The latest winner of top-rated TV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? admits he already leads a ‘‘privileged’’ lifestyle.
But Robert Brydges, whose success was broadcast on ITV last night, defended the programme against criticism that it was elitist, saying: ‘‘Anyone could win.’’
Mr Brydges, 47, of Holland Park, west London, became the fourth £1m winner of the show which was this week accused of making rich people richer.
Mr Brydges made his fortune working in stocks. He was a director of London city investment trust GNI Fund Management.
He left his job 18 months ago after having what he described as a mid-life crisis.
Mr Brydges, who was educated at Epsom College, Oxford University and a French business school, confirmed he was already a millionaire, but said he did not think he was greedy.
‘‘We don’t have enough money for me to carry on not working. Yes, we lead a privileged life. We’re very lucky to have a house in London and a rented property in Hampshire.
‘‘I have spent the last 18 months trying to decide what to do with my life. City life, I decided, was not something I wanted to do for ever.
‘‘Now I’m going to write, probably children’s books. People have been calling us rich toffs and multi-millionaires. It’s rubbish. We have a large mortgage on our house in London and the country home is rented.’’
He said he had made almost 200 phone calls to the quiz show in a desperate bid to win the top prize.
He divides his time between his west London home and the country house in Hampshire.
He and his wife Marylin, 41, and children Kempe, 10, and Catherine, nine, are now planning a holiday. They also need to buy a new washing machine after theirs blew up on Friday, said Mr Brydges.
He said: ‘‘The great beauty about this programme is that it is a fun show that anybody can enter. It is random, it’s open for anyone, you could be unemployed.
‘‘It’s a level playing field and I was lucky enough to come through it. I was far more relaxed than I expected to be. In the few days between being told I was on the show and then actually going on it, I swotted up. Funnily enough, though, none of the things I learned came up.
He said he and his daughter had made many phone calls over the course of 12 months to get on the show.
He now plans to write books, possibly for children.
Executive producer, Colman Hutchinson, hit back at critics who called for rich people to be banned from the show.
‘‘People might own a property that is worth £1m but they don’t necessarily have the money in the bank. The point of the show is that it is not means-tested, and that is the way it should be.’’
The first winner of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was Judith Keppel, a distant cousin of Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Former Mastermind champion, David Edwards, was the second winner.
Royal Engineer Major Charles Ingram is taking legal action after his £1m win was withheld over suspicions of cheating.