Steve Clark has won his heat of BBC TWO’s famous Mastermind quiz, shown earlier this evening. Having scored highly in the opening specialist subject round, it was feared that his game would fall apart in the general knowledge round, as is often the case for contestants with very specific chosen subjects. However, Clarky (which is my affectionate pet name for him) stormed through, wiping the floor with his fellow contestants.

Clarky scored a whopping 14 correct answers to Red Dwarf in two minutes, with only one pass. His fellow contestants Noel Turner (8 points), Helena Rogers (5 points) and Dyfrig Jones (9 points) could only look on in awe and envy. It was at this point that they all rather foolishly conspired to only get six correct answers each in the final round, bringing their totals up to 14, 11 and 15 respectively. And so, as Steve Clark returned to the famous chair, he only required two correct answers to win. He excelled himself, answering a whopping ten questions correctly, with just two passes. This gave him a total of 24 (count ’em) points, and easily booked his place in the quarter final.

Here are the (rather easy, in honesty) Red Dwarf questions that Clarky faced:

1. The promised land of the Cat people, which they mistakenly believed to be called Fuchal, is actually which Pacific island nation?
Clarky’s answer: “Fiji.”
Correct answer: Fiji.

2. Featured at the end of Series II as part of one of The Cat’s dream sequences, the song Tongue Tied was later released in the UK singles chart in October ’93, climbing to what position?
Clarky’s answer: “17th.”
Correct answer: 17th.

3. Before the explosion that kills the Red Dwarf crew, Arnold Rimmer disgraces himself at dinner with his ignorance of which soup?
Clarky’s answer: “Gazpacho.”
Correct answer: Gazpacho.

4. In Series III, having arrived on a version of the Earth where time runs backwards, Lister and The Cat mistake the speech of the people there for which language?
Clarky’s answer: “Bulgarian.”
Correct answer: Bulgarian.

5. In the TV episode Better Than Life, which book is Rimmer asked to sign by a young admirer, while hallucinating that he is an admiral?
Clarky’s answer:My Incredible Career.”
Correct answer: My Incredible Career.

6. The opening scene of the first television episode features Rimmer attempting to unblock what type of machine, with the wrong tool?
Clarky’s answer: “Chicken soup machine.”
Correct answer: Chicken soup machine.

7. Which celebrity chef played the part of a Genetically Engineered Life Form in the episode Emohawk?
Clarky’s answer: “Ainsley Harriot.”
Correct answer: Ainsley Harriot.

8. During an artificial reality joust in Series VII, which code word does Lister use to drastically reduce the size of his opponent’s horse?
Clarky’s answer: “Pass.”
Correct answer: Steed Cheat.

9. In Series V, Rimmer recieves a hologrammatic copy of the Space Corps Directives manual, after accusing whom of inventing the book’s existence?
Clarky’s answer: “Kryten.”
Correct answer: Kryten.

10. Which comic actress plays the Xpress Lifts hostess, who demonstrates the cyanide pill for use in a crash, inadvertantly killing herself?
Clarky’s answer: “Morwenna Banks.”
Correct answer: Morwenna Banks.

11. Hattie Hayridge replaced Norman Lovett as the face of the ship’s computer Holly in 1989, having earlier made a one-off appearance as Hilly, the parallel universe computer, in which series?
Clarky’s answer: “Series II.”
Correct answer: Series II.

12. Emile Charles, Angela Bruce and Jake Abraham have all played different versions of which of Red Dwarf‘s main characters?
Clarky’s answer: “Dave Lister.”
Correct answer: Dave Lister.

13. Lister’s appendix is removed for the second time in his life in Series VI, by which character?
Clarky’s answer: “Legion.”
Correct answer: Legion.

14. In Stasis Leak, which member of Red Dwarf‘s production team stood in for actress Clare Grogan in the part of Kochanski?
Clarky’s answer: “Dona Distefano.”
Correct answer: Dona Distefano.

15. Arnold Rimmer attempts to cover up the fact that his middle name is Judas by telling people that the initial ‘J’ stands for what? [beep beep beep]
Clarky’s answer: “Jonathon.”
Correct answer: “Jonathon.

It’s interesting to note that John Humphries can’t pronouce ‘stasis’. “Stazis Leak” indeed! It’s also interesting to note that he damned near corpsed a couple of times while asking the questions, particularly the cyanide and appendix questions. He was also unusally light-hearted in his pre-general knowledge round banter with Clarky:

JH: So, Red Dwarf?
SC: Yes.
JH: You scored, er, 14 points on that one. What is it that appeals about it, because it’s fairly bizarre, isn’t it?
SC: I would think it’s the combination of sort of science fiction and comedy, and the characters are very well-rounded as well. You know, they’ve built up over the episodes.

Wise words, there, from the nation’s favourite mental health nurse from Bournemouth. We’ll be following Clarky’s progress in the tournament, and we’re well and truly rooting for him.

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