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The Chase star and Mastermind champion Shaun Wallace, AKA The Dark Destroyer, tells his life story at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature




Criminal defence barrister and TV ‘Chaser’ Shaun Wallace shared some valuable and entertaining life lessons with his audience at the Bishop’s Stortford College Festival of Literature on Saturday, writes student Ed Suckling.

He began by stating that he is a barrister first and ‘Chaser’ second, before telling the audience how he came to be both a highly-regarded law professional and mastermind quizzer.

Shaun explained, whilst showing the audience photos on the projector of when he was young, how he was determined from the age of 11 to become a barrister.

Shaun Wallace at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature. Photo: Steve Beeston (28832972)
Shaun Wallace at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature. Photo: Steve Beeston (28832972)

Despite having a photographic memory, academic success did not come easy to him. After telling his careers supervisor that he wanted to work in law, he was told that he would most likely be in prison!

He failed his A-Levels as a result of being unable to perform under exam conditions. However, these failures only drove him to take control of his destiny and work even harder.

After telling the audience how he passed his Bar exam and became a barrister, which was accompanied by graduation photos, Shaun described how he began to pursue quizzing and TV game shows.

Shaun Wallace at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature. Photo: Steve Beeston (28832974)
Shaun Wallace at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature. Photo: Steve Beeston (28832974)

Much like his early academic career, Shaun’s game show career was also difficult to begin with. He showed the audience a video of his first TV quiz appearance. The show was Fifteen to One, which he had taken three weeks off work to prepare for – only to be the first person to go home!

After other short videos and explanations of the game shows he had been on, he told how he got a place on Mastermind. After moving through the first few rounds, he landed a seat in the 2004 final. With his chosen topic of ‘FA Cup finals since 1970’, Shaun managed to tie scores after the first and general knowledge rounds, edging the win due to his lack of passes.

Not only was Shaun the first black applicant on the show, he was also the first black winner, something that he was extremely proud of. It was inspiring to see his persistence to becoming a quizzing champion over decades.

He closed his talk by sharing how, after his Mastermind win, he got the opportunity to become a star of the now international show, The Chase. The evening concluded with questions and a quiz.

Shaun Wallace at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature. Photo: Steve Beeston (28832983)
Shaun Wallace at the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature. Photo: Steve Beeston (28832983)

Throughout his talk, Shaun came back to one important point – taking control of your own destiny, to which he attributes his legal and game show success.




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