'The who?': Millionaire winner Donald Fear admits he would have been stumped if he'd been asked who the Kardashians are

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery

He may have won a million pounds with his astounding general knowledge, but Millionaire winner Donald Fear admits he would have lost it all if he had be asked a question about US celebrity royalty, the Kardashians.

The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? winner became the first millionaire on the ITV show in 14 years with his knowledge of 18th century pirates.

But speaking on This Morning live from the Shropshire school where he teaches, Mr Fear admitted he could have left the hot seat much earlier if he had been asked about some more contemporary names.

When host This Morning Holly Willoughby suggested a question about The Kardashians might have been a stretch, he replied: “The who?”

Mr Fear continued: “I do own a large number of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ CDs. Pretty well all of those, but if it had been who was number 1 back in 2004, I might have been struggling.”

While sat waiting in the studio, the teacher did not think he would get through the 'Fastest Finger First' round in order to compete for the jackpot.

"I had just given up, I was just saying to the staff 'I am just too old and slow', 'if I get in the chair, I will do a good job but I am not going to get in the chair', so in a way my mentality was fine because I had written it off, I wasn't full of tension," Mr Fear told ITV News.

The show was recorded back in July, and Mr Fear revealed to hosts Holly and Phillip Schofield that only his wife knew he had scooped the million, keeping it a secret from friends and family until the show was aired at the weekend.

“I didn’t phone anyone from the studio itself. I was trying to keep it a secret with just me knowing, but you know, so many decisions would have to be taken jointly with my wife so I decided to tell her and I did so as soon as I arrived home,” he said.

Donald was not the first member of the quiz-obsessed Fear family to sit in the Millionaire seat.

His brother David won £500,000 when he appeared on the show two years. But despite beating him to the top prize, the history and politics teacher said, David was "absolutely made up. He was so, so pleased.”

The siblings have their father to thank for their love of quizzes and breadth of knowledge.

"He likes the quizzes, he is like a bear with a sore head when we ask about things.

"Ask my dad a science question, as he's absolutely unbelievable," Mr Fear said.

There was a focus on learning in their household, which has stood them in good stead since.

“Right from an early age, we didn’t have a telly, we didn’t have a car," Mr Fear said.

"Reading and games and quizzes have been the staple of my life since I can first remember.

"I'm the third of four, we’re all very close in age.

"We’re a very, very close and loving family and games and quizzes have always been part of our existence really. I can’t remember a time where it wasn’t."

Even Millionaire host Jeremy Clarkson was taken by surprise at the confidence and speed with which Mr Fear answered questions, but he said he had no strategy.

"It was all based on the questions that I got. The one [lifeline] I used, I was very lucky in that it was a choice of two,” he explained to hosts Holly and Phillip.

He said he knew the final answer “instantly".

"The first thing I spotted, as the question flashed up on the screen, was the date. The date 1718 and if it’s 1718 it’s going to be Blackbeard. And that was the order of processes and I had Blackbeard in my head before I read the question…”

The teacher from Shropshire said he got a round of applause as he walked into school on Monday, although admitted "all of that clapping and cheering will soon stop as I start setting homework”.

Mr Fear said he will be using the money to ensure he has a "comfortable retirement" as well as helping family.

“I don’t know how to spend that much. The first priority ought to be to make sure I have a comfortable retirement. And quite honestly, my tastes are fairly reasonable. I think I might waste a lot of money on CDs, but even I might struggle to spend a million pounds on CDs," he said.

"That’s how old school I am."