The BBC has defended a Leeds quiz show star’s right to compete in the final of Radio Four’s Brain of Britain quiz.
Barry Simmons, who lives in Roundhay, joined the panel of television quiz show Eggheads after winning a knock-out competition five years ago.
The 64-year-old will compete in the final of Brain of Britain next week but it has been reported that the BBC have received five complaints about his appearance in the competition’s semi-final.
A BBC statement said: “There is no rule banning Eggheads from appearing on Brain of Britain – the only rule is that former champions are not allowed to return.”
It added: “Brain of Britain is a very unpredictable quiz and it is quite possible a well-known quizzer like Barry could be beaten.”
The professional quizzer also scooped £64,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and was also a semi-finalist on Mastermind.
The Leeds boffin addressed the row on social networking website Twitter and said:“My appearances on Brain of Britain appear to have caused a minor stir. Let me remind everyone the program is called Brain of Britain!”
Speaking to the YEP after he won he spot on Eggheads Barry said: “It’s a dream come true and now I am a full-time quiz professional.
“I have watched the programme since its start and I know two of the Eggheads quite well.
“The Eggheads team is a wonderful group of people to work with.”
Barry gave up his job as an IT consultant but works also for a text message service called AQA for which he answers questions.
His admiring wife Janet, mother of their two children, said: “Barry is phenomenal.
“We call him Barry Obscura because he knows so many obscure facts.
“He is like a knowledge dustbin.
“We say he has a Velcro mind.”