A FORMER head girl at Dunbar Grammar School was just 42 seconds from winning a share of £60,000 on a popular television show.

Kirsten Fell was one of the four contestants appearing on The Chase on ITV last Tuesday evening.

The popular quiz show, hosted by Bradley Walsh, challenges contestants to pit their brains against seasoned quiz professionals, the chasers.

Kirsten was delighted to appear on her favourite quiz show and said: “It was so good. It was so exciting.

“It was good seeing how the show works. After each section, for example after my cashbuilder round, they cut and they come and talk to you. It was really good and the whole thing was so exciting.”

Contestants can face one of five ‘chasers’, with Kirsten and her team-mates coming up against Mark Labbett, also known as ‘The Beast’.

Kirsten, of Spott, said: “I didn’t want him!

“I literally said to Joshua [one of her fellow contestants] right before he came on that as long as we didn’t get him – then Mark came out.

“I wanted Anne Hegerty. I think Mark is so good, he is the hardest one to beat and getting him I thought we were really going to struggle.

“I think, watching other episodes, other chasers slip up a bit more but he is the iconic face of The Chase.

“It was cool to say we played against him.”

The final year psychology student at Strathclyde University was the third contestant on the four-person panel.

The two contestants before her were both ‘caught’, with Kirsten then securing £3,000 in the cashbuilder round before bringing that back to the table for the final chase. Team-mate Joshua then secured £8,000 before opting to go for the higher offer and bringing back £57,000. Kirsten said: “I was so shocked by that and could not believe it when he did it. I was thinking it was going to be me on my own against the Chaser but when he got back it was amazing.”

Together, Kirsten, who was head girl at the secondary school in 2015/16, and Joshua set a target of 16 general knowledge questions for Labbett to try to answer in two minutes.

However, the Chaser got just one question wrong – Siobhan Donaghy was a founding member of which girl group – and he ‘caught’ the duo with 42 seconds to spare and denied them £30,000 each.

The 21-year-old paid tribute to her rival and said: “He was so good – we could not beat him.

“It would be frustrating if we were just a few seconds away.

“I thought I would maybe win £1,000 and go for some cocktails.

“I’m finishing university this year and I am planning to go travelling. If I had won £30,000 that would have been ideal for that.

“I never really imagined winning that much but it would definitely go towards travelling or buying my parents a holiday.

“Some would go towards cocktails but definitely not all of it!”

Kirsten, who had to take five different outfits to the filming, told the Courier she had applied in January 2017, auditioning that September.

Then in October last year, she was invited to London and filmed her episode.

She said: “I got picked up at about 7am and taken to the studio. We then got breakfast and the four of us were put in a room with a few other people, who gave us a brief on what was happening, where we should look when the camera is there and how to react.”

To view the episode, go to player.stv.tv/summary/the-chase