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Shaun Wallace (The Dark Destroyer)

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Content provided by Real Life With John Cowan and Newstalk ZB. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Real Life With John Cowan and Newstalk ZB or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.

Shaun Wallace is almost always the smartest person in the room.

Known best as the ‘Dark Destroyer’ from TVNZ1’s The Chase, Wallace is a quizzing master and one of just five people deemed clever enough to be among the show’s chasers.

But he was never meant to make it to these heights.

“People think I was born rich, they think I was born clever, they think I was born famous. And it’s important to tell them the back story. It’s important to say it’s been tough,” Wallace told Newstalk ZB’s Real Life with John Cowan.

“Nobody was going to control my destiny but the only way to ensure that was to make sure I had an educated mind. That’s the mantra I always espouse.”

Wallace’s late father was illiterate, but as a child, Wallace loved to read and learn. His father taught him to always be aware of the world around him, and his sister Sandra encouraged him to get educated.

But his academic journey was a struggle. His teachers told him he’d amount to nothing, he failed his O level English papers four times, and when he applied to law school, he was rejected.

“Forty-three years ago, when my friends were all going off to university and my grades weren’t high enough, I cried like a baby and I thought my future was behind me,” he said.

But Wallace kept pushing.

“It’s easy to point the finger or blame, but when you have setbacks the first person you have to look at is the reflection in the mirror. And I had to ask myself those searching questions – was I good enough? Could I qualify as a lawyer?

“I went to a polytechnic in London, which was the best few years of my life because when you go to university you go there as an idealistic, talented undergraduate and you leave with a degree in your hand and the world at your feet.”

Wallace would graduate, and over the years has become a top criminal defence barrister.

In 2004, he would reach new heights by becoming the first black person to win the UK quiz show Mastermind.

“So far as black people are considered, that was the equivalent of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. It shattered the myth once and for all, [showing] that black people are clever.

“I’m very proud of my community and proud to be black.”

Wallace credits his success until now to divine intervention.

“I was brought up with Christian values and I pray to God every night, ever since I had that setback as a 19-year-old, and I think that God’s basically shining his light on me, and has selected me for a destiny that I never thought in my wildest dreams would happen.”

And he’s confident that one day, he will be reunited with the man who helped shape him into the sensation he is today.

“I’m a firm believer in the afterlife, I’m a firm believer in God. Although you never know what will happen once you shuffle off this mortal coil, I’m a firm believer that one day [my father and I] will meet again.”

-Matt Burrows

Shaun is an English barrister, lecturer and television personality. He is a "chaser" on the quiz show 'The Chase' since 2009. He has starred on other shows, including 'Mastermind', 'Are You an Egghead?', 'Fifteen to One', 'The Weakest Link' and 'Greed'. In 2018, his autobiography, 'Chasing the Dream', was released. In 2012, he was ranked 286th in the World Quizzing Champions.
Shaun is also a part-time lecturer and visits schools, colleges and other institutions to educate students about law.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  continue reading

189 episoade

Artwork
iconDistribuie
 
Manage episode 365739282 series 3381430
Content provided by Real Life With John Cowan and Newstalk ZB. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Real Life With John Cowan and Newstalk ZB or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.

Shaun Wallace is almost always the smartest person in the room.

Known best as the ‘Dark Destroyer’ from TVNZ1’s The Chase, Wallace is a quizzing master and one of just five people deemed clever enough to be among the show’s chasers.

But he was never meant to make it to these heights.

“People think I was born rich, they think I was born clever, they think I was born famous. And it’s important to tell them the back story. It’s important to say it’s been tough,” Wallace told Newstalk ZB’s Real Life with John Cowan.

“Nobody was going to control my destiny but the only way to ensure that was to make sure I had an educated mind. That’s the mantra I always espouse.”

Wallace’s late father was illiterate, but as a child, Wallace loved to read and learn. His father taught him to always be aware of the world around him, and his sister Sandra encouraged him to get educated.

But his academic journey was a struggle. His teachers told him he’d amount to nothing, he failed his O level English papers four times, and when he applied to law school, he was rejected.

“Forty-three years ago, when my friends were all going off to university and my grades weren’t high enough, I cried like a baby and I thought my future was behind me,” he said.

But Wallace kept pushing.

“It’s easy to point the finger or blame, but when you have setbacks the first person you have to look at is the reflection in the mirror. And I had to ask myself those searching questions – was I good enough? Could I qualify as a lawyer?

“I went to a polytechnic in London, which was the best few years of my life because when you go to university you go there as an idealistic, talented undergraduate and you leave with a degree in your hand and the world at your feet.”

Wallace would graduate, and over the years has become a top criminal defence barrister.

In 2004, he would reach new heights by becoming the first black person to win the UK quiz show Mastermind.

“So far as black people are considered, that was the equivalent of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. It shattered the myth once and for all, [showing] that black people are clever.

“I’m very proud of my community and proud to be black.”

Wallace credits his success until now to divine intervention.

“I was brought up with Christian values and I pray to God every night, ever since I had that setback as a 19-year-old, and I think that God’s basically shining his light on me, and has selected me for a destiny that I never thought in my wildest dreams would happen.”

And he’s confident that one day, he will be reunited with the man who helped shape him into the sensation he is today.

“I’m a firm believer in the afterlife, I’m a firm believer in God. Although you never know what will happen once you shuffle off this mortal coil, I’m a firm believer that one day [my father and I] will meet again.”

-Matt Burrows

Shaun is an English barrister, lecturer and television personality. He is a "chaser" on the quiz show 'The Chase' since 2009. He has starred on other shows, including 'Mastermind', 'Are You an Egghead?', 'Fifteen to One', 'The Weakest Link' and 'Greed'. In 2018, his autobiography, 'Chasing the Dream', was released. In 2012, he was ranked 286th in the World Quizzing Champions.
Shaun is also a part-time lecturer and visits schools, colleges and other institutions to educate students about law.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  continue reading

189 episoade

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