Magnus Magnusson 1929-2007

BBC NEWS | UK | TV’s Magnus Magnusson dies at 77

I used to enjoy watching Mastermind when I was a kid, and for many years afterwards. Magnus was the perfect host, and helped create a perfect atmosphere for what was a seriously tough quiz for people who really knew their subjects[1]. As with most intelligent programmes, it was cancelled by the BBC after many years. It’s been revived since, and John Humphrys does a good enough job, but it’s somehow not the same.

Quite apart from being a damn fine quizmaster, Magnus translated books from Icelandic and Old Norse to English, and wrote about the Vikings.

And nobody could say “I’ve started, so I’ll finish” like he could.

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[1] I recall reading many years ago that in rehearsals he used to to fire questions at the victims contestants and if they failed to get one right, he’d say “your’re wrong so boo to you”.