Ian Bayley is a British computer scientist and quiz player who, despite his youth when compared with other leading players (he was in his early thirties), won several medals in quizzing, both in singles and as a member of a team. He is largely known as a strong team player winning the European Championships three times straight from 2007 to 2009 with "Broken Hearts" (ft. Olav Bjortomt, David Stainer and Mark Grant) and the English national team in 2004. With his double partner Pat Gibson he also won the European pair championships in 2005 and the British Championships (IQA) in 2006 (there are no world championships for teams and pairs, just individuals, so this is the highest possible title). In individual competitions he has thus far won just one title, the British Championship in 2001. As such his name appears on the Mark Bytheway trophy, being the trophy awarded by the British Quiz Association to its champions.
In addition, he has represented the University of Oxford in the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament run by NAQT, one of the world's foremost buzzer competitions. His scores compared respectably alongside some of the leading American buzzer quiz players. He also made an appearance on Who Wants to be a Millionaire as a "phone a friend".
In 2010 he won the final of the BBC Radio 4 quiz Brain of Britain, scoring more points than the other three contestants put together. In April 2011 he was crowned BBC Mastermind after his win in the show's 2011 series final (actually recorded in October 2010).
He was part of the England side that won the 2004 European Quiz Championships, won the 2005 European Pairs Quiz with Pat Gibson and the Club competition in 2007 to 2009 with his club Broken Hearts (who also play The Quiz League of London). In 2012 he was ranked 14 in the world rankings based on performance since 2009 in both the European and World Quiz Championships.
Bayley took part in the 2008-9 series of Mastermind and got to the final where he scored 28 points, but was beaten into second place by Nancy Dickmann (30 points), the first female winner for twelve years. His specialist subjects were Tchaikovsky in the heats, Doctor Who in the 1970s in the semifinals, and American Presidents of the 19th Century in the Grand Final.
He attempted Mastermind again in 2010-11. Bayley's specialist subjects in the heats and semi-final were The Life and Work of Jean Sibelius and the Romanov Dynasty. He made it once again to the Grand Final on Friday 15 April 2011, this time beating Peter Reilly to win the title. In the final, he answered specialist subject questions on paintings in the National Gallery.
Ian Bayley attended Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby near Liverpool. He studied computing at Imperial College London and then took a DPhil at Balliol College, Oxford, also in computing. He represented both institutions on University Challenge — Imperial in the 1996–97 series and Balliol in the 2000–01 series.
He is currently a lecturer in computer science at Oxford Brookes University having previously lectured in the School of Design, Engineering & Computing at Bournemouth University between 2002 and 2004.