‘Not as frightening as they make out’ – Mastermind contestant originally from Knebworth speaks about facing John Humphrys

PUBLISHED: 14:06 15 January 2016

Mastermind contestant Dennis Tomlinson, whose specialist subject is the history of East Germany.

Mastermind contestant Dennis Tomlinson, whose specialist subject is the history of East Germany.


Tune into Mastermind tonight and you’ll see a man originally from Knebworth in the famous black chair, his specialist subject the history of East Germany.

Dennis Tomlinson, who lived in Stevenage Road until he moved to south London three years ago, is a contestant on the heat broadcast tonight, which was filmed in Salford back in July.

The 50-year-old postman said he did not feel intimidated by quizmaster John Humphrys.

“It was not as frightening as they make out,” he said.

“They make out it’s a rather frightening experience but it’s more of an adventure.

“I’d never been in a TV studio before. It was all very new for me, having make-up put on and so on.

“The studio and the audience seemed smaller in real life. I actually felt quite calm about it.”

The inspiration for Dennis’ Teutonic specialist subject came from his days as a PhD student at Bath University, where he studied East German literature.

“I went on to use my brain and to bring interesting subjects to the attention of the audience,” he added.

Dennis, who used to be a member of the Poetry ID group based in Letchworth, will actually miss his own broadcast as he is on holiday abroad, but you can see him on Mastermind at 8pm tonight on BBC Two.

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