'Millionaire' winner plans to stay in the classroom

20th April 2001 at 01:00
CHEERING broke out in a staffroom in rural Staffordshire this week as the first man to win the top prize in TV's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire returned to work.

Physics teacher David Edwards is said to have been given a rousing reception by his colleagues at the private Denstone College after becoming only the second person to land television's biggest jackpot.

Millions are expected to see the 54-year-old, a quiz veteran and former winner of TV's Mastermind, answer all 15 questions correctly when the latest edition of the hit quiz is broadcast tomorrow (Saturday).

Mr Edwards, who is head of science at Denstone, where fees for boarders run to pound;11,000-a-year, was this week refusing interviews having been under strict instructions from the programme's makers not to talk to the media. But one thing was clear - the expected boost to his bank account had done little to dim his enthusiasm for the profession.

Headteacher David Derbyshire said Mr Edwards, who has taught at Denstone for 10 years and whose wife Viv teaches at the nearby School of S Mary and S Anne, Rugeley, had returned to work for the ew term as usual on Tuesday, and had committed himself to the school at least until the summer.

He said: "I would imagine he is thinking over what to do in the long term, as anyone would, but I have heard nothing from him to the effect that he is thinking about retiring.

"It's tremendous that someone who has just won pound;1m should be returning to teaching."

Mr Derbyshire added of the reaction in the school: "The whole common room are really delighted for him. He was given a round of applause yesterday, and there's a lot of genuine affection towards him. He's a genuinely nice man."

Asked whether Mr Edwards had been besieged by new friends among his colleagues since his win, Mr Derbyshire quipped: "We were wondering whether there would be a new David Edwards sports hall."

The success of Mr Edwards, who also numbers Brain of Britain among his past triumphs, may have helped to improve the patchy record of teachers on Chris Tarrant's ratings-dominating contest.

Last year, The TES reported how teachers had among the worst records on Millionaire, winning an average of only pound;8,400.

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