Britain’s Best Brain

Wednesday 16th December 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball conclude their search for the best brain in the country. In the grand final, the five highest scorers from the series return for the chance to win the ‘Britain’s Best Brain’ trophy and £10,000. The five finalists are 42-year-old builder Chris, 29-year-old marketing consultant Matt, 38-yearold midwife Jo, 22-year-old telecoms agent Mike and Andrew, a 36-year-old optician.

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

The first challenge, calculation, is designed to test the parietal lobe. Players are asked ten mentalarithmetic questions. As they try to answer they are distracted by continuous sound effects, including loud music. Mike, the youngest player in the final at 22, is the first to go. Maths is not his strong point, but he manages to answer six questions correctly. “That’s a bit better than last time so I’m happy with that,” he says.

Throughout the show each contestant takes a turn on the ‘gyroscope’. This rapidly revolving machine is designed to test the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination. The contestants are strapped into the device and must transfer electronic ‘sand’ from one side of a computerised egg timer to the other. This was builder Chris’s strongest round in the heats and he hopes to win back some points after a poor first round. “I’ve got to claw it back with this,” he says. In the event, Chris performs well with a time of 33.9 seconds, but it is midwife Jo who comes out on top with an impressive time of 23.5 seconds.

Next up is the memory challenge, which tests the temporal lobe. The group is shown images of ten celebrities paired with incongruous objects. Players must then put the pairs back together. In first place since the calculation round, marketing consultant Matt once again scores highest, with 270 points from a possible 300. Meanwhile, Chris’s performance sees him drop from third place to fifth. “There’s no getting away from it – that round was a disaster for Chris,” says Jamie.

The fourth challenge tests recognition, the function governed by the occipital lobe. The players are shown ten different shapes and must identify which elements make up specific images. As an optician, 36-year-old Andrew should do well in this challenge, although that was not the case in the heats. “It was poor for me last time and it shouldn’t have been,” he says.

Finally, the contestants are tested on their ability to judge risk – the area regulated by the frontal lobe. The five competitors each fill up a giant balloon with air by pressing a button. They must abandon the balloon when they think it is about to burst – but the last person standing gets the highest score. Going into the last round, Matt is clinging on to the top spot with 807 points, but Jo is just 48 points behind. Chris is languishing in last place – but with 300 points up for grabs in the risk challenge, anything could happen. “The title of ‘Britain’s Best Brain’ is about to be decided by a sixfoot tall bright red balloon,” says Zoe. All five of the contestants have come a long way, but who will claim the ultimate prize?

Wednesday 9th December 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball continue their search for the best brain in the country. This week, the penultimate episode sees a maths student, a police sergeant, an information officer, an area cleaning manager and an environmental consultant battle it out for the last spot in the grand final.

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

The first challenge, calculation, is designed to test the parietal lobe. Players are asked ten mentalarithmetic questions. As they try to answer they are distracted by continuous sound effects, including loud music. Hoping to do well in this round is 19- year-old maths student Karyn, who is so obsessed with her subject she has a pi tattoo on her shoulder. “It’s my favourite irrational number,” she explains. Sure enough, Karyn sweeps away the competition and earns a record-breaking score of 211 that sees her head straight to the top of the leader board.

Throughout the show each contestant takes a turn on the ‘gyroscope’. This rapidly revolving piece of equipment is designed to test the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination. The contestants are strapped into the device and must transfer electronic ‘sand’ from one side of a computerised egg timer to the other. Gemma, a 28-year-old information officer from Bridgend, is in second place as she climbs into the chair. “There’s still a lot of games to go, so I’m sure I’ll be top of the board soon!” she says. However, at the end of the coordination round it is 36-year-old environmental officer Lesley who has performed best, with an impressive time of 32.7 seconds. Edward, a 59-year-old area cleaning manager, does so badly that he is timed out and scores no points.

Next up is the memory challenge, which tests the temporal lobe. The group is shown images of ten celebrities paired with incongruous objects. Players must then put the pairs back together. Lesley has developed a memory system involving stories, and hopes to do well. “This is my round,” she says. But it is Karyn once again who comes out on top, while 41- year-old police sergeant James is last.

The fourth challenge tests recognition, the function governed by the occipital lobe. The players are shown ten different shapes and must identify which elements make up specific images. “It ought to be the most simple thing to do,” says Zoe. “But as our players are about to find out, it can be a lot harder than it looks.” Currently languishing in last place, Edward thinks his love of painting might be of assistance in the recognition round. “I sincerely hope so,” he says. “I need the points!”

