How Jewish is Marcus Du Sautoy?

November 7, 2008

Wizard mathematician Marcus du Sautoy is the presenter of the The Story of Maths on BBC4. So what are the odds on him being Jewish?

For: Du Sautoy worked on a kibbutz in Israel and then got himself a job teaching mathematics at the Hebrew University. It was there he met his Israeli wife Shani. They have a son called Tomer, who is 100 per cent Jewish, and are bringing up their adopted twin daughters Jewish as well. The couple live in Stamford Hill, which has a pretty high Jewish population; and he supports Arsenal, which is London's second most Jewish club, with an estimated 17.5 per cent Jewish support. He is very good at figures so had he wanted to follow a Jewish profession, for example chartered accountancy, there is at 96.2 per cent chance that he would have passed the exams.

Against: He was born in Henley-on-Thames to a family which was zero per cent Jewish. He is a confirmed atheist (his religion is Arsenal, he says, which is a little Jewish) and likes surfing, which lowers the odds dramatically.

Verdict: Statistically speaking, he is more Jewish than he seems.

So we say he is 32.8% Jewish

Last updated: 3:05pm, September 23 2009