A child genius feels “humbled and lucky” to have had the chance to enter a television competition alongside other masterminds after he failed to reach the finals last night.
Cuneyd Kahraman, of Cat Hill, East Barnet, was one of 20 handpicked out of 2,000 others to compete in Channel 4’s Child Genius documentary.
The 12-year-old was in his element as he answered questions about maths, logic and verbal reasoning to a panel of judges.
But he narrowly missed out on the chance to make it to the finals after mixing up the letters in the word ‘cochineal’ during the spelling round.
He said: “I wasn’t really nervous. It was cool to test my brain and find out just what I’m capable of.
“I really enjoyed the challenges they set and taking part gave me a lot of confidence. I know I'm lucky and I guess I feel humbled to have made it this far.
“I was so annoyed when I got cochineal wrong because some of my opponents got harder words which I could have spelt no problem.”
Parents Fatih and Ilknur Karhaman, and brother, Tarik, ten, were in the audience to provide moral support during the competition.
While the show was on air last night, many people tweeted words of support for Cuneyd.
Mrs Kahraman said: “I was really nervous, because a lot of parents have had a lot of stick for letting their children do the show, so I was really relieved when I saw people had been saying nice things.”
Cuneyd, who goes to the North London Grammar School in Hendon, (formerly the Wisdom School, Haringey), now has dreams of becoming a physicist or a biological artificial intelligence scientist.
When he was six, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome , a form of autism, after months of tests.
His parents decided against telling their young son about his condition – but he diagnosed himself at the age of ten anyway.
Having never spoken to his friends about the challenges he has faced, he decided to speak up about his autism during the show for the first time.
Mrs Kahraman said: “I was so proud of him for doing that. He said if he can speak up about autism in front of thousands of others in a TV studio, he can speak to his friends about it too.”