BBC’s Mastermind is calling for more gay contestants
The BBC is looking to attract a “more diverse audience and contestants” to its flagship quiz show Mastermind, including LGBT+ people, women and ethnic minorities.
In a document sent out to production companies, the BBC outlines its vision to “maintain the intellectual rigour” of the show, while also wanting to “creatively refresh” the programme so as to appeal to a wider audience.
The BBC’s Mastermind and Celebrity Mastermind have so far only been made by the public broadcaster’s in-house team, but the show is now being put out to tender to external producers.
This is because of new rules that require the BBC to outsource more of its content.
Mastermind, which has been running since 1972, has only had four women winners in the last 20 series.
“We wish to attract a wider and even more diverse audience and contestants for these series,” the document reads. “We wish to explore how to cast a wider ranging contestant pool attracting younger and older contestants, and wider diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability.”
According to the publication, John Humphrys, who has presented the show since 2003, will continue to present both series.
The document adds that the BBC would also like both shows to appeal to younger viewers.
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“We’d like to have proposals for ways of making the show even more attractive to younger audiences for example through approaches to production and/or use of social media,” it reads.
Additionally, the BBC states that it wants to increase the appeal of Mastermind on iPlayer.
Mastermind is renowned for its tough questions and serious atmosphere.
Over the years, a number of catchphrases have been coined on the show, including, “Pass,” and “I’ve started so I’ll finish.”
Unlike most quiz shows, there is no cash prize. Instead contestants compete for the honour of the title of “Mastermind” or “Celebrity Mastermind.”