Mansfield boy comes second in Channel 4's Child Genius

“It has given me the confidence to learn more," says a Mansfield boy as he narrowly misses out on being crowned Britain's brightest youngster.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 9:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 10:58 am
William Harwood.

William Harwood, a former pupil of High Oakham Primary School, was 11-years-old when he took part in Channel 4's Child Genius and came second in the competition.

William now 12, was the youngest competitor to reach the final in the series and was challenged for six days on spelling, maths, memory, vocabulary, geography and science.

He was selected from hundreds of applicants and was one of just 19 contestants, who were all aged between eight and 12.

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William Harwood.

Nishi Uggalle from Audenshaw, who has an IQ higher than Einstein won the competition and was crowned Britain's brightest youngster.

William who is a Year 7 at Nottingham High School said: "It has given me the confidence to learn more.

"I decided that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I really wanted to do it. Also, I thought that it would be interesting to find out how smart I actually am and what I am capable of achieving.

Channel 4s Child Genius

“I didn’t have a revision timetable. My mum knew what my strengths and weaknesses were and worked with me accordingly. We were very relaxed about it all. She tested me on spellings while I played basketball on the back garden.

“I never felt stressed about the competition and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience – my general knowledge is really good, and I also have great memory skills.”

When asked if he wished he had won the show he said: “Yes, and no – I would have liked to have brought the trophy home for the boys, especially as I had the disadvantage of being two school years younger than Nishi (the winner); but on the other hand, holding the title of Child Genius may have caused my peers and superiors to have too high expectations of me, and then they may be disappointed.”

No stranger to testing his intelligence William came second in a junior language challenge in 2017, where he had to learn French, Japanese and Zulu.Which lead to a casting agent approaching him for the show.

William and his parents Dr Claire Oliver-Harwood and Peter Harwood, also have high praise for High Oakham Primary School – in particular, for his Year 2 teacher, Mrs Michelle Reid, who recognised his potential and encouraged him to build on his gifts.

William’s mum, Claire said: ‘It was a very proud moment for our family when William reached the final in this esteemed competition.

"William is naturally clever, and he can grasp advanced topics quickly. He also has an inquisitive mind and needs to research something straightaway if a question pops into his mind.”