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First Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? winner in 14 years wins in record time

The first winner of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 14 years has been crowned tonight (Friday).

Donald Fear from Telford became the sixth ever contestant in 22 years of the ITV show to claim the jackpot.

And the 57-year-old kept a level head on the programme while answering 15 questions to win a cool £1million.

The easier questions caused the history and politics teacher no issue, but he even kept his cool during the tougher stuff and rattled off the feat in record time.

Mr Fear’s brother Davyth Fear has also won on the show, bagging £500,000 on a previous episode.

The show’s host, Jeremy Clarkson, said watching Mr Fear play was like “having the Encyclopaedia Britannica sitting opposite me” and added: “It’s Google, in a head”.

Donald, a father of four, has been married to his wife, Debs, a nurse, for 33 years.

Following his win, Mr Fear and his wife embarked on a caravan trip along the Northumberland coast.

They previously planned to visit Santander, Bilbao and Pamplona in Spain before heading for the Pyrenees, but were thwarted by Covid-19.

Asked how he would be spending his next holiday, Mr Fear revealed he intended to buy a motor home and visit “wonderful Britain”.

He said: “Much as I’d love to jump on the next plane to the States or something like that, it’s just not an option.

“So for the moment it’s wonderful Britain, probably Wales first of all – so a motor home in Wales is what I’m going to spend my million pounds on.”

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Describing himself as “a bit of a democratic socialist”, Mr Fear said he planned give at least 70% of his winnings to members of his family and spend the rest on a “comfortable retirement”.

He also rubbished the idea of buying an Aston Martin sports car or moving house, saying: “It’s in a lovely area and I’ve been there for 27 years.”

After winning the second Fastest Finger First round of Friday’s show, Mr Fear said he was “in the zone immediately”.

However, he admitted: “Then my next thing to negotiate was getting on the chair because I was a bit worried I was going to fall off… because I’ve got quite short legs.

“I was concentrating, I was sitting as absolutely still as I can, so this thing about (me being) cool and calm is actually me trying not to make a complete idiot of myself on national television.”




The final question Donald answered correctly was: “In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?”

His winning answer was Blackbeard.

“I’m a dates man,” he said.

“You don’t be a history teacher for 33 years without knowing a few dates, and the date 1718 and Blackbeard leapt out at me instantly.”

Mr Fear only used one of his lifelines, 50:50, to win the jackpot, leaving his two Phone A Friend options and Ask The Host unused.

Mr Fear, who was born in Bristol, said he had since resigned his job as a teacher at Haberdashers’ Adams Grammar school in Newport, Shropshire, whose alumni include former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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But he said: “The rules are you have to go at the end of a term.

“Actually, I never investigated the possibility of whether it would be possible not to go back at all – but how unfair to my A-level students that would be?”

Mr Fear added: “I was planning to go in two years anyway just before my 60th birthday.

“As it is, I’m going just after my 58th.”

Mr Fear celebrated his win with his brother, who he claimed was the more intelligent sibling.

He said: “He is so pleased for me.

“We went to spend a night in a hotel with our wives last week and got absolutely plastered and he kept poking me saying how pleased and how overjoyed he was by it.”

Tonight’s programme, which was recorded under social distancing rules in July, is the last in the current series.

The first UK millionaire winner was Judith Keppel in 2000. She remains the only woman to take the top prize.

The last winner was civil servant Ingram Wilcox in 2006.

     

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