Wednesday 25 April 2018

Richard Osman: I don’t mind trauma and tears on Child Genius

The presenter says the competition teaches important skills for life, as long as proper support is given.

Richard Osman (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Richard Osman (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Francesca Gosling

Presenter Richard Osman has said that he is okay with crying and trauma when contestants younger that 12 are pitched against each other in the next series of his quiz show, Child Genius.

The Pointless star said the tough competition builds resilience, as he promised to lend appropriate support to the young participants, who all aged between eight and 12.

Explaining that he wanted the show to be a positive experience for all involved, Osman told the Radio Times magazine: “I don’t mind people going through a bit of trauma. I don’t mind people going through difficulty. I don’t mind people crying.

Osman with Pointless co-star Alexander Armstrong and Dermot O’Leary (Yui Mok/PA)

“It happens in life and it’s important, so long as you’re providing support.

“By and large, you don’t win stuff in life… you don’t build resilience by stepping away from being competitive or by not putting yourself in a stressful situation.

The programme, which returns to Channel 4 next week for a fifth series, will see one child crowned the winner after answering a series of tough questions across all subjects during a gruelling six-day challenge.

But the show will also hone in on the parents of the competitors and how they nurture their children’s special gifts.

Osman also hopes that the evening programme will provide an encouraging example to young people who feel like their academic skills are not enough to make them accepted by their peers.

Radio Times, out now (Radio Times/PA)

He said: “It’s cool to be good looking, it’s cool to be good at sport, it’s cool to be funny, but it’s not always fun to be clever.

“But on this show we make clever kids the heroes. We’re saying it’s okay to learn stuff and known answers to things. We’re doing a great service for these kids.”

Radio Times is out on Tuesday. Child Genius will broadcast on Monday at 8pm on Channel 4

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