Rivals unite for beautiful game

Illy Selant and Wayne Heys joined forces to win �30k on a new television show, Five Minutes to Fortune.
Illy Selant and Wayne Heys joined forces to win �30k on a new television show, Five Minutes to Fortune.
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One supports Blackpool, the other follows bitter rivals Preston North End...

But together two neighbours have scooped a £30,000 jackpot on a TV quiz show.

Tangerines fanatic Wayne Heys, 50, and die-hard Lillywhite Illy Selant, 46, put aside their rivalry to win the cash on Channel 4’s latest hit show Five Minutes To a Fortune.

The South Shore duo, who also work as a train driver and a conductor respectively for Northern Rail, are now making big plans on how to spend their bonanza.

The pair were featured on Tuesday’s episode of the show, in which teams compete to complete five challenges in five minutes while a giant egg timer full of money ticks down.

Wayne said: “When we won the money it was just disbelief.

“It was a shock because on the way down on the train we decided if we came home with £500 apiece we’d be happy.”

Wayne now plans to take his wife Karen, 45, on a dream holiday for their silver wedding anniversary, while Illy is also set to jet his wife Caron, 41, off to the Caribbean for the honeymoon they couldn’t afford when they married in 2000.

Illy, who has competed on a number of TV game shows in the past including Wheel of Fortune and The Price Is Right, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. We went down there with the frame of mind where if we won something it would be a bonus.

“It’s a fantastic game and a great format because it’s testing your brain and it’s testing your nerve.”

Paying tribute to his fellow contestant, Wayne added: “He’s a Preston fan and I’m a massive Blackpool fan so we have a bit of a rivalry but we came together as a complete team and it worked well.”


Five Minutes To a Fortune: What those at Channel Four say...


* Davina McCall, who hosts the show, said: “Five Minutes to a Fortune is one of those shows that has you clenching your buttocks from start to finish.”

* Tom Beck, commissioning editor for Channel 4 Entertainment, said: “It’s brilliantly simple to play, fiendishly difficult to win and simply gripping to watch. It’s tense and exciting, funny and unique.”

* Victoria Ashbourne, managing director of Victory Television, which devised the show, said: “Unlike most game shows, the pressure really kicks in when the clock hits zero and the prize money literally drains away, coin by coin.”

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