The Mastermind Club was formed in 1978 and was the brainchild of one Charles Key a contender in the 1973 series of Mastermind.
The idea for the Mastermind Club came to him whilst experiencing a typical London rush hour on the M4. He thought of other dangerous pursuits like parachute jumping or the ordeal of sitting in the Black Chair on Mastermind.
He remembered that parachutists had "The Caterpillar Club" which one could only join if their lives had been saved by a parachute. The members were unique and proudly wore the club tie and had frequent reunion meetings. Then why not a club for "Masterminders" who had braved the black chair and would also wear the tie with equal pride.
In late 1977, Charles attended a recording of Mastermind to discuss the idea of a club with the show's producer Bill Wright. Bill together with presenter Magnus Magnusson gave the idea enthusiastic support, with formal approval by the BBC soon following. Early in 1978, Charles wrote to all 288 people who had appeared on the show up to that time. He received replies from 165, of whom 160 were in favour. A meeting was arranged for 8th April 1978 at the Bloomsbury Centre Hotel with 80 potential members from all parts of the United Kingdom attending. A resolution was passed unanimously.
"That a club to be called the 'Mastermind Club' be, and hereby formed, the membership of which is to be limited to those who have appeared as contestants on the BBC TV programme Mastermind and those actively engaged in its production."
The Mastermind Club was born.............
A Historic Photograph of the inaugural meeting of The Mastermind Club.
Producer Bill Wright is sitting in The Black Chair.
Members identified are : Front row L/R Margaret Askew, Dr.David Delvin, Charles Key, Lance Haward, Hazel Prowse, ?? , Alan Blackburn, ??, Sue Jenkins, Oonagh Lahr.
Others featured are Margaery Elliot, Maggie Garratt, Hugh Merrick, Anna Goldstein, June Maggs, Archie Orton and Pauline Wells. The others are unidentified.
Charles Key is third from the left, to his left is Lance Haward. Alan Blackburn, now the Club President is fourth from the right in the dark suit.