Sally Magnusson wants female host for Mastermind

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 February 2021
Sally Magnusson

Sally Magnusson

Sally Magnusson - whose father Magnus famously hosted 'Mastermind' for 25 years - would love a woman to take over from current presenter John Humphrys on the quiz show

'Mastermind' legend Magnus Magnusson's daughter Sally wants a woman to take over as host.

The Scottish broadcaster's Icelandic-born dad hosted the popular BBC quiz show for 25 years, and she has suggested a female presenter would be a great choice with John Humphrys stepping down after almost two decades.

Speaking to the Sebastian Shakespeare column in the Daily Mail newspaper, she said: "'Mastermind' thrives on the qualities that John and Magnus brought in their different ways – gravitas, kindness and a searching intellectual curiosity – but a woman would bring something new and fresh to the show."

However, she has ruled herself out of following in her father's footsteps.

She explained: "I’m not sure dynasties are always a good idea. But if the 'Mastermind' production team want to get hold of me, they know my number."

Humphrys himself has posed the idea of a female host as he wished his successor all the best.

He said: "When the present series comes to an end in March there will be someone else in the chair. I wish my successor well but I’m not sure I envy them, whoever ‘they’ may be. What are the odds on the first female?”

BBC presenter Samira Ahmed has been linked to the role, and 'The Chase' star Jenny Ryan – who appeared on 'Mastermind' back in 2003 – is one of her many supporters.

She told "From a news broadcast background, I think [Times Radio presenter] Aasmah Mir would be great, as would Samira Ahmed – they both have a great balance of warmth and authority. [Journalist] Betsan Powys is already in charge on 'Mastermind Cymru', so she could easily step in.

“There are dozens of brilliant and well-qualified women I can think of off the top of my head – people who are not only great hosts but have a genuine passion for quizzing and knowledge. I think that’s what is the key to finding the right replacement.”

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