Pub quiz champ takes own life

Max Thomson, right, jumped from the Ocean Terminal multi-storey car park

Max Thomson, right, jumped from the Ocean Terminal multi-storey car park

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A PUB quiz champion from Edinburgh has taken his own life – only a day after starring on a popular television quiz show.

Max Thomson helped his Tramlines team defeat the Eggheads on the BBC show, becoming one of the few challenging groups to do so.

It was broadcast on Monday night, but the following morning the 49-year-old jumped from the multi-storey car park at Ocean Terminal.

Police have confirmed they attended the incident at around 8.30am on Tuesday morning, and said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Thomson’s death.

Friends paid tribute to the city council transport planner, who lived alone in Leith.

Friend and team-mate Brian Pendreigh, 54, from Trinity, had spent the night before with Mr Thomson, his mother and his sister as they watched the triumphant programme on BBC2.

He said: “We were shocked and devastated to hear the news.

“Max came to my house with his mum and sister to watch Eggheads on Monday night and he was his usual cheery self.

“It was the first time I had seen it and I have never seen him so happy as he was at the end when he hugged David, one of the other guys in the team.

“Quizzes were Max’s passion. He was well known on the quiz circuit in north Edinburgh, because he was good and because he got on with everyone.

“Our world is a very, very sad place today and our thoughts are obviously with his family.”

Friends also described him as “a normal guy who loved a quiz and enjoyed going out for a pint”, adding that he had never shown signs of depression, or any other behaviour to suggest he may have been considering suicide.

His five-strong team beat the assembled group of “egghead” experts last year, and the programme was finally screened this week.

Tensions mounted on the show as they approached the final question, asking which English writer had produced a pamphlet called the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.

They correctly answered John Milton, sparking scenes of celebration on the programme.

Mr Thomson had also appeared on quiz shows Postcode Challenge and Quiz Trippers with his team. After the win, the team took home £5000 to share among themselves.

Mr Pendreigh added: “He wasn’t hugely outgoing, but he wasn’t extremely quiet either.

“He was just a normal guy who loved pub quizzing. I saw him every week for about the last two years.

“He could turn his hand to any subject, you knew you could go to him whether it was a question on politics or soap operas. We’re absolutely devastated.”

amorris@edinburghnews.com