Shropshire man crowned as first winner of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ in 14 years

A MOTOR home in Wales is what the first contestant to win ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ in 14 years plans to spend his bounty on.

History and politics teacher Donald Fear, 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.

The lucky streak runs in the family as his elder brother, Davyth, last year won £500,000 as a contestant on the same programme.

Following his win, the 57-year-old and his wife of 33 years 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.

Asked how he would be spending his next holiday, Mr Fear revealed he intended to buy a motor home and visit “wonderful Britain”.

He said: “Much as I’d love to jump on the next plane to the States or something like that, it’s just not an option.

“So, for the moment, it’s wonderful Britain. Probably Wales first of all – so a motor home in Wales is what I’m going to spend my million pounds on.”

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

Describing himself as “a bit of a democratic socialist”, Mr Fear said he planned give at least 70 per cent of his winnings to members of his family and spend the rest on a “comfortable retirement”.

He also rubbished the idea of buying an Aston Martin sports car or moving house, saying: “It’s in a lovely area and I’ve been there for 27 years.”

After winning the second Fastest Finger First round of Friday’s show, Mr Fear said he was “in the zone immediately”.

However, he admitted: “Then my next thing to negotiate was getting on the chair because I was a bit worried I was going to fall off because I’ve got quite short legs.

“I was concentrating, I was sitting as absolutely still as I can, so this thing about me being cool and calm is actually me trying not to make a complete idiot of myself on national television.”

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.

“You don’t be a history teacher for 33 years without knowing a few dates,” he said.

“The date 1718 and Blackbeard leapt out at me instantly.”

Mr Fear only used one of his lifelines, 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.

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

He said: “I was planning to go in two years anyway just before my 60th birthday. As it is, I’m going just after my 58th.”

Haberdashers’ Adams Grammar shared their congratulations on Twitter.

A message said: “Wow what a performance from as cool as a cucumber Mr Fear! Congratulations from everyone at Adams! ‘I taught it to Year 8 kids!'”

Mr Fear celebrated his win with his brother – who he claimed was the more intelligent sibling.

He said: “He is so pleased for me. We went to spend a night in a hotel with our wives last week and got absolutely plastered and he kept poking me saying how pleased and how overjoyed he was by it.”

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey