A Glasgow woman has been crowned the 2024 Mastermind Champion - and dedicated the win to her late dad.

Ruth Hart won the grand final of the BBC quiz series on April 1 with an impressive 28 points, scoring a perfect 15/15 in her specialist subject which was the artist Francis Bacon.

It was the first time the charity engagement manager had ever applied to a TV quiz show and her first appearance on television. 

She said: “I was hugely surprised. I really couldn’t believe it, especially because things got off to a terrible start in the general knowledge round!

"I remember thinking I just needed to keep going and when the buzzer went I really expected Clive [Myrie] to say ‘Oh you’ve just missed it’.

"It’s all a total blur and I was flabbergasted as I didn’t have any expectations at the start. I had no experience of being on TV, or competitive quizzing, I just watched programmes at home myself – I’d never put it to the test, though!"

Ruth was inspired to try Mastermind by her father, who was a big quizzer and always encouraged her to apply.

Sadly, soon after she found out she had been selected to be on the programme, her dad had passed away. 

The National:

She said: “Mastermind really kept me going through those early months of grief. I threw myself into it and it was such a positive experience.

"It was Dad who got me interested in quizzing - he loved quizzes. Some of my earliest memories are of watching quizzes with him. I had a momentous thing happen in my life and I thought, why not apply to the show, life is short, give it a go.

"It was genuinely a life-changing experience, it was wonderful and it’s given me a lot of confidence in other areas of my life.”

Ruth’s mother added: “Her dad would have been very, very proud of her. He would have been ecstatic actually to see his daughter in the grand final of Mastermind.”

Ruth is now urging her fellow quiz buffs to sign up for the show as she had a "brilliant" experience. 

Mastermind host Clive Myrie said: “What an incredible achievement to come out on top in television's toughest quiz. We had some amazing contenders throughout the series, but Ruth was magnificent and is a worthy champion.

"Her late father, who was a big fan of the show, would have been very proud. Many congratulations."

Jimmy Mulville, managing director of Hat Trick Productions added: “The Mastermind final is an iconic TV moment.

"For the contestants it is not just a test of knowledge, it’s a test of character and nerve. It’s the Olympics of quiz shows and the winner gets no cash prize, not a penny, just a glass bowl and the respect of an entire nation.

"It’s the perfect BBC programme.”

Mastermind Grand Final aired on BBC Two on Monday, April 1 at 7pm. All episodes are available on BBC iPlayer now.