This is Simon. A self-confessed Million Pound Drop super-fan who lives for the show and its new rebrand, the slightly less impressive 100k Drop.
Simon’s watched every episode, if not more than once. He’s been to see it live numerous times, and spends his free time frequenting the backlot of behind the scenes footage from the classic quiz show – hosted by Davina McColl – on YouTube.
While most dream of becoming footballers, owning a fast car, or having gazillions in the bank, Simon spends his days fantasising about himself standing there beside Davina, on primetime television, shuffling cash between four trapdoors. Unlike the bulk of humanity, Simon’s dream came true. His lifelong ambition became reality. He became the star of 100k drop.
However Simon’s dream always ended with him taking home the cash. The reality was rather different. The Edvard Munch scream face he pulls upon losing it emphasis the moment his heart shatters into smithereens. He may as well have forced his heart down the trapdoor too:
As if the entire shindig couldn’t get any bloody worse for ol’ Simon, our hero, let me assure you, it does indeed get worse, as Simon actually knew the right answer all along – he just allowed himself to be talked out of it.
But first le’s go back to the beginning.
Speaking prior to the fatal error, Simon explained:
I’ve watched every single episode, and when it was The Million Pound Drop, I went to see it three times in London.
I’ve watched your behind-the-scenes stuff, and all the clips on YouTube, so fingers crossed.
He also revealed why he was appearing on the show with his longtime friend, Maggie, saying:
I talk too much, Maggie’s a lot calmer.
With Maggie adding:
We’ve got a really good rapport, we get on really well.
Knowing the duo were Million Pound and 100k Drop fanatics, Davina even quipped:
I feel like an idiot explaining the rules!
For the first round, the pair decided to take the cooking category as Maggie is ‘quite good at cooking’. What could possibly go wrong? EVERYTHING.
The question they were given was: ‘The name of which pasta sauce derives from an Italian phrase literally meaning ‘in sailor’s style?’.
After looking at the four choices (carbonara, puttanesca, marinara, arrabbiata) almost immediately Simon had an answer.
Noticing an Only Connect-esque link between ‘sailors’, ‘marina’, and ‘marinara’, Simon said:
Marina sounds sort of fishy, doesn’t it?
But in a wave of unknowing destruction, Maggie quickly shut him down saying:
No, that’s too fishy.
And that was it for poor old Simon. He didn’t argue his point and the pair put £72,500 on carbonara and the other £27,500 on their back-up option, puttanesca.
At first the £27, 500 vanished down the hatch. Immediately Simon’s cheerful demeanour disappeared and his face took on the look of a man who’s just got through airport security and realised he’s left chips frying at home.
Raising his blood pressure, Davina then added:
Marinara, you did say it sounds like something marine.
Don’t do it to him Davina. He blinks. He sweats. He waits. Then of course the rest of their money, all 100k of it, went straight down the drain.
Simon smiles a fake smile and says ‘oh well’. Yeah, like I’m buying you genuinely don’t care about this.
He then says: ‘It sounded fishy didn’t it?’ while starring at Maggie like she’d dragged his big win away from him.
The £100k Drop airs every weekday at 4.00pm on Channel 4, and 7.00pm on 4seven.
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Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.