Child Genius is a Mensa sponsored competition to find the UK’s most intelligent children aged between 7 and 12, and in past years, has never been won by Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven or a dolphin.
The basic format of the competition comprises 28 rounds of memorising pointless information about motorway service stations, the periodic table and the distinguishing features of fish, along with four rounds of memorising how to spell words no-one will ever otherwise use and a brief round of sums.
Since being televised in 2013, the worryingly intense Mensa invigilator has been replaced by Richard Osmond (known as the Big Friendly Giant to the contestants) and each round is introduced by an appropriate piece of music such as Memories by Elvis Presley, Memories by Weezer or Memories by David Guetta.
The 2019 competition was marred by controversy when one of the semi-finalists was unmasked as a 38-year-old former winner of Round Britain Quiz, who’d had his legs amputated and learned to use a smart phone in order to pass himself off as a 9-year-old. As a consequence of this, Mensa has lowered the upper age limit to six, compensating for this revised restriction by accepting entries from foetuses, embryos and, in exceptional cases, viable spermatozoa or ova.