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V11.00 09/11/09

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Daphne is Brain of Britain

By Simon Haigh

Daphne Fowler

SUPER-clever Daphne Fowler might not gone to Oxford or Cambridge - but study in a hotel bar has helped make her Brain of Britain.

The 58-year-old retired secretary from Weston-super-Mare won Radio 4's hit quiz show yesterday and added a silver plate to a host of TV trophies.

She drove-off a brand-new Mini as the victor in Sale of the Century in 1983. She won a trip to the Seoul Olympics as the first Going for Gold champion in 1988. And in 1990 she took away 2,000 as a four-times winner of Jeopardy.

Daphne exercises her brain with her drinking arm at the Bristol Hotel, Weston, where as a member of the Good Ideas team she has won the Weston pub quiz league for three years running.

She dropped out of studying thelogy at Exeter University in 1950 after leaving school with seven '0' levels and two 'A' levels. But she still beat two university lecturers and 1990 Mastermind champion in yesterday's show.

Daphne, who lives in Coniston Crescent and is modest and down-to-earth, said: "I was amazed to win. I really did not expect it. I think it's just luck as to which questions come up.

The answers just pop into your brain and you wonder where they came from. I read a lot and often think 'That would make a good quiz question'. I must admit that sometimes I write things down."

Daphne retired from her job as a secretary at the NatWest bank, Weston, last year. She has no regrets about giving up university where she originally went to become a religious studies teacher.

"I had such a good time in Exeter that my studies went by the board," she said. "I came from a very restricted background but discovered the high life. I didn't do enough work for my second-year exams so just decided not to go back. I got married to my husband shortly after and realised that was what I wanted to do."

Daphne had five children by her first husband who died nearly 10 years ago.

At a quiz - inevitably - she met her second husband Peter, who was questionmaster in The Coach House, Locking. They kept seeing each other on the league round and married seven years ago.

Peter, a retired engineer, said: "It's very reassuring to have someone that clever in the house. We don't need any reference books because we just ask Daphne.

"It's not good for my memory though, because I know she will remember everything."

Daphne said one benefit of winning the competitions was that her husband never questioned any facts she gave.

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