Burton Latimer WI stalwart braves Mastermind chair - after suitcase nightmare left her with just bra and shoes

Sue braved the big black chair answering questions on the WI

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 26th February 2021, 5:16 pm
Updated Friday, 26th February 2021, 5:21 pm

A Burton Latimer contestant on one of the scariest quiz shows on TV nearly had nothing to wear when her suitcase went missing.

Sue Kendall was set to appear in the big black Mastermind chair, to be grilled by host John Humphrys on her specialised subject of the Women's Institute (WI), but the holdall containing her belongings was mislaid by the airline.

With contestants requiring three different outfits to bring to the studio in Belfast, Sue was given a whole new set of TV-friendly clothes.

Sue Kendall

Despite the inauspicious start to her quiz show experience Sue, the past Northamptonshire Federation of WIs chaiman, remained unflustered when answering her questions.

She said: "They flew me out to Belfast for the filming and I had to take three different outfits so they can choose what they want you to wear. They don't want you to blend into the background.

"My suitcase went missing so they bought me a new outfit so the only clothes I wore that were mine were my shoes and my bra.

"During the filming I was frozen - not with fear but it was freezing in the studio."

Sue in the famous black chair

With her extensive knowledge of the WI from her time as county federation chairman and as a member of Rushton WI, Sue scored seven points, passing on four.

Going into the general knowledge round she was in second position.

She said: "I was tripped up with a question about Diana Rigg - who is the actress who played the only Bond girl to get married? - I was really annoyed because it's one of my favourite Bond films. I also didn't get the one about vol-au-vents - I've never eaten them."

Sue, 71, was pipped to first place by her opponent who equalled her 16 points but had fewer passes over the two rounds.

She said: "I was relieved to not get through because my specialist subjects would have required me to read a set of six books.

"It was a good way of raising the profile of the WI. I was more nervous about members from all over the country watching me than answering the questions. I know a lot about the WI but they threw in some very obscure ones.

"It has been difficult for the WI members to meet during lockdown but we have had Zoom meetings and we can't wait to get back together. I want to be able to hug people again and I've missed the contact with everyone."

Spurred on by her TV quiz show appearance, Sue has now applied to take part in 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'

You can catch Sue's Mastermind appearance on the BBC iPlayer.