A woman who lives near Winchester will be appearing on a long-running BBC quiz show next week.

Alresford resident Lisa von Fircks will be kicking off the new year with an appearance on Mastermind.

She made it through three rounds of audition questions to become a contender in the classic quiz show. With its menacing theme tune, glaring spotlight and quick-fire questions, it is widely regarded as the toughest quiz on British television.

Reflecting on the experience, Lisa said: “The format of the programme was designed to intimidate, and I can vouch that it certainly does. There is no rehearsal or warm-up and when that familiar, dramatic music starts up, so do the nerves. The new host, Clive Myrie, was very calming though.

“Mastermind has been running since I was a toddler. Having grown up with it and been an avid viewer all these years it felt thrilling to now actually take part. I’m delighted to have sat in the iconic black chair and to have contributed to this much-loved programme.”

Lisa, a former Alton College student, is now a wedding celebrant; writing and conducting personalised ceremonies for couples getting married in and around Hampshire.

First broadcast in 1972, the programme celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, making it one of television’s most enduring successes. To appear on the prestigious show is an ambition of many quiz-lovers.

Thousands applied for a place in this year’s heats, which are recorded at BBC TV studios in Belfast. Lisa also hints that her episode should make for exciting viewing as it features an unusually high score. Tune in to find out how Lisa and her fellow contenders get on.

The episode airs on January 3 at 7.30pm on BBC2 and is available after on BBC Iplayer.