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David Verhese has become the youngest champion in Junior Mastermind history


NRI Student, the youngest ever crowned BBC Mastermind quiz
The youngest champion in the contest's history


London, Dec. 22, 2007
Col. Surunder Singh

NRI David Verghese, ten-year-old, a student of Merchant Taylors' Junior School, Crossby, Merseyside beat three other boys in the final by securing 31 points in total, 15 on his specialist subject and 16 in the general knowledge round. He is the youngest champion in the history of television BBC quiz show, Junior Mastermind

He was also the youngest of all the 16 finalists the BBC team selected from hundreds of applicants from across the country to appear on the BBC1 show and sailed through the heats, where his specialist subject was the Jurassic Park trilogy.

He was quizzed on his specialist subject – the work of Star Wars director George Lucas. Actually it was science fiction that helped him make the final and amazing knowledge of the Jurassic Park trilogy in an earlier heat.

David said:

  • I am a big fan of sci-fi and think Star Wars is the absolute gold standard for sci-fi fans around the world. I had the Jurassic Park trilogy as his specialist subject.
  • I love the challenge of quizzes and I don't get nervous. I put everything else out of my mind and try to focus on the questions.
  • I have a passion for books. I've been reading for as long as I can remember. I read for at least two hours every night. My interest in science fiction is not restricted to just watching movies. My favorites are J R R Tolkien, H G Wells and, last but not least, Isaac Asimov. I can read them again and again and not get bored.
  • The secret of my success was simple: “plenty of reading”.


  • David'S parents are both doctors and he was introduced to Star Wars by his father, George, 43
  • He had wanted to appear on Junior Mastermind ever since he first watched it three years ago, but the rules were quite clear that no one younger than ten was allowed to apply
  • Mrs Verghese said, “David has this insatiable quest for knowledge. Junior Mastermind was just another opportunity for him to do some more in-depth reading and to challenge himself.”

Brian Bennett, school headmaster said:

  • David is a gifted and talented child who has developed his natural gifts through voracious reading.
  • More importantly he is a pleasure to teach and is extremely popular with his many friends.

David attends £5,000-a-year Merchant Taylors' Junior School, Crosby, Merseyside. David has a six-year-old brother, is top in all his classes.

David has now set his sights on studying at either Cambridge or Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue his dream of becoming a film director.





David Verhese ten-year-old, has become the youngest champion in Junior Mastermind history