Mother intervenes in Child Genius final

Rhea with her mum Sonal, dad Anish and younger brother Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Rhea was cheered on throughout the competition by her parents Anish and Sonal and her younger brother

The 10-year-old schoolgirl crowned this year's Child Genius only reached the final showdown after a dramatic on-screen intervention by her mother.

Rhea, from west London, got through the penultimate round of the Channel 4 show after her mother queried why one of her answers had been deemed incorrect.

Judges agreed the question had been too general and awarded her a point.

Mother Sonal, whose surname was not revealed, has since faced a backlash from viewers for being "too pushy".

Many accused her of getting too involved with comments on social media including: "Rhea is such a smart young lady but her mother is shocking! This isn't about you..."

Another viewer added: "Well done Rhea's mum. Swindled your daughter to the final."

The Channel 4 programme, presented by Richard Osman, sees youngsters competing to answer tricky general knowledge questions and spell complicated words.

Image copyright @juliaHB1
Image copyright @GerryHassan

Ahead of the final Sonal queried why an answer her daughter had given during her specialist subject round on Florence Nightingale had been deemed wrong.

When asked "To which medical officer did Florence Nightingale report in the Crimea?" Rhea replied with "Dr Duncan Menzies", but the answer was rejected by quizmaster Richard Osman.

Explaining why she made the challenge, Sonal said: "I feel the question was very general... I can find documentation that shows she reported to every medical officer there so Rhea would have assumed it was Dr Menzies."

Independent judge Olivia van der Werff agreed the question had been too general and accepted Rhea's answer, giving her an extra point meaning she avoided a tie-break with Birmingham-born Stephen, and instead went straight into the final head-to-head against Saffy, from Egham in Surrey.

The 10-year-old went on to win the title after correctly spelling the word "eleemosynary" meaning charitable.

Other viewers rallied to the defence of the family, who moved to Britain from the US six years ago.

"Idiots abusing Rhea's mum on Child Genius: All children, especially Rhea and Saffy, were incredible however her answer was correct!", one said while @TheLondonBird wrote on Twitter: "Amount of people putting down the parents of Rhea (on) Child Genius is typical of the non-aspirational Brits! They were all amazing."

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