HE started 18 years ago and he finished... in Belfast.
Mastermind presenter John Humphrys has decided to retire from fronting the iconic BBC quiz show.
It means that the broadcaster's final series was made in Northern Ireland.
The famous black chair has been at the BBC's Blackstaff studio in Belfast since 2019, where the celebrity version is also filmed.
And the new host of Mastermind will also make their debut here as the programme continues to be produced from Belfast by Hat Trick / Hindsight Productions.
With more than 700 episodes under his belt, Humphrys was the longest serving quizmaster on the show since the original front man Magnus Magnusson almost 50 years ago.
He served a quarter of a century in the hotseat from 1972 to 1997 before Peter Snow and Clive Anderson presided between 1998 and 2002.
Humphrys, 77, announced his decision to quit in his Daily Mail column on Saturday and said he did not know who would be replacing him as the next and fifth presenter - but did wonder if it might have its first female host.
He said: "There was one particular stipulation when the BBC asked me to present Mastermind: I must not abandon the catchphrase made famous by my predecessor, Magnus Magnusson.
"Go on, altogether now: 'I've started... so I'll finish.' I agreed. That was 18 years ago.
"When the present series comes to an end in March there will be someone else in the chair.
"I wish my successor well — but I'm not sure I envy them, whoever 'they' may be. What are the odds on the first female?
"Mastermind is one of those programmes you tinker with at your peril. Allow a contender to choose a light-hearted subject and the cry goes out: 'Dumbing down!' Change the format even slightly and you are 'sexing up'.
"Eighteen years later, it was Covid that finally put paid to the live audience — and almost put paid to me.
"The health and safety tsars had decreed that the air conditioning in the studio should be set at roughly the temperature of a polar bear's nose.
"So, for the first few shows, my biggest problem was how to stop my nose dripping onto the question cards. You may have noticed.
Then they put a heater under my desk and gave me a thermal vest. Problem solved.
"Now it's goodbye not just to the audience but to the lights, the cameras and of course that chair."
Humphrys revealed when he was first asked to do the show he turned it down - because he though they wanted him as a contestant for Celebrity Mastermind.
He said: "I had assumed they wanted me to be a contender and nothing could have persuaded me to sit in that black chair. Not then, not now, not ever.
"I would struggle with the very first question — the one where you get asked your name.
"There really is something about that black chair that turns even the most confident and clever into quivering wrecks.
"When I asked the Casualty star Amanda Henderson to name the Swedish girl who had become the most famous teenager in the world for crusading on climate change, she panicked and said 'Sharon'.
"It went viral and Amanda got the most dreadful pasting from Greta Thunberg fans around the world. Greta actually changed her username on Twitter to Sharon.
"Such is the power — and the curse — of Mastermind."