Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Mastermind New Zealand: Lights, action, engage brain

The gloves are off for tonight's Mastermind NZ final - and the winner scores the chair, writes Russell Blackstock.
Mastermind NZ finalist Julyan Lawry. Photo / Supplied
Mastermind NZ finalist Julyan Lawry. Photo / Supplied

If GP Julyan Lawry wins tonight's grand final of Mastermind New Zealand her patients could find themselves being treated in the most famous chair in country.

Whoever is crowned champion on the popular TV quiz show takes home the $6000 hotseat as a keepsake. Lawry said host Peter Williams told her if she wins she should put the iconic Mastermind chair in her consulting room. She works at a family practice in Hobsonville, Auckland. But the brainbox doc has reservations - she reckons it could be a prescription for trouble as it is challenging to get in and out of.

"It is pretty low down and you have to hold on to the handles because it swivels about a fair bit," she said.

Lawry will tonight battle three other finalists - Havelock North high school teacher William Barnes, Wellington public servant Jackie Owens and Dunedin technical manager David Barnes, no relation to William.

The GP got off to a flying start in her first appearance, on subject "the life and works of Stephen Fry".

"Mastermind is the first thing most of my patients mention when they come to see me," she said. "Our practice has 4000 patients covered by five doctors, so I have quite a few supporters out there already."

In tonight's TV One climax, quizmaster Williams will engage the finalists in three 90-second rounds in general knowledge, their specialty subject, and one of five other subjects on New Zealand.

Lawry - a 45-year-old mother of twin 8-year-old girls - is a regular pub-quizzer. William Barnes, 36, swotted his specialist subject "American history in the 1960s" for a month. Owens, 49, did the same for the Chronicles of Narnia.

David Barnes, 53, was back enjoying a full night's sleep again after burning the midnight oil memorising facts on "British Antarctic expeditions to the Ross Sea region".

"It is great not to wake up at 3am any more in a cold sweat and wondering things like, 'What was the name of the geologist on Scott's western party'.

"When the series started I had no expectations. But now that I've made it to the final, like everyone else, I really want to win it."

Mastermind New Zealand final: tonight, TV One, 7.45pm.

Can you beat a Mastermind?

Tonight we find out the Mastermind NZ winner. But William Barnes was king in the Herald on Sunday's quiz, for 8 correct answers out of 10. Julyan Lawry got 7 and William Barnes and Jackie Owens 6. See if you can beat them:

1 How many tests did Richie McCaw play for the All Blacks?

2 Which famous rock guitarist is known as Slowhand?

3 In 1974 what NZ cricket milestone was achieved for the first time?

4 What is an infant whale commonly called?

5 In which year was NZ's last hanging?

6 Which 17th-century British explorer was buried with a pipe and a box of tobacco?

7 In 1985 which US ship was refused entry to New Zealand due to its unconfirmed nuclear status?

8 In which film did Roger Moore first play James Bond?

9 In 1642, Abel Tasman thought New Zealand was connected to which continent?

10 How are julienne vegetables cut?

Answers: (148, Eric Clapton, NZ beat Australia in a cricket test, a calf, 1957, Sir Walter Raleigh, USS Buchanan, Live and Let Die, South America, strips sliced lengthways

- Herald on Sunday

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