HIS BELOVED Hoops are looking good for SPL title glory this season, and today, Friday, TV viewers will learn if Mastermind finalist John Savage has his own title win to celebrate.
John, who turned 53 on Monday, was the first contestant in the show’s 40 year history to have Celtic FC as his specialist subject.
Keeping his cool when faced with a quick barrage of questions from host John Humphrys, and on a roll in the general knowledge round, John booked his semi final slot, aired last Friday.
From the five participants in his heat, it was John - originally of Bo’ness, now living in Polmont - who secured the last spot in tonight’s grand final, thanks to his winning score of 21 and no passes.
Nazi Germany 1933-45 was his semi topic and tonight it’s all change again for the six-strong final, with the former St Mary’s Primary School pupil being grilled on UK 1970s chart music.
“It was a spur of the moment thing to enter the show. I never dreamt I would get on to it, let alone through it, but I was lucky,” said the modest internal sales worker, who cites the Sex Pistols, David Bowie and Roxy Music as his 70s favourites.
John had not expected to be asked for his three specialist subjects right away and UK chart music was his wild card, later narrowed down to the 70s.
Viewers will see him in a short film clip, shot in London at the Notting Hill recording studios now owned by Trevor Horn of The Buggles fame. As Island Records’ studio in the 70s it saw artists like Bob Marley behind the mic.
John, who bounced back after treatment for a mild brain haemorrhage in August 2011 (caused by an aneurysm), has taken his ascent to the final in his stride.
They were filmed last November at Media City in Salford with wife Lynne, mum-in-law Marjorie Black, and son Andrew (14) in the audience.
He is not a member of any quiz team and said: “I never felt any pressure on Mastermind at all. All you are playing for is a title.
“If you get a question wrong on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire it can cost you half a million. If you get it get it wrong on Mastermind you go onto the next one and hope to get it right.”
As well as being in the Journal and Gazette, John has featured in the national press, The Celtic View, and last weekend was a guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s Off The Ball show, with former Celtic striker Frank McGarvey.
*Catch the final tonight (Friday) at 7.30pm on BBC2.