Mulbarton grandfather Roger Canwell is back on Mastermind after a 3-year break

Roger Canwell. Photo: Angela Sharpe

Roger Canwell. Photo: Angela Sharpe

Archant © 2009

A Mulbarton grandfather is back competing on TV’s Mastermind, after making it to the grand final of the show in 2009.

Roger Canwell, a 70-year-old grandfather-of-four, was seen on Mastermind this month where he made it through to the semi-final, which should be aired on TV next year.

He scored 15 with no passes on his chosen subject, Kett’s Rebellion, and picked up 18 more points in the general knowledge part of the quiz.

In the semi-final Mr Canwell will be answering questions on the films of Norman Wisdom.

He said: “I enjoyed it so much the first time I went on Mastermind I wanted to go back on it.

“It was quite an experience the first time and people have been coming up to me ever since to talk about it. I have also been invited to give talks to people, including Women’s Institute groups, about it.

“The great thing is when you choose your specialised subject you can then go and study about it, which I did with Norman Wisdom’s films.”

Mr Canwell, who also appeared on the TV show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ a few years ago, said it was boredom that initially inspired him to apply for Mastermind in 2009.

His previous specialised subjects have included the beautiful game between the wars, the late Stuart period, and his beloved Norwich City FC - he has been a season ticket holder for more than 25 years. For research, he read books about the club but also searched back through archives at the Evening News head office in Norwich.

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, and then completed a history degree at UEA.

Mastermind was originally hosted by Magnus Magnusson, and it came back on the BBC in 2003 with new host John Humphrys, who is now into his 10th year.

Do you know someone doing well on a national TV show? Email David Bale at

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