Norwich City fan wins Mastermind semi

The life and works of Mozart, the ghost stories of M R James, the solar system and... Norwich City Football Club.They were all recent specialist subjects on a semi-final episode of the popular BBC quiz show Mastermind - and it was the Norwich City fan who triumphed.

The life and works of Mozart, the ghost stories of M R James, the solar system and... Norwich City Football Club.

They were all recent specialist subjects on a semi-final episode of the popular BBC quiz show Mastermind - and it was the Norwich City fan who triumphed.

It was boredom that initially inspired Robert Canwell to apply for the show but now the 66-year-old has won through to the grand final, to be aired next Friday , where he swapped the beautiful game for the period between the wars as his chosen subject.

'I had finished a history degree at the University of East Anglia and I was bored out of my mind and looking for something else to do,' said the grandfather from Mulbarton.

'I have always watched Mastermind and John Humphrys says after each episode that if anyone wants to be on the show they can apply via the website, so about 18 months ago I decided to have a go.'

After an audition, Mr Canwell filmed his first round appearance in March last year where he chose the late Stuart period for his specialist subject.

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He cleared that round and then picked his beloved Norwich City to answer questions about in the semi, which was shown at the end of last month .

'I went to my first game in 1950 and have held a season ticket for 25 years and my sons, Alun and Stuart, are also season ticket holders - they have to be, they don't have a choice,' he joked.

'It was an easy subject for me to pick, it was like a labour of love.'

Mr Canwell read books about the club but also searched back through archives of the Pink 'Un at the EDP's head office in Norwich.

He was asked 14 questions and managed to get 12 right which, when combined with other rounds, sent him through to the final.

'I was really genuinely surprised to go through, I thought the doctor who came second was unlucky. He seemed to have pass-itus - where if you start thinking about the question you have just passed on, you don't really hear the next one,' he said.

Mr Canwell has a lifelong love of learning but was only able to really pursue it after he retired early from an accountancy job within the oil industry in Yarmouth.

'I went to Yarmouth Grammar School but never went to university, because you didn't in those days, but I have always regretted it,' he said.

'So, when I retired I decided to do degree at UEA part time which I started in 2000 and finished in 2005.'

He filmed the final of the show at television centre in London in September but has had to keep the result a secret.

Mr Canwell said: 'Filming the final was more of a production as it was in London rather than Manchester with a bigger studio. I had a lot of fun on the show and I might consider going on again after a break.'

t To find out if he wins, tune into the grand final of Mastermind on June 19 at 7pm on BBC2.


1. What was the name of the cafe where two former school masters, Robert Webster and Joseph Nutchey, organised a meeting to form Norwich City Football Club in 1902.

2. What appropriate name was chosen for the ground, a disused old chalk pit in Rosary Road, that Norwich City moved to in 1908.

3. In April 1915, a full back born in Douglas, Lanarkshire set a new record of 200 games for Norwich City. What was his name?

4. Who provided Norwich City's first football league opposition in August 1920 when Vic Whitham scored in a 1-1 draw?

5. Which manager, previously in charge at Oxford and Yeovil, was the first to take Norwich City into Division One and to the first Wembley final in the League Cup in 1973?

6. Which building was the venue for an extraordinary general meeting in 1988 in which a motion of no confidence in the chairman Robert Chase was defeated?

7. What was the name of the Cornishman who made his club debut in 1927, scoring in seven of his first eight games and later served as mayor of his native Foley?

8. Which company was the first to sponsor a league match at Norwich when Liverpool visited on March 20, 1976?

9. Which goalkeeper, who once had the goal frame fall on him during a match, made his last appearance for the club in March, 1980 after 673 competitive first team games?

10. What nickname was shared by the player Arthur Robert Hawes and his father Arthur Thomas Hawes, who was the assistant trainer with the club between 1915 and 1930?

11. In 1993 Norwich lost in the third round of the UEFA Cup to which team after having beaten Bayern Munich in the previous round?

12. At the end of the 1970/71 season, Norwich went to Portugal and won which trophy in a four team tournament which included Sporting Lisbon, Atletico Lisbon and Dundee?

13. Who was the first Norwich City substitute coming on for Terry Anderson in a match against Bristol City in August 1965?

14. The Norwich City player of the year award is a memorial trophy bearing the name of which centre half who made 349 appearances for the club before being killed in a road accident in 1966?


I've started so I'll finish...

Hosted by Magnus Magnusson, who coined the catchphrase, the seminal BBC version of the quiz show Mastermind appeared from 1972 and 1997.

It was originally broadcast late on a Sunday night because it was not expected to receive a huge audience but in 1973 it was moved to a prime-time slot, initially as a replacement for another show.

Mastermind went on to become one of the most popular shows on British television.

The last program of the original series was filmed at St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney.

There were several spin off editions but it came back on the BBC in 2003 with new host John Humphrys.

While the original series kept talk to a minimum, asking contestants only their name, occupation and specialist subject, the new show includes some conversational elements with contestants between rounds.

It is also different from the original BBC TV series by the fact that many more contestants' specialist subjects come from popular culture.