New Mastermind host Clive Myrie reveals friends' BRUTAL reaction after he was named new face of show

CLIVE Myrie has a big job on his hands – as the new presenter of Mastermind – but his friends thought his new gig was a joke.

The journalist, 56, was announced as the new host in March following the departure of John Humphrys.

But his mates couldn't believe he'd got the gig which requires him to be very serious, because that's not the side of him they know.

“They think it’s hilarious. My close friends think it’s crazy because they know me as a bit of a joker," Clive told Mirror Online.

“It’s interesting because they know there is a serious side to my personality, the side that comes out on the news, but at the same time they know there’s my lighter, slightly madcap side, and to be able to project a bit more of a three-dimensional idea of who I am is nice.”

John left the top job at Mastermind after 750 episodes and Clive has no plans to shake up the quiz show too much.

“Mastermind is one of those programmes you tinker with at your peril. Allow a contender to choose a light-hearted subject and the cry goes out, ‘Dumbing down!’ Change the format even slightly and you are, ‘Sexing up’," he explained.

“The basic fundamentals, you do not mess with. I have not messed with them.”

He recently returned from filming Mastermind in Belfast and said he was "exhilarated" to be doing it.

“I suppose there is a bit of pressure that you don’t want to mess it up," Clive admitted.

“You hope you’re the right fit, but at the same time I’m exhilarated and excited about the opportunity. So, yes, there are big shoes to fill. I hope that over time I’ll make it my show and people, when they think of Mastermind, will think of me. That’s the aim.”

Clive added he thought his Jamaican immigrant parents, Lynne and Norris, would be proud of what he has achieved.

“If you’d said to my parents in 1975 when I was sitting cross-legged watching Mastermind on the TV, ‘Right, your son could be a doctor or a lawyer, or he could be the bloke on TV asking those questions’, what would their reaction have been?

“I suspect they would have wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer. But my parents have basically resigned themselves to the fact I am not a doctor or a lawyer, that I am, in fact, a journalist and they’ve got used to the idea."

The journalist has a lengthy history on TV reporting from far-flung countries.

After various stints on BBC Weekend News and weekend editions of BBC News at Ten and BBC Breakfast, Clive now presents BBC News at Ten on Fridays.

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