World champion John Higgins is the second man through to the winners' group of the Championship League after a 3-1 victory over Ali Carter in the group 2 final at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex tonight.
Higgins finished the match just in time to watch the tail end of his appearance on BBC's Celebrity Mastermind, where he finished joint third with former Tory leader Michael Howard.
After a promising start answering questions on US soap Dallas, Higgins struggled in the general knowledge round.
But on the table he had no such problems. He was in trouble when he trailed Judd Trump 2-0 in the semi-finals but fought back to beat him 3-2 before beatng Carter to join his fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the final group in March.
"Stephen was giving me a bit of stick as he had already made it through and he was relaxing at the spa in the hotel enjoying himself so it's good to get through," Higgins said.
"The Championship is a great tournament and one of the main reasons why I won the World Championship last year. It's great match practise for all the boys and the practise you get against the best players in the world is invaluable.
"There's a real buzz about snooker at the moment with Barry Hearn coming in and we're hoping he could bring his skills of promotion to the game.
"It's been a real kick up the backside for the sport and hopefully we can grow as a sport and have people talking about us in good terms instead of negative ones as snooker is still obviously a good sport."