Bangers and cash as Maria takes big slice of TV show winnings

Maria with television chef Paul Hollywood

Maria with television chef Paul Hollywood

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A butcher’s assistant made mincemeat of the opposition when she scooped close to £6,000 thanks to help from celebrities on a TV game show.

And despite the high ‘steaks’, Maria Marcinkiw, who works at The Pork Shop in Poulton, won the major cash prize on ITV1’s Celebrity Squares programme.

Stars including television chef Paul Hollywood, comedian Julian Clary and Blackpool actress Hayley Tamaddon helped the 28-year-old on the quiz, which is based on the American comedy game show Hollywood Squares.

Maria, 28, who has worked at the Church Street shop for four years, said: “It was a fantastic experience and really exciting.

“Paul Hollywood is my idol and it was lovely to 
meet him.

“A few others were on the show, including Warwick Davis, who presents it, and Julian Clary and Hayley Tamaddon. It was great fun.”

Originally a hit in the 1980s with comedian Lennie Bennett, and having returned for a stint in the 90s, the show was resurrected for its second revival last year.

The game itself is simple. Nine celebrities are pictured behind nine squares in a grid resembling a game of noughts and crosses.

With each square comes a trivia question for the contestant – but they don’t have to answer it themselves.

Instead, they see the celebrity’s answer and decide whether they think that answer is right or wrong. Three celebrity squares in a row, and the contestant wins a big cash prize.

Maria said despite a slow start her fortune turned for the better on the programme – with a little help from some produce made at The Pork Shop.

She added: “The person I was up against kept winning and I was really far 
behind.

“But I had been asked to bring a sausage on the show by the producers from work and ‘throw it’ at Julian Clary.

“I missed, but then the other celebrities grabbed it and started a bit of a food fight and after that I began to come back and win.

“I got to the final round and ended up winning around £5,900.”

Maria said she will put her winnings towards a cake business she has started called Simply Cakes.

She will appear on Celebrity Squares on May 3 on ITV1.