by Nadeem Badshah
The parents of a schoolboy crowned Britain’s cleverest child have revealed he continues to surprise them with his intelligence – and that they have to tell him to stop studying and go to bed.
Rahul Doshi, who has an IQ of 162, which is higher than scientist Albert Einstein, stormed to victory in Channel 4 programme Child Genius last weekend.
The 12-year-old won the competition, which tested 20 youngsters on spelling, mathematics, memory skills, science and history. In an impressive feat, Rahul memorised a pack of cards in order in an hour, and his specialist subject was physicist Edward Jenner.
Rahul’s parents Minesh and Komal told Eastern Eye about when they discovered their boy was gifted and how they have developed his talent. Mum Komal, a pharmacist, said: “I have told him many times to go to bed but he says: ‘I study best late in the evening’.
“He wants to finish whatever he has started. The argument does start and I say: ‘Go to bed Rahul’, but in the end he always wins…”
She added: “I observed he was interested in looking at newspapers; he picked up reading really quickly.
“We managed to do phonics [teaching to read] every day, making sure there was a bedtime read, making him aware of things going on. “We made sure he was not quiet and involved in family discussions.
We made sure we answered all his curiosities and all the questions he was throwing at us.”
The family, from Barnet in north London, went on holiday to Mexico to celebrate their son’s success.
Rahul’s head for words and numbers meant that he worked on GCSE maths questions at the age of 10. He won a bike in a school writing competition and last year got into IQ society Mensa.
The year eight grammar school pupil said among his goals is to reach grade eight on the piano and study further maths.
He told Eastern Eye: “My favourite subject is mathematics; I am interested in a career involving that. I enjoy playing table tennis and chess. I also play the piano, I did my grade five recently.
“I enjoy public speaking and debating as well. I want to further my study in maths, I am also interested in economics.
“I like learning a broad variety of subjects because it’s good to have broad knowledge. You have more opportunities later on if you have a wide skillset; that’s important.”
His nine-year-old sister Ria is talented in the arts. Rahul added: “We’re not that competitive with each other; my sister is an all-rounder and has other talents.
“She is really good at painting, drawing and drama. I had a lot of support from my parents and sister; that was part of the reason why I won.”
Rahul has proved a popular winner of the show with his pink tie and cheeky smile. He beat his nine-year-old opponent Ronan 10-4 in the finale, which drew around 1.8 million viewers.
Dad Minesh believes his son’s success has been down to the child’s hard work and the family environment. The IT manager said: “That [success] is down to being a clever boy.
“Also putting a lot of effort and his heart and soul into studying and whatever task he is doing at the time.
“He puts 100 per cent focus in. All kids come into the world pretty much on a level playing field, then it’s down to how they are nurtured.
“He’s brought up in a lovely family environment and given opportunities. Then it’s down to the child whether they take those opportunities.
“When he was younger he used to prefer having conversations with adults rather than his peers; that’s when we noticed he was well advanced beyond his years.
“Now it’s turned around; he goes to a great school, the kids are clever, and he has fitted in well into that environment.”
Another quality that Rahul seems to possess is the mental strength to handle the pressures of a TV show, answering questions in front of an audience of parents and fellow competitors.
He said: “I was quite comfortable with the format; it tested everyone’s strengths. “It was a bit intense, but was manageable.
It was difficult to see when they hardly got any answers right; we all willed them on to get something right.
“You then have to also block it out when you’re doing your own competition and are not affected by it.”
Rahul added: “The level of competition was very hard; it motivated me to work very hard to make sure I stand a good chance of winning.
“That hard work paid off, so I am very happy about that.”
Komal said the string of correct answers he gave on the programme left her stunned.
“He really surprised me, especially the history round with the royal family tree. I cannot believe how well he did in that competition.”