Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? crowns first winner in 14 years | Television

The first contestant to win Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? in 14 years celebrated with a caravan holiday around the UK and now plans to spend his £1m prize on a motor home.

History and politics teacher Donald Fear, 57, who lives in Telford, correctly answered the final 15th question about the death of a famous pirate in 1718.

The father of four is the sixth champion in the ITV programme’s 22-year history. His elder brother, Davyth, last year won £500,000 on the same programme.

Following his win, Fear and his wife, Debs, 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.

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

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

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

The episodes were pre-recorded without a studio audience due to Covid-19, with contestants given the option of a double Phone a Friend in place of asking the audience.

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

As well as the Blackbeard question, other headscratchers included: “The construction of which of these famous landmarks was completed first? Empire State Building, Royal Albert Hall, Eiffel Tower, or Big Ben Clock Tower? (Correct answer: Big Ben Clock Tower)”; and “Who is the only British politician to have held all four great offices of state at some point during their career? David Lloyd George, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan or John Major?” (Correct answer: James Callaghan.)


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