Clive Myrie: who is the new host of BBC's Mastermind, replacing John Humphrys - and his response to the new role
Myrie will succeed John Humphrys, as the fifth presenter of BBC Two’s Mastermind
Clive Myrie is to replace John Humphrys as the presenter of the BBC’s Mastermind quiz show.
The news presenter is a well-known face among the BBC audience, and will continue to be the anchorman on BBC News at six and ten.
Announcing his new role, Myrie described it as “big shoes to fill,” but has vowed to bring a fresh personality to the show’s established format.
So, who is Myrie and why has he been chosen to succeed Humphrys?
Who is Clive Myrie?
Myrie is a British broadcaster, born in Bolton in August 1964.
He was raised by Jamaican parents and attended his local grammar school, Hayward Grammar.
Myrie then went on to read law at the University of Sussex, which he graduated from in 1985.
In 1988, he joined the BBC through the company’s graduate programme and was appointed as a presenter on Radio Bristol.
He is married and has told how his wife has feared for his safety, as he has been the victim of racist abuse.
This included receiving faeces in the post, death threats and receiving a card with a Gorilla on it, which read: “We don't want people like you on our TV screens.”
In 2019, a far-right extremist was jailed after threatening Myrie’s life. He told the Guardian he feels racism has grown significantly in the past decade.
He said he could count fewer than ten incidents of racial abuse towards him before 2009, “But it has picked up in the last decade and become incredibly more prevalent in the last few years. Why has that happened? I don’t know,” he added.
His career at the BBC
Myrie has worked for the BBC as foreign correspondent in over 80 countries, as the Europe correspondent and as leading presenter on the network's evening news programmes.
He has won awards for his acclaimed journalism, including the Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents for his reporting of ethnic violence on the island of Borneo.
He was also part of the Bafta-nominated team behind coverage of the Mozambique floods.
In 2009, Myrie was recruited as the weekend presenter of BBC news, before taking up the midweek evening news role in 2014.
He has since reported from BBC’s studios at Broadcasting House, on the 6pm to midnight news bulletins.
Myrie recently won two Royal Television Society journalism awards - for network presenter of the year and television journalist of the year.
He also presents the BBC’s late night newspaper round up ‘The Papers’, which usually involves input from politicians and topical experts.
Myrie will continue to present his current portfolio of news broadcasting, as well as succeeding Humphrys as the presenter of BBC Two’s gameshow, Mastermind.
Why has he been chosen to present Mastermind?
As well as being a well-established and highly regarded BBC presenter, the 56-year-old believes he was given the role after producers of the show saw a new side to him on The Papers.
Speaking to the BBC after he was named as the new presenter he said: “I can't imagine they would have got me to present Mastermind if it was just seeing me in some refugee camp in Yemen,” referring to his role as foreign correspondent.
He continued: "It's that other side of my personality that I think they noticed."
On replacing Humphrys, he acknowledged that it is “big shoes to fill”.
But, he hopes to “bring a little bit of my own personality to what is a grounded format.”
Myrie said he might change "little things" on his new programme, but added: "The fundamental format, the basic structure - the chair, the spotlight on the individual who's dealing with this - is going to stay the same.
"You can have a bit more fun in the celebrity series, for instance. That's maybe where there's a little bit more latitude."
As for juggling his current news presenting roles and Mastermind, he said: "That side of me is still very much there, but it's good to be able to be liberated every now and again when I do Mastermind.”
Following Myrie’s appointment, Kate Phillips, the BBC's director of entertainment, said: "Clive will be a superb host, witty, wise and with a wicked sense of humour, he's a consummate interrogator who also understands the fear involved when facing a barrage of questions in the spotlight."
When will he replace Humphrys?
John Humphrys, who has presented the show for 18 years of its near 50 year history, has retired and his final show will be broadcast in April.
Myrie will begin filming in July, with the show set to return to screens later in the year.
Mastermind is currently shown on BBC Two on Mondays at 7.30pm.
You can catch up with previous episodes, as well as spin-off Celebrity Mastermind, on BBC iPlayer.