Jim Coulson, director of Technology For Timber Ltd, has been appointed by the BBC to be one half of the two-person team for the north of England on its long-running Radio 4 show Round Britain Quiz.

Mr Coulson is a past president of the Institute of Wood Science, but what may be less well known is that he is also one of the top crossword setters in the country – and it was this unusual combination of a scientific background and his puzzler pedigree that led to an approach from Radio 4 earlier this year.

The 2009 Series of Round Britain Quiz will be broadcast from July 20 on Mondays at 1.30 pm, repeated on Sunday nights at 11pm. Mr Coulson’s first appearance will be in the match between the north of England and Wales, to be broadcast on August 3.

His partner in the north of England team is Diana Collecott, who is a well-known writer on poetry. In this new series of RBQ, they were pitted against former Mastermind winner Fred Housego and Guardian columnist Marcel Berlins.