A quiz show novice from Glasgow lifted the Mastermind trophy tonight, continuing Scotland’s run of success on the BBC show.

Ruth Hart, a charity engagement manager, dedicated the win to her late father, who had encouraged her to apply.

“I found out I’d been accepted on to the programme after he died. That was one of the things that kept me going,” she said.

Ms Hart’s specialist subject in the final was the artist Francis Bacon. Previously she had answered questions on Red Clydeside.

"This is the first time I've applied to a TV quiz show," she said.

Host Clive Myrie described the title of Mastermind and the glass bowl trophy as “the greatest prize in quizzing”.

Asked what she planned to do next, the Glaswegian said: “I think I’m going to have a lie down.”

It had been a tense night for the six finalists. Ms Hart scored 15 points and no passes on the life and works of Bacon. The top score meant she was last to head for the famous black chair for the general knowledge round. The score to beat was 26.

After a roaring start she hit a bad patch with questions on the ingredients of a dry martini and the name of Northern Ireland’s first First Minister.

A correct answer on Posh Spice turned her fortunes around, and after a run of questions on subjects from Mozart to Macbeth her final score was 28.

“At the end of the round Ruth, you had no passes and you are the Mastermind champion,” announced Myrie.

READ MORE: Red Clydeside the specialist subject on Mastermind

READ MORE Mastermind hot seat passes to Clive Myrie

Ms Hart’s victory strengthens the connection between Scotland and the long-running show.

In 2021, fellow Glaswegian Jonathan Gibson, then a 24-year-old student, became the youngest-ever champion. The year before, Dave McBryan, a Dublin-born quizmaster living in Edinburgh, took the honours. Fred Housego, the London cabbie who turned his win into a TV presenting career, was from Dundee.

Icelandic-born Scottish journalist Magnus Magnusson was the show’s first and best-known host, starting in 1972 and retiring in 1997 after 25 years. John Humphrys was next, handing over to Myrie in 2021.

The glass bowl trophy was designed and made by Denis Mann, a former art student from Edinburgh who worked at Caithness Glass in Wick.

Each finalist was introduced to viewers via a short film. Andy Murray sent a good luck video message to the contestant who had chosen Wimbledon as his specialist subject. In her film Ms Hart paid tribute to David, her husband and “biggest supporter”.

“He’s been there all the way through, helping to keep me calm when I’ve been really stressed about it.”

Ms Hart’s mother Frances  added: “Her dad would have been very, very proud of her. He would have been ecstatic to see his daughter in the grand final of Mastermind”

He had encouraged her “for years” to apply to the show and would have enjoyed hearing all about it, said Ms Hart. “I wished through the whole process that I could tell him about it.”

In (almost) the words of Magnus Magnusson, the new Mastermind champion has started quizzing and she’ll finish when she’s ready.

“I’m going to keep quizzing. It has been an amazing experience against the best quizzers in the country. I’ve loved it.”

Ms Hart is now the proud possessor of a highly coveted Mastermind trophy. Each one is unique and made to the Mann specifications.

The show’s original producer, Bill Wright, visited Caithness Glass looking for an impressive trophy for a new programme he was working on.

Mann happened to be there discussing a job with the firm. Wright was shown some of his work and a deal was sealed.

No-one knew how many orders there would turn out to be, Mann told the BBC in a 2022 interview.

"Before the programme went out there was no certainty Mastermind would be a success.

"The first one was almost intended to be a taster. No-one anticipated the success it would be. It was kind of hit or miss."

Wright drew on his experience as a POW in coming up with the idea for a tension-fuelled show featuring a darkened studio and a spot-lit chair. Instead of being asked name, rank and serial number, contestants would state their name, occupation and specialist subject.