The brightest celebrity families join our Anne

Host The Governess, Anne HegertyHost The Governess, Anne Hegerty
Host The Governess, Anne Hegerty
Shaun Williamson made his name starring as the gullible Barry in EastEnders before playing a daft version of himself in Ricky Gervais’ Extras.

But despite his dim on-screen personas, the Maidstone-born actor proved that he actually knows his stuff, after he and his family overcame the likes of Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon, reality star Scarlett Moffatt and former footballer John Barnes to win the first ever series of Britain’s Brightest Celebrity Family, and pocket £25,000 for his chosen charity, British Wireless For The Blind.

Hosted by The Chase’s quizzing titan Anne ‘The Governess’ Hegerty, the spin-off of Britain’s Brightest Family introduced two brand-new segments last year including an Observation round featuring cartoon images of Anne that put the families’ memories to the test.

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Plus, there was an Identify round where members of each team raced against the clock to physically sort two piles of answers into their correct categories.

Although we don’t know if there will be any new challenges for this latest series as yet, we do know who will be taking part in this evening’s first heat. In a battle of daytime TV presenters, Vanessa Feltz’s family locks horns with Matthew Wright’s clan.

Vanessa currently presents the early morning show on Radio 2 and the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio London and has appeared in various TV shows over the years, including Vanessa, The Big Breakfast, The Vanessa Show, Celebrity Big Brother, This Morning and Strictly Come Dancing.

Meanwhile, Matthew worked as a journalist for The Sun and as a showbiz columnist for The Daily Mirror before launching a TV career and hosting the Channel 5 topical show The Wright Stuff from 2000 to 2018.

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But which of the two respected broadcasters will prevail following a number of fiendish general knowledge-based rounds?

As before, we begin this series with eight families battling it out in four heats.

The winners go into the two semi-finals, and then onto the grand final and a chance of winning £25,000 for their chosen charity.

Anne, who was recently on the box in a celebrity special edition of Beat The Chasers, is enjoying asking the questions as well as answering them. And she thinks this celebrity spin-off is will continue to be popular.

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“I thought it was an excellent idea and I think you will be surprised how clever the celebrities are,” she said while promoting the last run. “I enjoyed doing it, I do hope we’ll do another series.”

Although many of us are looking forward to lockdown ending, Anne admits she will actually miss a certain element of the restrictions.

“I have been doing an awful lot of quizzing on the internet,” she explains.

“Zoom quizzes with friends and the more high-level written quizzes where they can see you’re not Googling if you do it online, so your results are counted.

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“Shaun (Wallace, fellow Chaser) has been posting online quizzes and Paul (Sinha) is setting really tough quizzes.

“He’s become absolutely brilliant in the last couple of years and he keeps posting questions on Facebook that are a cross between a quiz question, a puzzle and a cryptic crossword clue.

“A lot of it is beyond me, I just click straight to the comments to see if other people have solved it all, saving me the trouble!”

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