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Friday, 17 December, 1999, 11:13 GMT
UK's first quiz show millionaire

Clare Barwick made broadcasting history when she won 1m in the quiz

A 35-year-old mother from West Sussex has become Britain's first quiz show millionaire.

Clare Barwick from Worthing, who is expecting her second baby in June, made broadcasting history when she won a live quiz held by Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans.

Evans, who is also the boss of the station, gave away the cash on his breakfast show after she correctly answered George Eliot to the question: which of these two writers was really a woman - George Eliot or T S Eliot?

Barwick beat off competition from 32 other finalists to take the jackpot in a nerve-racking final that lasted more than three hours.

As she won, she exclaimed: "I can't believe it, Chris." She said that the first thing she would buy would be a West Ham football club season ticket for her son, 17-month-old Alfie.

Later she added: "I'm going to have a bit of champagne. It's fantastic.

"I will probably buy new things for the baby. All my mother asked me was what time I'm coming home."

Training consultant Barwick said she would definitely quit her job but had not told her boss yet.

Tough contest

The final stages of the contest involved Barwick in a gruelling head-to-head, six-round heat with Daron Cole, 35, from Belfast, who went away with nothing.

Since September, listeners to Evans's Virgin show have been competing for the right to take part in the final by answering two of three questions correctly.

Chris Evans will give away another 1m on his TV show
Friday's 33 finalists had chosen to turn down the chance of taking home 1,000 - after successfully answering the two questions - to compete for the big 1m.

Evans decided to run the competition as a backlash to the lack of jackpot winners on the ITV show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

He later announced that he would be extending the same chance to viewers of his Channel 4 show TFI Friday.

He began running the same quiz on the programme after Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt asked why there was no quiz show in Britain to guarantee a million pounds in prize money.

Gratitude to audience

The US version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? created the world's first television quiz millionaire in November.

In Britain, however, the closest anyone has come to the big prize was when contestant Peter Green claimed 250 000.

After Friday's show Evans: "It's the first time 1m has been given away on TV or air in the whole world."

Evans, who is known for his headline grabbing stunts, denied at the launch of the radio competition that it was simply a ruse to promote his radio station.

"This is not charity. It's a big thank you to people who have supported us, the people who like us, who have stuck by us," he said.

The 1m giveaway on Evans's TFI Friday programme will take place on Christmas Eve.

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See also:
08 Sep 99 |  Entertainment
Evans to create millennium millionaires
05 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Ginger romance 'revealed' on air

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