Twitterati mourn demise of India's original quizmaster Neil O'Brien

Jun 24, 2016, 19:09 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Neil O'Brien, a pioneer of quizzing in India and leader of the Anglo-Indian community, passed away in Kolkata on Friday. He was 82.

Neil O'BrienNeil O'Brien. Pic/All India Radio

His son and Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien announced the news in a tweet.

Brien is survived by his wife Joyce and three sons, Derek, Andy and Barry.

Neil O'Brien was an early pioneer of quizzing in India. O'Brien conducted the first well-organised, formal quiz in 1967 at Christ the King Church Parish Hall in Calcutta (now Kolkata).

O'Brien had been exposed to the pub quiz culture in England which resulted in him bringing quizzing first to the Anglo-Indian community before it became popular among a wider audience. O'Brien remained active in quizzing, later hosting popular quiz show broadcasts, including the 'North Star Quiz.'

A former member of Lok Sabha, Neil O'Brien was also a three-time nominated Anglo-Indian MLA in West Bengal and an educationist. He was the chairman of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and managing director of Oxford University Press, India.

As a leader of the Anglo-Indian community, he was the president-in-chief of All-India Anglo-Indian Association and headed the Frank Anthony group of schools.

Earlier on June 17, he took to Twitter asking people to keep his ailing father 'in their thoughts'.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Suhel Seth and Twitterverse condoled the demise of the visionary on Twitter.

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