A Caton schoolboy can now officially claim to be the second brightest youngster in the country after taking the runner-up spot in Channel 4’s Child Genius competition.
Ronan Maher was one of 20 nine to 12-year-olds who took part in the show, which was screened on TV for six days last week.
And the nine-year-old, a pupil at Caton St Paul’s Primary School, was the youngest contestant to win through to the final day.
After being put through their paces in a round testing their knowledge of a specialist subject, the group was cut from five to two, with Ronan narrowly losing out to 12-year-old Rahul in a tense quickfire general knowledge quiz to take top prize.
Led by quizmaster Richard Osman, the prestigious Mensa-backed competition includes demanding spelling and complex linguistic memory rounds.
In the first part of the final, Ronan was tested on his specialist subject of ‘1666: society, politics and the urban environment in the year of the Great Fire’.
After the competition, Ronan said: “I have made some nice friends and did quite well so I am quite happy.”
As part of the show, Ronan’s family were filmed at their Brookhouse home as well as the TV crew visiting Salt Ayre Sports Centre, where Ronan is a member of Carnforth Otters swimming club, Lancaster & Morecambe Athletics Club and COLTS.
Mum Miriam, a dentist at mydentist in Lancaster, said: “I knew he had a good memory but I didn’t think he would stand up to the pressure as well as he did do.”
Dad Steve added: “The fact that he got into the competition at all was a shock to us. We didn’t know he was that intelligent.”