AN OXFORD United fan with a passion for heavy metal music will tonight step into the Mastermind spotlight.

Tom Scotney, 27, will be shown on BBC2 in the famous black chair facing a grilling from John Humphrys.

His specialist subject is British band Iron Maiden, who have sold more than 100 million records during a 35-year career.

Mr Scotney, from South Oxford, said he enjoyed filming the episode in Manchester last summer, despite the “occasional shriek and outburst” from a rowdy Jeremy Kyle Show taking place in the studio next door.

The journalist, who follows United home and away and is a regular at the Cape of Good Hope pub quiz in East Oxford, said: “I saw an application form and thought, ‘why not?’ I applied but had to go through two rounds of questions before they let me on.

“They called me when I was in the middle of work and I had to stand in the corridor answering a load of questions while everyone stared at me.

“I then had a face-to-face interview and had to choose my specialist subject. There are lots of rules and you can’t have anything that’s been done in the last two or three years.

“I’ve always been an Iron Maiden fan, although I’ve been told I don’t look like one, which I think is meant to be a compliment.

“I’ve seen them live four or five times and doing this gave me an excuse to listen to all the albums again. I also read about half a dozen biographies of the band, which were, without exception, terrible, and I had the songs on shuffle on my iPod for quite a while.”

Mr Scotney said there was a friendly atmosphere between contestants, but quizmaster Mr Humphrys helped ratchet up the tension when it was his turn in the chair.

He said: “It was pretty nerve-racking. I’m looking forward to seeing it myself because I can’t remember all the questions they asked.

“It’s pretty nerve-racking walking up to the chair and getting a stare off Humphrys.

“I was hoping for a bit of compassion from him but he just stared at me – he’s very professional and scary, but I suppose I got off quite lightly compared to the politicians on the Today programme.”

The episode will be shown at 8pm tonight on BBC2.