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V11.00 09/11/09



Daphne Fowler

Dedicated Daphne postponed honeymoon for a game show.

HERE'S a quiz question for you: Has anyone ever won a car on Sale of the Century, a trip to the Seoul Olympics on Going For Gold - and been Brain of Britain?

The answer is: Yes. So come on down Mrs Daphne Fowler, Britain's quiz queen.

Daphne will be the star of Channel 4's Game For A Quiz next Saturday in a night celebrating- 40 years of television quiz-show mania.

Sale of the Century

She is the biggest game show winner in Britain by far, and puts it all down to getting her priorities straight - she even postponed her honeymoon to appear on Jeopardy.

"My first husband died 10 years after I started appearing- on game shows." she says. "I met my second husband in 1990, and we had a lot of trouble setting the date with seven children between us to organise.

"After much difficulty we set it - then I had a phone call to say, 'We'd like you on Jeopardy on June 9'. I said. But I'm getting married on the 8th', and they said. 'Well. it's up to you'.

"So we delayed the honey-moon. I went straight from the wedding reception up the motorway to record the show with bags under my eyes.

"But I won 2.000 - and instead of a fortnight in Cornwall, we had two weeks in California to kick off the marriage!"

Daphne has won money and prizes worth 45.000 since her children got her on Winner Takes All in 1979.

"I won a car on Sale of the Century in 1983, which was a godsend. My daughter had just moved to Norfolk and was expecting a baby, and I thought, "Without a car I'll never see this child'.

"I was so motivated I won the car - then I was picked to go over and challenge Sale of the Century winners in Australia three years running. The trip in 1986 was my first flight.

"Over three years I won 23.000 and was able to buy my council house in Weston-super-Mare in Avon. Then I went on to win a trip to the Seoul Olympics on Going for Gold."

Daphne says that one reason she does less shows these days is because she can't fit into her lucky yellow dress". I wore it twice in 1987 and each time I won a cash Jackpot - 10,000, then 15,000 she says.

"I wore it when I won Going For Gold as well. But since I've married again and been so happy I've put on three stone and can no longer get into the dress."

Her idea of a relaxing break was going on BBC radio to become Brain of Britain. "You don't have to worry what you look like on radio," she says. "And you get time to make some jolly good guesses."

Despite not being seen, she got so much publicity as the first woman to be Brain of Britain in a decade that she was mobbed in her local Tesco's.

But she is afraid she has got too clever for television. "I scored so high in the audition for Hundred Per Cent. I couldn't be matched with a competitor," she says. "But I'm only ordinary - my knowledge just came from books. I used to spend all my pocket money on torch batteries to reach under the bedcover."

She insists it's not hard to learn the tricks of the trade.

"My success on Sale of the Century came down to being good at being Quick on the buzzer. I practised. I used to sit in front of the television with a toy game show buzzer. Just to see if I could beat people.

Daphne also did her research before entering Going For Gold, making a 400-mile round trip to London.

"It was a brand new programme when I passed the audition and I knew nothing about it," she says. "So I went to watch some of the earlier recordings. I realised the key thing was the fame game at the end of the show, so I learned 2,000 birth and death dates and where people were born off by heart.

"I dictated them into a Walkman and revised them while I was walking to work as secretary in a bank. And I won."

Her next target is to go on Mastermind. "I love detective stories, so my special subject would be Miss Marple or Adam Dalgliesh. But I also love history, so it might be Anne Boleyn,"

Father David Smith

Heathrow chaplain Father David Smith is another big quiz game prize winner.

"I enjoy game shows because you have a wonderful time," says Father David, who has landed many prizes including a Jeep and a Jacuzzi for six people on The Price Is Right.

"The Jacuzzi was an embarrassment. Let's face it, what can a clergyman do with a Jacuzzi for six people? In the end I sold it, and the money went to good causes."

He won his favourite prize on Busman's Holiday - a week in Vatican City, including an audience with the Pope, a prize never repeated before or since.

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