Finally, the contestants are tested on their ability to judge risk – the area regulated by the frontal lobe. The five competitors each fill up a giant balloon with air by pressing a button. They must abandon the balloon when they think it is about to burst – but the last person standing gets the highest score. Going into the final round, Karyn is in the lead with 717 points, followed by Lesley, Gemma, James and Edward. “It’s girls on top this week,” says Jamie. But with 300 points up for grabs in the risk challenge, anything could happen.

Wednesday 2nd December 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball continue their search for the best brain in the country. In this episode, an RAF pilot, a prison officer, an accountant, a firefighter and an IT contractor battle it out for a place in the grand final.

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain. A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

The first challenge, calculation, is designed to test the parietal lobe. The contestants are asked ten mental-arithmetic questions. As they try to answer they are distracted by continuous sound effects, including loud music. Niall, a 48-year-old IT contractor from Belfast, suspects that this first round might be his best. “I’m hoping calculation is going to be strong,” he says. “I need to score highly in that to cover some of the later rounds.” However, at the end of the first challenge it is 27- year-old accountant Emma who tops the leader board with a record-breaking score of 193.

Throughout the show each contestant takes a turn on the ‘gyroscope’. This rapidly revolving piece of equipment is designed to test the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination. The contestants are strapped into the device and must transfer electronic ‘sand’ from one side of a computerised egg timer to the other. Kirk, a 24-yearold firefighter from Cleveland, hopes to score highly in this round. “My hand-eye coordination should be good,” he explains. But it is 29-year-old RAF pilot David who finishes first, with an impressive time of 21.7 seconds. “That was fun!” he says.

Next up is the memory challenge, which tests the temporal lobe. The group is shown photographs of ten celebrities, paired with incongruous objects such as life jackets, frying pans and mugs.

Contestants must then put the pairs back together. Emma manages to answer every question correctly and earns 294 points from a possible 300 – another record-breaking score. “Accountant Emma is the girl to beat!” says Jamie.

The fourth challenge tests recognition, the function governed by the occipital lobe. The players are shown ten different shapes and must identify which elements make up specific images. “But it’s not as easy as it looks,” warns Zoe. Having trailed for much of the quiz, 46-year-old prison officer Marcia performs well in the recognition challenge and claws back some vital points. Niall also scores highly, putting pressure on Emma at the top of the leader board.

Finally, the contestants are tested on their ability to judge risk – the area regulated by the frontal lobe. The five competitors each fill up a giant balloon with air by pressing a button. They must abandon the balloon when they think it is about to burst – but the last person standing gets the highest score. Going into the last challenge, Emma is in first place – just one point higher than Niall in second. However, with 300 points up for grabs in the final round, any player could come out on top.

Wednesday 25th November 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball continue their search for the best brain in the country. In this episode, a nurse, a supermarket worker, a recruitment manager, a cleaner and a project manager battle it out for a place in the grand final.

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

The first challenge, calculation, is designed to test the parietal lobe. The contestants are asked ten mental-arithmetic questions. As they try to answer they are distracted by continuous sound effects, including loud music. Having just finished a degree in maths, 21-year-old Owen should perform well in this challenge. “I was born ready,” he says. However, Owen clearly suffers from the pressure and is distracted by the jazz music being piped into the studio. “That was tough,” he reflects after a disappointing performance. At the end of the round, 36-year-old street cleaner Andy and 26-year-old project manager Stacey are in joint first place.

Throughout the show each contestant takes a turn on the ‘gyroscope’. This rapidly revolving piece of equipment is designed to test the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination. The contestants are strapped into the device and must transfer electronic ‘sand’ from one side of a computerised egg timer to the other. Anthony, a 34-year-old recruitment consultant, clocks up an impressive time of 32.5 seconds, but it is Andy who wins through with a time of 29.7 seconds. “That was horrible!” he says.

Next up is the memory challenge, which tests the temporal lobe. The group is shown photographs of ten celebrities, paired with incongruous objects such as spanners, frying pans and candles.

Contestants must then put the pairs back together. Owen has developed a linking system to improve his memory and performs very well, scoring 177 points out of a possible total of 300. At the end of the third round, 39-year-old health visitor Helen is in last place.

The fourth challenge tests recognition, the function governed by the occipital lobe. The players are shown ten different shapes and must identify which elements make up specific images. “But it’s not as easy as it looks,” warns Jamie. As with the other challenges, the quicker they give the right answer, the more points the contestants score – so the pressure is on.

