University of Leicester eBulletin

Landmark Reunion for Mastermind Box Models

June 2003

Invicta Plastics Press Release

A businessman and a University of Leicester student who were brought together 30 years ago as the mysterious figures for the box on the revolutionary new game Mastermind, have been reunited for the first time since that historic day.

Distinguished-looking Bill Woodward was then the owner of a chain of hairdressing salons and young Hong Kong born Cecilia Fung was studying for a computer science degree at the University of Leicester.

Little did they know that the photo session at Leicester studio would produce a result which was destined to cut across all international barriers and become one of the world’s most famous and enduring images.

Bill Woodward was catapulted into global recognition as he went on many promotional tours for the game – in fact even his passport was under the name Mr Mastermind!

He discloses some of his secrets behind the photo-shoot including the fact that he was called upon to sit in only after a male model, originally booked, failed to turn up.

Bill, who despite now being in his late seventies, looks remarkably unchanged from 1972, says that in addition to the photograph that was selected some were also taken with a cat sitting on his lap.  The idea was scrapped, but not before the moggy had wet itself on his trousers.  

Cecilia said that while strolling in Leicester with friends she was approached by people from an agency who wanted her for the shoot. “I was the usual impoverished student and jumped at the chance,” she says.  

[Photo: Mastermind box cover]

[Photo: Cecilia Masters and Bill Woodward pose again for the camera]

In the studio it was discovered that the chosen dress was much too big for her.  “They had to get a lady to lie on the floor behind me, out of shot but with her hand on my back, clutching the spare material so that the dress fitted properly”, she adds.

Although Cecilia’s friends knew of the part in the Mastermind promotion, she has remained in the background until now. “Wherever I travelled throughout the world I have seen the Mastermind boxes in various forms with my face on them. However it wasn’t until a recent television series looking back to the 1970s and featuring Mastermind that I was made aware that Invicta would like to contact me”, she reveals.

Once contact had been established between Invicta and the two featured people it was decided to replicate the original photo-shoot.

Both Bill and Cecilia said they were delighted to meet up again after so many years and recalled with great enthusiasm the day that the multi-award winning Mastermind image was born.

Mastermind, the brain child of Israeli telecommunications engineer Mordechai Meirovitz, was rejected by a number of companies before Ted Jones-Fenleigh, founder of Invicta Plastics, saw its huge potential and developed and manufactured it.

Both Ted Jones-Fenleigh and Mordechai Meirovitz have since died. However, Invicta Plastics contiues to be owned as a design and manufacturing company in Leicester by Ted’s three daughters, Lady Leigh Cranley who is Chairman, Shelley Jone-Fenleigh, Marketing Director and Aven Jones-Fenleigh who is also on the main company Board.

Since then Mastermind, named Game of the Year in 1974, has sold in tens of millions in many versions, and continues to be immensely popular in homes world-wide.

Thus the faces of Bill and Cecilia – her married name is Masters – have become part of many households. Mastermind, hailed as the world’s game of logic has been produced in no less than 33 languages.

Bill Woodward, now retired from business, is still recognised wherever he goes as Mr Mastermind. Cecilia Masters has since been working for Chase Manhattan Bank installing Management Information Systems globally for the bank’s network.

She has started her own MIS banking software company, CSI for over ten years now, CSI has been redeveloping their state of art MIS systems using the latest technology, the new software being called Qi8.

It is currently being launched for the first time directly by CSI in London and Europe. She says: “The new release has been bought by the principal bank in Ukraine recently, and we had very positive feed back from a great number of banks. The systems are currently used by a major Dutch Bank in more than thirty countries. I hope Qi8 will be as successful as Mastermind and be installed in 70 countries.”

For further information contact Shelley Jones-Fenleigh on 0116 272 0555.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: June 2003
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