THE PROGRAMME has made a return to our screens after fifteen years off the air. That was enough of a challenge for Malc Mackinnon, a Christian schools’ worker and a member of West Thurrock’s Bar’N’Bus team. He’s also a proof reader for a law firm in London, and landscape and portrait painter – and he was a Baptist pastor for a while in the fens of Cambridgeshire.
Malc is 46, supports Leeds United, and lives in a farmhouse in the wilds between Orsett and Chadwell with his wife Donna, who’s a teacher of reception-year children at a local primary school.
On Tuesday 9 February, Malc’s appearing on The Krypton Factor on ITV1 at 7:30pm.
Transformation Thurrock caught up with him via the internet.
TT: Malc, what made you decide to go on The Krypton Factor?
MM: Aliens made me do it! No, I always thought that it looked like a decent all-round quiz when I was younger but I thought I’d missed my chance of ever being on it until they brought it back last year.
TT: Aren’t you a bit old for assault courses and IQ tests?
MM: Yes! Yes I am definitely too old for assault courses but there still seems to be a bit of life in the IQ! I’d rather have done it while in my 30s but the show has been off the air for over 15 years.
TT: What’s your strong point, would you say?
MM: The puzzle round, until they decided to remove it from the show. My biggest strength is probably speedy general knowledge.
TT: You’ve been in a few other TV and radio quizzes. How did you get on in those and have you ever won anything?
MM: I won a nice Countdown pen which didn’t work and I got paid £23 travel expenses for my sad appearance on The Weakest Link. I also won three very primitive radios on Ken Bruce’s Popmaster.
TT: So, what’s the attraction of quiz shows?
MM: Because they’re there? I suppose, like everyone else, you wonder how you’d do if you were on the show.
TT: Do you pray that you’ll win?
MM: I prayed that I’d do as well as I could, not make an idiot of myself and be a stimulating Christian witness.
TT: What do other contestants make of your Christianity?
MM: They seemed interested and respectful of it. I think maybe I was different from their usual stereotyped image of a Christian.
TT: How do you be a witness of Jesus in the environment of a TV studio (or an assault course)?
MM: I just tried to be very cheerful, positive and upfront about my faith to anyone who asked without trying to awkwardly force the conversation around to matters of faith. The host of the show, Ben Shepherd, said he thought there was an “aura” about me, but that may just have been my socks!
TT: What’s your next goal in life?
MM: I’m writing a novel which I’d like to get finished soon. It’s aimed at a youngish audience and is something of an allegory of Christian faith.
TT: So, how do you get on in The Krypton Factor? Or aren’t you allowed to say?
MM: I’m not allowed to say – you’ll have to watch it!
TT: Whether you get through this heat or not (but we really hope you do!), can Transformation Thurrock interview you again?
MM: Oh, all right then.
TT: Thank you, Malc.
Interview reproduced with kind permission of Tranformation Thurrock.