Mansfield boy to appear in Channel 4’s Child Genius

A 12-year-old Mansfield boy who can speak French, Japanese and Zulu is set to appear on Channel 4’s Child Genius.

William Harwood was selected from hundreds of applicants and is now one of 19 contestants, who are all aged between eight and 12.

William Harwood.

William Harwood.

Set to make his TV debut tonight on the nationwide contest to find the nation’s brightest child, he will be challenged on spelling, maths, memory, vocabulary, geography and science.

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.

William, who is a former pupil of High Oakham Primary School and is now in Year 7 at Nottingham High School, was approached by a casting agent to audition for the show.

At first, his parents Dr Claire Oliver-Harwood and Peter Harwood were sceptical as "life is hectic enough", but William was adamant that he wanted to audition.

William Harwood  is now one of 19 contestants.

William Harwood is now one of 19 contestants.

He said: “I enjoy a challenge and I particularly love being quizzed, especially if it is competing against others as I am quite competitive. How well you do is a reflection on how much effort you put in.

“Appearing on the show was also a life experience. I made lots of new friends, and of course meeting Richard Osman was a bonus.”

After auditioning William had to undergo "intense" intelligence and IQ tests before being chosen to take part.

Claire, William’s mum said: “It was nerve-racking watching William on the podium, but I knew that he was well-prepared and ready to show what he was capable of. Even if a round didn’t go so well, his resilience was really impressive.”

Child Genius begins tonight February, 25 at 8pm.