Shrewsbury College student calculates his way to Channel 4 quiz-show quarter-final

Sean Fletcher was a candidate on Channel 4’s popular game show, Countdown, earlier this month where he fought it out to win six consecutive shows, only getting pipped to the post in his seventh appearance.

Mr Fletcher, 33, from Bridgnorth, returned to further education in September last year to study Access to Higher Education alongside GCSE maths at Shrewsbury College.

Last summer Mr Fletcher had a terrible accident which left him with frostbite and he had to leave his current job. He was working as an assistant at a holiday lodge in Finland, when he passed out one evening when walking home in -30 degree weather. He was airlifted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Norway. It was this experience which made him decide to apply for the famous show.

“The accident meant I was unable to return to work at the lodge and having the spare time on my hands I found myself watching countdown regularly,” explained Mr Fletcher.

“I have always enjoyed maths and English and knew I had plans to return to college to brush up on my skills and re-train. I thought it would be great opportunity, so decided to apply to the show.”

Countdown, which is now in its 32nd year, hosted by Apprentice star, Nick Hewer, and The Gadget Show presenter, Rachel Riley, features two contestants engaging in a battle of wits, competing against the clock in games of quick mental maths and spelling.

Mr Fletcher added: “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was put up in a hotel during the filming process, which took a few days at Salford Quays Media City. I was very nervous during the first show - having to compete mental arithmetic and timed conundrums in front of a large audience, and TV stars, was initially very daunting.

“I wasn’t expecting to win as many games as I did, or to get the high scores I achieved. It is definitely easier to take part in quizzes from the comfort of a sofa in your own home. The pressure and quick pace plays a big part in the experience, so I am happy with my results.”

The impressive high scores Mr Fletcher achieved throughout the week means he will now battle it out in the upcoming quarter-finals - which are due to air this summer.

He added: “I will be competing against a very strong candidate in the semi-finals – one of my previous contestants, so I am unsure how it will go, but I am really looking forward to it.”

For more information about Access to Higher Education or GCSE’s at Shrewsbury College, please call 01743 342333

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