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V11.00 09/11/09

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Brain Of Britain

Daphne Fowler

Daphne Fowler, 58, a retired secretary, lives in Weston-super-Mare with her second husband Pete, 60. She has five children, seven grandchildren and six step-grandchildren, and is the current Brain Of Britain.

Ever since I was a little girl I've loved reading encyclopedias and, when the children were young, I read constantly.

But it wasn't until 1975, when I got a job with the National Westminster Bank and joined its quiz team, that I realised I knew more than most people.

I've been on eight quiz programmes in this country and took part in a quiz series in Australia, where I converted my prizes into cash. The whole lot came to 23,000 and my first husband Bernard and I used the money to buy our semi-detached council house - the same house I live in now.

Sadly, just three weeks later, Bernard had a massive stroke. He never spoke properly again, and in 1989 he died.

The first quiz show I went on was Winner Takes All in 1978. I didn't win but I was hooked! I always promised myself that one day I'd do Mastermind and Brain Of Britain - Radio 4's long-running general knowledge quiz. Since then I've been on Sale Of The Century and Going For Gold.

I missed out on going on Mastermind, but I won Brain Of Britain in July last year and felt very proud of myself.

Then, to cap it all, in November, Radio 4 held a Master Brain competition, taking the top two winners from Mastermind and the top two from Brain Of Britain - and I won that too!

However, I'm no scholar. At grammar school I got seven 0-levels and two A-levels. My dad insisted I went to university, but I left during my second year and got a job as a waitress.

As far as remembering everyday things. I'm terrible. If I go shopping I always take a list with me, and I can't tell my right from my left. I failed my first driving test because my examiner told me to turn left and I turned right. For my second test, I had to write L and R on my hands!

I also get the odd mental block and it's often the easy questions that stump me. Everyone else gets it and I wonder why I didn't know the answer.

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