The Chase’s Shaun Wallace says it took him four attempts to pass his English O-Level

As the first Black Mastermind champion and resident know-it-all on ITV's The Chase, you'd think that Shaun Wallace had always been a bit of a swot, but it appears he didn't do that well in some of his exams.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, Shaun, aka The Dark Destroyer, told podcast host Kate Thornton that despite his ability to learn facts and figures, he actually found exams quite difficult.

"I was gifted academically, but there's a difference between having a computer-like mind and knowing how to be a student, and I didn't know how to pass exams," he explained.

"You can actually recite chapter and verse, but that's not what they're looking for in an exam, especially under the pressure of time – and it took me four times to pass O-Level English language."

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Shaun Wallace
Shaun Wallace arrives at the TRIC Christmas Charity Lunch at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Shaun Wallace attending the TV Choice Awards held at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London
Shaun Wallace and Ian Wright attending the TRIC Awards 2019 50th Birthday Celebration held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
(left to right) Mark Labbett, Paul Sinha, Jenny Ryan and Shaun Wallace with the award for best Quiz Show for The Chase in the Press Room at the National Television Awards 2019 held at the O2 Arena, London.
Shaun Wallace attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium.
(Left to Right) Mark Labbett, Jenny Ryan, Bradley Walsh, Anne Hegerty and Shaun Wallace from The Chase with the award for Best Daytime Show in the pressroom at the National Television Awards 2016 held at The O2 Arena in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 20, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Anne Hegerty, Shaun Wallace, Jenny Ryan Mark Labbett and Paul Sinha pose with the award for Daytime Programme during the 2019 'TRIC Awards' held at The Grosvenor House Hotel on March 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: (L to R) Mark Labbett, Paul Sinha, Jenny Ryan, Shaun Wallace and Michael Kelpie, accepting the Quiz Show award for "The Chase", pose in the Winners Room during the National Television Awards held at The O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 01: Shaun Wallace attends the Rainbows Celebrity Charity Ball at Dorchester Hotel on June 1, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Wallace, who in 2019 was ranked 286 in the World Quizzing Championships, says that most people think he was born clever, but he believes it's more to do with attitude than in-born talent.

"People look at me now and they thought I was born clever," he said. "No, you're not born clever. You're natured. And you're nurtured. And you've got to have it within yourself to want to actually achieve something."

The champion quizzer who revealed that his biggest personal achievement is qualifying as a barrister, said as known faces, it's important that he and his fellow Chasers use their fame for good and inspire a generation to achieve their dreams.

"People look up to us now as role models," he told Thornton.

The Chase: Chaser, Shaun 'The Barrister' Wallace (© ITV/Matt Frost)

"I'm a bit uncomfortable with the phrase role model because I'm human, just like everybody else - and the one thing when you put a role model on a pedestal, if they fall from grace, the fall is swift.

"I say to people, I'm a goal model, right? Look at achievement I've set, but don't just match my achievements, surpass them."

One dream Shaun never thought he'd realise was becoming Mastermind champion in 2004.

Shaun Wallace, seen here with his fellow Chasers, sees himself as a 'goal' model (Getty)

"I never thought in a million years that's something I could do," he said about winning the prestigious title.

"When I won mastermind at the age of 44, I sat there for two minutes, and they had to film the complete ending, because I sat there, tears of joy or just running down. And I thought myself, what are people going to think when they see what's happened?"

His specialist subject on the show was FA Cup Finals and after winning with 24 points, he retired as it was the "ultimate" win for him.

"I'm always asked what would I prefer to win - Mastermind championship or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" he said.

"And it would always be the Mastermind championship every time, because you can spend a million pounds and then you haven't got that anymore!"

You can hear Shaun chat about quizzing and his greatest moments in life alongside fellow Chaser Anne Hegarty on this week's episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.

- This article originally appeared on Yahoo.

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