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‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ Cambridgeshire mum is haunted by question she got wrong

If you were watching TV last night around 9pm you would have seen Cambridgeshire mum Eleanor Ayres winning £125,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

The mum-of-two got within one question of winning the jackpot, but became unstuck in her 14th question for £500,000 about the year Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole.

Eleanor, 36, who lives in South Cambridgeshire says since the name Roald Amundsen has been cropping up in her life, including her dictionary opening with his name on the top of the page and as well as other places.

"I'm haunted by him," Eleanor said. "He turned up in my dictionary, and he came up in a magazine I was reading. He's cropped up a lot and I'm never going to forget that date for the rest of my life."

Eleanor Ayres and Jeremy Clarkson during the show (Image: Stellify Media)

"Luckily," Eleanor added, "I put my second lifeline quite high. And once I went past it I felt I could be a bit more daring seeing as that was still such a huge amount of money. I felt like it didn't matter what I did after that as it was more money than I thought I would win.

"Maybe I shouldn't have answered [the question] as I'd have walked away with double the amount I did win. I still had one lifeline left, but I know now that none of my friends would have been able to answer it, and I thought I might need it for the next question."

Eleanor still won a huge amount of money, and has had to keep her winnings a secret for over a month as the episode was actually filmed before Christmas.

"It's been interesting," she said, "it's all had to be kept confidential, I've had lots of people asking me how I did."

Eleanor Ayres, who won £125,000 (Image: Stellify Media)

Eleanor, who works as a freelance editor and proofreader first decided to apply to the show after reading a Cambridgeshire Live story – back when the website was called Cambridge News – on Facebook about how ITV was looking for applicants to be on the hit quiz show.

She said: "I saw something on Facebook on Cambridge News . It was about midnight and I was busy working. I did the application there and then. A couple of weeks later I got a phone call and it all started from there."

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She found herself in the studio at the start of December, an experience she described as "quite fun".

She added: "Once it started going it was surreal, like an out-of-body experience. I had to go into makeup. It was like being on stage."

"In the early stages I answered quite quickly, but as it got later I started slowing down.

"Jeremy Clarkson started sort of making fun of me because I was so slow. He was very nice throughout though."

Eleanor said Jeremy Clarkson poked fun at her for taking so long to answer (Image: Stellify Media)

Eleanor is planning on spending the money on doing up her house which she moved into last year, saying: "When we moved in I was pregnant so there some things that needed doing that we never got round to.

"We're also going to take a holiday, and we haven't taken our two boys aged four and one abroad yet."

Who Wants to be a Millionaire is on ITV at 9pm. You can watch the New Year's Day episode featuring Eleanor on the ITV Hub .