WHEN Andy Thomas first spotted an advert for people to appear on a television quiz show, he didn’t think it would be worth applying.
But now he’s glad he did go for a slot on Britain’s Brightest – because he’s £50,000 better off.
Andy, 43, of Southsea, was crowned the winner of the BBC show after he beat 23 other contestants.
After getting through a series of heat stages he beat backgammon champion Zoe Cunningham in the final after he answered more questions right in an allotted time frame.
The show was presented by Clare Balding and tested people on their memory, speed and emotional intelligence.
Andy said he has spent some of his winnings on a holiday to Dorset with his wife Sarah Mayell-Thomas, 38, and children Daisy, six, and Charlie, three.
He plans to spend another chunk of it on a mortgage for a new house.
Andy said: ‘‘I couldn’t quite believe it really and I didn’t think I belonged in such illustrious company.
‘I was up against a lot of extremely clever people.
‘I guess the key to it was staying calm under pressure. I noticed quite a few people couldn’t handle the pressure and spotlight that was on them. When I first saw an advert for the show I didn’t think it was for me because I tend to be better at general knowledge quizzes.’
Filming finished at the end of last year and Andy gathered with his family when the final was aired to watch his success.
‘I rang Sarah after we finished filming to tell her that I had won. When she’d processed everything I said, she got really excited.’
Andy, who arranges training days for companies across the UK, said: ‘When I drive Daisy to school some of the parents say they recognise me from the show and I get the odd person asking me in the street about it.
‘But other than that life is back to normal and I don’t see myself as someone who is famous now.
‘If an opportunity came up to do this sort of thing again I would definitely consider it.’