Lisa’s TV date as she braves Mastermind’s famous black chair

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Lisa von Fircks, wearing the pink top, and her fellow contenders prepare for their turns in the black chair

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AN APPEARANCE on Mastermind will be Alresford woman Lisa von Fircks’ first big challenge of the new year.

Lisa, formerly of Four Marks School, Perins School and Alton College, is on the BBC2 quiz on Monday at 7.30pm.

She said her decision to apply was “part new-year resolution, part bucket list and part lockdown project” and she answered three rounds of audition questions to reach the televised stage.

Lisa runs a publishing consultancy and is also a wedding celebrant, writing and conducting personalised ceremonies for couples getting married in and around Hampshire.

The menacing theme tune, glaring spotlight and quick-fire questions of Mastermind are the ideas of its creator, an RAF gunner interrogated in the Second World War.

Prisoners of war were asked their name, rank and number – hence contenders are asked their name, occupation and chosen specialised subject.

Lisa said: “The format of the show was designed to intimidate, and I can vouch it certainly does.

“I’d studied hard in preparation for the show, but did find my mind went blank now and then in that pressurised environment.

“There is no rehearsal or warm-up and when that familiar, dramatic music starts up, so do the nerves. The new host, Clive Myrie, was very calming, though.

“I’ve been a fan of Mastermind as long as I can remember. Having watched it from the comfort of the sofa all these years, shouting answers at the telly, it felt quite moving to actually take part. I’m thrilled to have sat in that iconic black chair and to have been involved in this much-loved programme.”

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