Mastermind’s Clive Myrie reveals ex-host John Humphrys didn’t contact him

Clive Myrie (BBC/PA) (PA Media)
Clive Myrie (BBC/PA) (PA Media)

New Mastermind host Clive Myrie has settled into the TV quiz’s famous black chair, despite a lack of help from his predecessor John Humphrys.

“I haven’t heard from John,” Myrie has revealed, despite taking over the job a year ago. Humphrys was known as a spiky BBC Today presenter. He led proceedings on Mastermind for 18 years and presented over 700 episodes.

Myrie was speaking to an interviewer from Saga magazine, who claimed there was an “awkward moment” when they asked about Humphrys, and asked if he thought it was “odd” the ex-star hadn’t been in touch. Myrie replied tactfully: “I first met John 30 years ago, when I was a reporter on the Today programme. I’m sure he means well.”

Myrie says he is “thoroughly enjoying” the show now, and paid tribute to Humphrys’s work. “I feel comfortable in the chair now in a way that I certainly didn’t when I started, because I’m filling huge shoes” he said.

John Humphrys (PA Archive)
John Humphrys (PA Archive)

While Myrie is happy asking the questions on the quiz, he wouldn’t play himself. “I’m that classic journo who knows a little bit about a great deal of things, but I don’t want to display my ignorance in front of two million people” he laughed.

Myrie also revealed he was asked to do Strictly Come Dancing for the last season, but he said no for fear of undermining his journalism work, such as reporting from Ukraine.

“I think that for the moment my day job requires a certain level of seriousness” he said. “If I paraded around in a sparkly top, you might find it a bit tricky to take seriously what I say when I’m in a war zone.” But he might do it some day: “When I said no, I didn’t say never.”