Stein Olav Bjortomt (born 13 December 1978 in Eastbourne) is an England international quiz player, two-time world champion (2003,2015) and three time individual European champion (2010,2014,2015). He is the star player of the world's most successful quizzing club "Broken Hearts" with which he has won several European Championships. As of 2016 he is head writer for the show The Chase. In contrast to the other two full-time professionals of Team England Pat Gibson and Kevin Ashman he hasn't done as well both in domestic competitions with only a second place in the individual British Championships 2007 to his credit (though he has won the pairs competition) and as a TV candidate, a second place in the Fifteen to One series of 2002 being his best result. He is of Norwegian and Filipino descent.
|2016 Athens||Individual Quiz|
|2016 Athens||Nations Team Quiz|
|2016 Athens||Literature Quiz|
|2016 Athens||Film Quiz|
|2016 Athens||National Specialist Quiz|
|2016 Athens||Pentathlon Specialist Quiz|
|2016 Athens||Visual Arts Quiz|
|IQA World Championships|
|IQA European Championships|
|2006 Paris||National Team|
|2008 Oslo||National Team|
|2009 Dordrecht||National Team|
|2010 Derby||National Team|
|2012 Tartu||National Team|
|2013 Liverpool||National Team|
|2014 Bucharest||National Team|
|2015 Rotterdam||National Team|
|2016 Athens||National Team|
|IQA British Championships|
National and international titles
He was the winner of the inaugural 2003 individual World Quizzing Championships, when it was a fledgling event with then only 45 participants (now in the thousands) but won a second title in 2015. In 2009 he won three out of four possible European titles and was runner-up behind Kevin Ashman in the singles to become the most successful participant.
After his triumph at the very first World Quizzing Championship 2003 he has not won a medal at the world stage ever since (but always was Top 10). His absence at Ghent in 2004 (when England won the first European Championship) meant he was not selected for the national team until 2006. He should have played in 2007 but travel problems delayed his arrival at the event. Consequently, he has only latterly become a regular in the star-studded English national team (Ashman, Mark Bytheway and Pat Gibson). He is also part of the Broken Hearts ( with Ian Bayley, formerly David Stainer, replaced by Didier Bruyere and Mark Grant) quiz team which play in the QLL and have been European Club champions from 2007 to 2009. Bjortomt won the Pairs Championships with partner Stainer in 2009 and has won 21 international medals on aggregate (see medal table). He also holds the title "British Quizzing Grandmaster".
Bjortomt's success on TV has been rather moderate compared with that of his teammates in the national team, and he describes himself as a "choker" (see Q&A link).
He appeared on the quiz show Fifteen to One four times, finishing as a series runner-up in 2002.
He captained the University of Nottingham team to the quarter-finals in the 1999/2000 series of BBC's University Challenge, and according to the credits of the show as of 2012, is currently a question setter. When he appeared on the Channel 4 quiz show Grand Slam in 2003, commentator James Richardson described him as the "Wayne Rooney of the quiz world."
In 2007, Bjortomt competed in The National Lottery People's Quiz and was the first contestant to qualify for the grand final, answering 97 per cent of his questions correctly during the show.
In 2008, he appeared in the quiz programme Battle of the Brains.
In 2008 and 2009 he unsuccessfully competed in Are You an Egghead?, which attempts to find another player to join the existing team.
In 2001 Bjortomt was the joint winner of The Guardian's overall Student Journalist of the Year award. He has a History degree from the University of Nottingham and a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism from Nottingham Trent University. He worked for The Times newspaper in London and has set the weekday times2 quiz since July 2005 (until?).
As of 2016 Bjortomt is a question setter for University Challenge and ITV daytime quiz show The Chase.
- Radio Times September 13,2015 The Chase question writers deliberately try and make me laugh now, says Bradley Walsh
- "The People's quiz - Finalists". Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- Rutter, Alan (9 May 2006). "Pub games: the quiz". Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Mastermind". 10 October 2008. BBC2. Missing or empty