Codicote man wins �10,000 on game show

A FUNERAL director has won �10,000 and taken his place in the record books after conquering one of the world's largest, most extreme obstacle courses. James Smith appeared on BBC One

A FUNERAL director has won �10,000 and taken his place in the record books after conquering one of the world's largest, most extreme obstacle courses.

James Smith appeared on BBC One gameshow Total Wipeout, where he fought off the challenge of 19 other contestants to claim the fabulous cash prize - scooping three records in the process.

James, from Codicote, first applied for the show, which is presented by Top Gear lynchpin Richard Hammond, in October 2008.

He subsequently attended an audition, which involved fitness tests and a one-to-one interview.


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"They said you will hear from us within a month - if you don't, you are not on (the show)," he told the WHT..

"Five-and-a-half weeks later I had a call and they said 'are you prepared to go to Argentina next week?'.

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"I said yes straightaway without consulting the family and just hoped for the best."

He smiled: "I was in the doghouse for a while afterwards!"

After jetting to South America to film the show in November, James steadfastly kept quiet just how well he had performed until the programme was aired on Saturday night.

"I never told anybody how I got on, not even my wife," he said.

"We had a big party at The Bell in Codicote with (the show) on the big screen.

"The atmosphere was fantastic - there was standing room only.

"It was a fantastic feeling to see everybody's faces afterwards."

In being crowned the eighth and final champion of the show's first series, James, of Hill Road, became the oldest winner of the show, aged 39.

He also set the record for the highest and fastest jump of the series in 'The Sweeper' challenge and achieved the fastest time in 'The Wipeout Zone'.

As for his winnings, James, who works for Austins in Stevenage, said he had used some of the money to buy a mobility device for his aunt, who has Multiple Sclerosis.

He is also treating his wife's parents to tea at The Ritz, plus a London show.

James will use the rest of the cash to replace his boiler and double glazing.

Wife Sharon said she was "really proud" of her husband's achievements.

"He is always very determined and puts his best into everything he does."

As for the money, she added: "It is a very welcome boost at a difficult time.

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