Home Secretary David Blunkett lost out to a former EastEnders star when the two met in a celebrity edition of BBC Two quiz Mastermind.
Mr Blunkett with host John Humphrys
Mr Blunkett took on actor Shaun Williamson, who played Barry Evans, BBC correspondent Jeremy Bowen and chef Antony Worrall Thompson.
But the former education secretary came last, scoring just 11 points.
He told the Daily Mail: "I foolishly thought as this was a celebrity edition it would be more relaxed than normal."
Mr Blunkett chose JK Rowling's Harry Potter books as his specialist subject, scoring nine points.
But he struggled in the general knowledge section, giving eight passes and two wrong answers in questions put to him by host John Humphrys.
The 56-year-old MP put his failure down to the programme's intimidating atmosphere.
"When it was my turn, I was so nervous, I began to feel as if the chair had almost become an electric one," he said.
"It is quite simply terrifying."
The special, to be shown on Boxing Day at 2025 GMT on BBC Two, is the first of three celebrity editions of the programme being broadcast over the festive season.