A general knowledge ace has taken home £30,000 from a gameshow he played with a complete stranger.
Music teacher Darren McNeil, the lead singer of Blackpool band Kazoobian, was triumphant during the latest screening of The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins with a partner he met backstage hours before the show.
The married father-of-two, of Pedder’s Lane, South Shore, partnered Claire, a teacher from Southampton, and answered questions on songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, British summer Olympic gold medallists since 1980 and James Bond actors.
Mr McNeil, who is now planning a holiday to New York and the possibility of spending future winters in Spain with his family, could win even more cash as the winners stay in the game until they are knocked out by challengers.
The 44-year-old said: “It was something different that I wanted to do because when I’m watching gameshows I always think ‘I can do that’, so eventually I decided to put my money where my mouth is.
“I’m a big fan of (the BBC show) Pointless and wanted to go on that, but when I went on to the website there were no applications open, so I filled one in for this.
“The couple we knocked out took home £165,000 between them and were about to become the people who had won the most amount of money on the show.
“With us both being teachers we had done some revision and when I met Claire it felt very comfortable and I was happy with who I was partnered with.
“I have theatre training and the questions happened to be about Andrew Lloyd Webber songs, so it was a breeze to be honest and it fell into my lap.”
Darren added: “My wife has a lung condition so we plan to use the money to try and spend future winters in Spain.”
Nick Knowles hosts the BBC’s quiz show where two teams of strangers play against each other to complete a series of lists, and play for a jackpot of £50,000.
In the ‘winner stays on’ format, they can continue earning hundreds of thousands of pounds, unless another team can defeat them.
Mr McNeil first featured on last week’s show when the pair knocked out the reigning champions. However, the musician had to wait seven days to see himself in action on the pre-recorded show.
He added: “The show clashed with a night we were playing at the Burlington pub, but I got the landlord to show it and my family had no idea what had happened.
“I would recommend it.”