Kevin Ashman

Kevin Ashman

Kevin Ashman is one of Britain's most successful quiz players. He has won nearly all the top-level quiz tournaments in which he has taken part, among them several World and European Championships. [ [ International Quizzing Association, results WQC and EQC 2004-2007] , ]

Between 2002 and 2006 he was the question-setter and arbiter on the Radio 4 quiz show "Brain of Britain", working under the pen-name of 'Jorkins' (a name taken from "David Copperfield"). He was appointed to the position on the death of Ian Gillies, who worked under the pen-name 'Mycroft'. Prior to this position he worked as a civil servant in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Ashman's first major success was on "Fifteen to One", winning series three in 1989, and returned to win the special 'Millennium Edition' between past champions on New Year's Eve 1999. In 1995 he won "Mastermind", scoring 41 with 0 passes in his heat, which remains a record to this day. His specialist subject on that occasion was the life and work of Martin Luther King. Ashman continued to do television and radio quizzes, and went on to win Master Brain, a radio competition for winners and runners-up of Mastermind and Brain of Britain. The following year he actually won "Brain of Britain", qualifying for Master Brain and winning again. He also went on to win Brain of Brains (contested between the previous three years' Brains of Britain) and Top Brain (contested every nine years between the previous three Brain of Brains).

In addition he has won the British Quiz Championship seven times, as well as many other tournaments. In 2004 he won the World Quizzing Championships individual competition, a tournament organised by the International Quizzing Association (IQA), as well as the European Championships (organised by the same group) both individually and for nations, in Gent, Belgium. He followed this up by winning the World Quizzing Championships again in July 2005. He is the first person to retain this title and, for a second year running, he finished ahead of Pat Gibson of Ireland and Nico Pattyn of Belgium. In November 2005 he retained his individual title at the European Quizzing Championships in Tallinn (Estonia). At this event he again captained the England quiz team, this time losing to Belgium in the final. In July 2006 he won the World Quizzing Championships for the third year in succession and followed this in December by again winning the European Quizzing Championships (held near Paris, France). He also won the team title with his team Milhous Warriors, but the English quiz team was once again beaten by the Belgians. In 2007 Ashman lost his World title to Pat Gibson who narrowly beat him into runner-up spot (a position Gibson himself had occupied for four years). He also lost his European title to Nico Pattyn of Belgium, but he took revenge by reconquering the title with the English national team, beating the Belgians in the final at Blackpool.

Ashman often competes in domestic team quiz events as a member of the "Milhous Warriors", most of whom are based in Swindon, England. In 2005 they were runners-up in the final of the Clubs and Institutes (CIU) IDC Freeclaim sponsored national championships losing out narrowly to a team which featured Mark Labbett. "Milhous Warriors" have often emerged victorious in the team elements of events run by, for example winning the team competitions which were held at Old Trafford football stadium in 2004 and Silverstone race track in 2005 as part of those years' UK leg of the World Quizzing Championship event. In 2006 they became the first British team to win the European Team Championship, doing so in Paris.

Ashman became interested in quizzes in his mid-twenties when, having graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in History, he resolved to improve his knowledge of the sciences.

He lives in Winchester in Hampshire.

He currently competes on the UK quiz show "Eggheads", alongside other quiz champions, in which members of the public pit their wits against them in order to win a cash prize, and has for many years played in the Winchester Quiz League, organised by Peter Byford, winning the league many times. He also plays in the Quiz League of London, representing Allsorts.

He was also Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness's phone a friend on the 12th of January 2008 UK edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

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