Finally, the contestants are tested on their ability to judge risk – the area regulated by the frontal lobe. The five competitors each fill up a giant balloon with air by pressing a button. They must abandon the balloon when they think it is about to burst – but the last person standing gets the highest score. Going into the final round, Anthony has slipped to last place with a score of 536. With 667 points, Owen is in first place – just one point higher than Andy in second place. However, with some 300 points up for grabs in the final round, anyone could come out on top.

Wednesday 18th November 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball have joined forces for the first time in ten years for a new eight-part series on Five. In the fourth episode, five new contestants tackle five tasks, designed to test the specific functions of different parts of the brain. Who will be crowned ‘Britain’s Best Brain’ in the grand final?

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

With challenges ranging from the rotating ‘gyroscope’, which tests coordination, to the mindbending recognition and calculation challenges, the next five plucky contestants have their work cut out. Which feisty competitor can stay cool and win a place in the grand final?

Wednesday 11th November 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball have joined forces for the first time in ten years for a new eight-part series on Five. In the third episode, five new contestants tackle five tasks, designed to test the specific functions of different parts of the brain. Who will be crowned ‘Britain’s Best Brain’ in the grand final?

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

With challenges ranging from the rotating ‘gyroscope’, which tests coordination, to the mindbending recognition and calculation challenges, the next five plucky contestants have their work cut out. Which feisty competitor can stay cool and win a place in the grand final?

Wednesday 4th November 8.00pm

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball have joined forces for the first time in ten years for a new eight-part series on Five. Each episode sees contestants tackle five tasks, designed to test the specific functions of different parts of the brain. Who will be crowned ‘Britain’s Best Brain’ in the grand final?

Five have reunited sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are back together for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

With challenges ranging from the rotating ‘gyroscope’, which tests coordination, to the mindbending recognition and calculation challenges, the next five plucky contestants have their work cut out. Which feisty competitor stay cool and win a place in the grand final?

Wednesday 28th October

Much-loved presenting duo Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball are reunited for the first time in ten years for a brand new eight-part series on Five. Each episode sees contestants tackle five tasks, designed to test the specific functions of different parts of the brain. Who will be crowned ‘Britain’s Best Brain’ in the grand final?

Five reunites sparky presenting team Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston for the first time in nearly a decade. After four years on ‘Live and Kicking’ and four series of ‘The Priory’, the pair went their separate ways – but now they are set for an exciting search to find Britain’s best brain.

A nationwide hunt took place over the summer to discover the untapped brainpower of British people from all walks of life – from posties to professors, doctors to dustmen. Success on this show is not about academic qualifications, but about how the brain functions under stressful conditions.

‘Britain’s Best Brain’ puts contestants through a series of gruelling games designed to push them to their mental and physical limits. Each of the onehour studio-based shows sees competitors tackle five tasks, which have been scientifically created to test different functions of the brain – memory, coordination, calculation, recognition and risk.

In the first episode, newly qualified doctor Ryan, housewife and mum-of-nine Jackie, immigration officer Sonya, programmer Jules and finance assistant Catherine are all hoping for the chance to return for the exhilarating final and compete to be crowned champion. The contestants have everything to play for – in this show it is not what you know, it is how you think that counts.

The first challenge, calculation, is designed to test the parietal lobe. The contestants are asked ten mental-arithmetic questions. As they try to answer they are distracted by continuous sound effects, including loud music. Not only are the players judged on how many questions they answer correctly, but also on how quickly they respond. Mathematician Jules should fare best in this challenge – but this competition is full of surprises…

Throughout the show each contestant takes a turn on the ‘gyroscope’. This rapidly revolving piece of equipment is designed to test the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls coordination. The contestants are strapped into the device and must transfer electronic sand from one area of a shaker to the other. Doctor Ryan has the best chance in this contest – but housewife Jackie is also raring to go!

Next up is the memory challenge, which tests the temporal lobe. The group is shown photographs of ten celebrities, paired with incongruous objects such as umbrellas, frying pans and candles. Contestants must then put the pairs back together. Jules plans to ace the task by imagining stories that connect the celebrities to the objects – but will his idea work? In the next part of the challenge, unconnected sound effects are added to the pairings, making the task even harder.

The fourth challenge tests recognition, the function governed by the occipital lobe. The players are shown ten different shapes and must identify which elements make up specific images. As with the other challenges, the quicker they give the right answer, the more points they score – so the pressure is on.

Finally, the contestants are tested on their ability to judge risk – the area regulated by the frontal lobe. The five competitors each fill up a giant balloon with air by pressing a button. They must abandon the balloon when they think it is about to burst – but the last person standing gets the highest score. With competition this tense, it looks like it could be an explosive finale…

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