hallowed black chair, just remember to be careful with your specialist subjects. As if Mastermind wasn’t tough enough already.