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Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Surrey man tops IQ test
Test the Nation was broadcast live on Saturday
Test the Nation was broadcast live on Saturday
A man from Surrey beat 95,000 contestants to score the highest IQ in a massive intelligence experiment broadcast live on BBC television.

Keith Jowett, a father-of-three from Surrey, scored 149 in Test the Nation, a new show hosted by Anne Robinson and Philip Schofield.

Mr Jowett logged on to the internet to complete the test while viewers took part with a pen and paper, or through interactive television.

The chief executive Airport Operators Association, Mr Jowett said he found it "unbelievable" when Mr Schofield rang him to say that he had scored the highest of all the registered participants.

'No competitiveness'

"My initial reaction was that they could not have marked many entries, but then he said that 95,000 people had taken part and I just find that unbelievable," he said.

"But I genuinely think that it was easier doing the test at home instead of the studio because you are on your own and there isn't the same competitiveness.

Testing the nation
Left handed people scored slightly higher than right handed people
England and Northern Ireland were the top scoring countries in the UK
Smokers had a slightly higher IQ than non-smokers
West Bromwich Albion supporters were the cleverest football fans

"It is just one of those things that I like doing. I have done it in a business situation before and was found to have the highest IQ of any manager in that particular company."

The 56-year-old revealed that his wife had taken part in the quiz using a pen and paper and had scored an above-average 125.

But Mr Jowett said that IQ was just one aspect of a person's make-up.

"A high IQ is such a small part of a person's make-up.

"I don't think it will change my life at all although I do expect a degree of ribbing from my team and contacts in the industry."

Dr Colin Cooper: QUB School of Psychology
Dr Colin Cooper: devised questions

The man who devised the 70 questions, which challenged viewers' mental agility and reasoning skills, was psychologist Dr Colin Cooper, from Queen's University in Belfast.

The questions covered language, memory, logic, numbers and perception and were tested on 200 volunteers to ensure they produced a verifiable IQ.

Among the celebrities who lined up to take part in the challenge were Eastenders actress Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Jackson), music star Dane Bowers and Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards.

As well as being tested on intellectual matters, contestants were asked questions of scientific merit such as whether they can curl their tongue.

People still have two weeks to test their brain power on the BBC's Test the Nation website, which will be constantly updated.


Click here for more from Southern Counties
See also:

10 May 02 | Northern Ireland
Belfast doctor tests the nation's IQ
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