Rankin reveals Mastermind contestant beat him on Rebus trivia


SCOTS author Ian Rankin has revealed a Mastermind contestant has beaten him answering questions about his own books.

Contestant Gregory Spiller chose the Rebus novels of Ian Rankin as his chosen subject on Mastermind last week.

He correctly answered ten trivia questions on the show’s semi-finals, two more than Rankin admitted he could have answered himself.

The Rebus author

Software engineer Spiller answered questions about ‘Saughton Prison’, Cowdenbeath and the Oxford Bar – Rebus’s favourite real life watering hole in Edinburgh.

The contestant, who ended up in second place, also correctly answered a question about the occupation of Rebus’s father – a stage hypnotist.

But Rankin, who has written 18 novels about DI John Rebus, as well as dozens of short stories featuring the detective, admitted he couldn’t have answered all the questions correctly himself.

He said he would have been better answering questions about the Rolling Stones or novelist Muriel Spark.

The 52-year-old tweeted: “I’m still discombobulated that I only got eight questions right last week when the specialist subject on Mastermind was my novels.

“To be fair, I wouldn’t have chosen my books as my specialist subject. I’d have gone for Muriel Spark, or the music of the Rolling Stones.”

One follower, Kitty, joked with the author: “Are you sure you wrote them?”

Fellow author Jill Mansell, wrote: “I (anonymously) did an online quiz about my books. Got 6/10 and ‘Not bad but could do better.”

Another fan, Sam, tweeted: “I wonder how many you would have got correct while being questioned sat in the chair with the light on you.”

Andrea added: “Eight out of how many questions? I always forget many things I read in novels, not sure how it would be if I wrote them ;)”.

Speaking at his Edinburgh home today, Rankin said he was not surprised he hadn’t been able to answer all eleven questions correctly.

He said: “With some of the books, I haven’t read them in 20 years; I forgot one of the characters names.

“The contestant got ten, but I only got eight. I imagine he had read them all before the programme though.”