BBC’s Mastermind has 86’ed Harry Potter from its lineup of specialist subjects purely because of its popularity. “Last year, 262 people wanted to take that as one of their three specialist subjects,” producer Mark Helsby told Radio Times. The series was overwhelmingly the most popular subject.
According to the show’s rules, a specialist subject can’t be chosen in consecutive series, which limits the number of contestants who can actually choose the series on the show.
“As a minimum, we would want there to be at least two good quality books on a biographical or historical subject. TV, film and literary subjects are a bit more subjective, but we would never allow just one book or one film.”
Isabelle Heward, the winner of the 2017 series of Mastermind, chose the life and films of Rita Hayworth, the daughters of George III, and the life and films of Billy Wilder as her specialist subjects, which all seem like they require more intensive studies and knowledge than Harry Potter, regardless of how amazing Harry Potter actually is.
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