Neighbours cheering, paperazzi snappers and a tsunami of attention for Telford's Millionaire star


Neighbours cheering, paparazzi taking sneaky photos and thousands of messages of goodwill.
Donald Fear

It was quite a weekend for Telford's quizzing superstar Don Fear after his sensational TV performance gave Shropshire a million reasons to celebrate.

Fearless Mr Fear, head of history and politics at Haberdashers Adams Grammar School in Newport, rattled through to win the lot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in a mere 20 minutes, to the astonishment of host Jeremy Clarkson and awe of the British public.

Mr Fear handed in his resignation the day after the recording of his big win – although he will carry on teaching up to Christmas.

After ITV let the cat out of the bag that he was on the show by releasing a trailer, anticipation at the school has been palpable. So he spent Friday afternoon trying to keep a lid on an gang of excitable year 8s before rushing home to watch it with his family.

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He said: "I wasn't going to tell them, but you know what kids are like with social media. It only takes one of them to see a bloke in a pink shirt and go 'ah, it's Mr Fear!'"

"It was a case of waiting patiently for the last lessons to finish before charging home to watch it.

"I'd already bought champagne because we had the family coming over. My kids were there and my mum and dad came which was a nice surprise. I missed big chunks of the show because of the cheering, and then I'd have neighbours from 100 yards up the road knocking the door and people cheering in the street. It was a fantastic night. A really lovely atmosphere."

But the screening of Don's scarcely believable performance was just the start. He has been inundated with messages and been approached in the street for his story in a whirlwind of attention.

"Nothing quite prepares you for it," said the AFC Telford United season ticket holder.

"I've had so many messages, some from students from decades ago who must be in their 40s. It feels like everyone I've ever taught has been in touch. My Facebook page has been taken over. But it's nice to be able to give people some good news."

Despite his new found fame, Don was back on dad duties on Sunday, taking his son Chris back to university. And it'll be back to school today for Mr Fear, whose students may be listening and learning a little more attentively.