The king of quizzers at the Kings of Herts has underlined his prowess by winning one of TV’s Pointless brainteaser episodes - only missing a fantastic jackpot by a hairsbreadth.
Mike Rose, who lives in Harpenden, teamed up with son Sam to come within one point of claiming an £8,750 prize.
In the final round they had to either name a player who had started two Champions League football finals for two different teams or a manager of a finalist - searching for a name that nobody in the programme’s 100-strong quiz panel had identified.
They chose Roberto di Matteo and watched with delight as the points indicator plummeted steadily downwards from 100 - only to halt on one!
“We were gutted to get so close to that big cash prize, but we did come away with a great memento - a Pointless trophy,“ said Mike, who is vice chairman of the barbershop harmony chorus.
Mike established himself as the man to beat in an online quiz club set up by the Kings to keep members in touch during the Covid lockdown.
A recently retired geologist, he told Pointless host Alexander Armstrong that he was looking forward to taking his wife Tracey on holiday to a lighthouse if he and Sam hit zero points,
Sam, a coffee vending machine salesman, had hoped to take some pals to a darts tournament at the Ally Pally!
He left his mark on the TV series by supposedly providing Alexander Armstrong with coffee from a machine he had installed off set!
Low-scoring answers that helped father and son through three rounds against other duos included: Geiger counter, the Fresnel lens, and identifying Mexico as the location for a picture of an unusual pyramid.
The Fresnel lens option was manna from heaven for Mike, a lead singer, whose hobbies, unusually, include studying and visiting lighthouses around the UK!
The Fresnel lens was introduced into lighthouses in the early 19th century by a French physicist and has been described as an invention “that saved a million ships”.
On the first round on Pointless it saved Mike 98 points.
Mike’s colleagues in the Kings’ quiz club tuned in to cheer him on.
Peter Underhill said: “We knew Mike was a player of a very high standard. When Mike played against you it was really a question of who would take second place!”
Fellow quizzer Peter Browell agreed. “We were rarely, if ever, able to beat Mike. It seemed the only times someone did better was when he wasn’t there!
“He has a truly impressive depth of knowledge, especially with regard to lighthouses. The lens question was a gift!”
The programme was shown on October 5th but was recorded in February and Mike, sworn to secrecy, never let on to the Kings how well he and Sam had fared.