Derek O'Brien (quizmaster)

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Derek O'Brien
Born (1961-03-13) 13 March 1961 (age 53)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater Scottish Church College
Occupation Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha & National Spokesperson, Trinamool Congress
Known for Quizmaster
Political party
All India Trinamool Congress
Spouse(s) Tonuca Basu

Derek O'Brien (born 13 March 1961) is an Indian television personality and Member of Parliament for All India Trinamool Congress. He hosts one of the longest-running game shows on Indian television, the Bournvita Quiz Contest.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

O'Brien was born in Kolkata, India to an Anglo-Indian family on March 13, 1961. He went to St. Xavier's Collegiate School in the city and St. Columba's School in Delhi, India. After two years at Scottish Church College, Kolkata, he began his professional career as a journalist for Sportsworld magazine, but soon shifted to advertising where he worked at Ogilvy for eight years.[2][3] His father Neil O'Brien is considered a pioneer of quizzing in India.[4][5][6]


He hosts one of the longest running knowledge game show on Indian television, the Bournvita Quiz Contest.[7] He won the award for Best Anchor of a Game/Quiz Show at the Hero Honda Indian Television Academy Awards in 2003.[8] He conducts inter-school quiz contests not only India, but also in United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

In addition to his television work, O'Brien has also over 50 reference and quiz books for Rupa, Pearson and Penguin India. [9]

He has his firm Derek O'Brien & Associates, help make "knowledge interesting", in their own words. Their clients include, among others, Cadbury India, Vodafone, ITC Foods and Max Life Insurance.

Since 1991, his firm, Derek O'Brien & Associates has been researching and hosting The Brand Equity Quiz, the country's longest running corporate quiz show.

In 2008, he filmed a new quiz series in Pakistan called Mind Grind.[10]

Political career[edit]

In 2004, he joined the All India Trinamool Congress, a party in West Bengal, India.[11] He is currently the vice-president of All India Trinamool Congress [12] In 2009 he was made the head of the Passenger Services Committee of the Indian Railways, under Railway and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.[13]

He was sworn in as Member of Parliament on August 19, 2011 [14] and is one of 16 MPs elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal. [15]

In 2012, O'Brien cast a vote in the presidential election to elect the 13th President of India. His vote is believed to be the first presidential vote cast by an elected member of the Anglo-Indian community—as members of the community have previously been nominated to the Lok Sabha and other assemblies and are not eligible to vote.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Derek O'Brien has two younger brothers: Andy, who lives in Perth and Barry, who lives in Kolkata. He is married to Dr. Tonuca Basu, MD, who lives in Brooklyn, New York.[17] He has one daughter, Aanya. Derek is the CEO of Derek O'Brien & Associates, based in Kolkata.


External links[edit]