Caton schoolboy comes second in Channel 4’s Child Genius show

Ronan Maher with his sister Kirsty and Child Genius quizmaster Richard Osman.
Ronan Maher with his sister Kirsty and Child Genius quizmaster Richard Osman.

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.”