Retired teacher Jean Banford had the whole nation on the edge of their seats as her general knowledge won her an incredible £100,000 in the last Beat the Chasers of the series.
It was a gutsy performance as Jean made the brave choice to play all five Chasers. She clinched the huge cash prize with only one second left on the clock, leaving us screaming at the telly.
Now Jean, who plans to spend the money on holidays as soon as we are allowed to travel again, has revealed how she prepared for the show and managed to beat five of the country’s top quizzers.
“I had The Chase book that my husband had bought me for Christmas the year or so before,” she reveals. “Every day I went through it for an hour, just to get my brain into thinking quickly. I tried to look at things like recent albums that have been released, but that just went over my head. The best advice I was given was just to focus on Bradley – not to look at the clock or the Chasers. I had no idea I’d won – when the ticker tape came down I was like a startled rabbit.”
Jean also had a game plan: she knew that whatever happened in the preceding rounds she would take on all five Chasers in the final. “That was my intention, it was all or nothing for me. I’m never going to be on it again – so it was go for broke!”
The win is especially sweet as Jean has always been a big fan of The Chase, the daytime series that Beat the Chasers is based on. “I watch it all the time and I was chuffed to bits to meet Bradley Walsh, he was exactly as I thought he would be, really lovely with a bit of banter,” she says. “The Chaser I really wanted to beat was The Beast. When I watch the show and he comes out I always think the contestants are doomed!
“I was a bit nervous but I was there for the experience. I’m at that time in my life where experiences count for a lot and I just wanted to see what it would be like. Even when I did the show, I think that’s what gave me the confidence to do what I did in taking on all five Chasers. It was just the challenge of it and wondering if I could possibly do it. I never dreamt that I would!”
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