PASSED/FAILED: Carol Vorderman
Thursday 10 July 1997
Pre-school? I went for one term to Vale View, a nursery which I think I didn't like - although my mother says that's not true. I then went for two terms to Meliden School, where my mother was the Secretary.
Primary? Then at four I went to Ysgol Mair Catholic School, Rhyl, where I stayed until I was 10. We had little sum books; I used to race through the sums, which I knew I would get right, to finish first; it was a speed thing, like racing against the clock in Countdown. I loved the school and was one of quite a few who were put up a year. Fred Jemmett was the headmaster, a very funny man and very strict. On a Monday morning we had to thank God if Manchester United had won on the Saturday.
Secondary blessings? Then I went to the school next door to Ysgol Mair, the Blessed Edward Jones High School. The next Catholic school along the coast was the Blessed Richard Gwyn High School; Richard Gwyn was beatified, so it became the Saint Richard Gwyn High School, which was most annoying to us. I hated PE; I couldn't see the point in being frozen in your navy blue flannel knickers and getting mottled legs. A lot of sadism going on there, in my opinion. My mother would provide me with sick notes - and if she wouldn't I wrote my own.
Exam score? In O-levels, I got nine As and two Bs. Subjects included maths, physics, computer studies - this was the first year you could do it as an O-level - Welsh and cookery. I also got an OE in a maths paper which included calculus. In A-levels, I got an A in maths, plus an S for the special paper, an A in economics and a B in physics.
University challenge? Nobody in my school had applied to Cambridge and I could not have done a fourth term for the entrance exam; I was very lucky to get a conditional offer to Sidney Sussex, Cambridge, which I'd picked because the Alternative Prospectus said it had a comparatively high percentage of state school entrants.
Head in the clouds? I picked engineering because I'd wanted to be an airline pilot and thought I'd stand a better chance with that kind of degree. I ran the Stephenson Society, the Engineering Club in Sidney. I was duped into rowing, but after a term of five 6am outings a week, I quit.
Countdown to a media career? I was never, at school or university, involved in the media or performing. I had no desire to be in the media; it was my mother who saw the article on Countdown - and on Countdown all that mattered was that you could do sums. I'd never heard of the Footlights; one of the disadvantages of coming from a school which hadn't sent anyone to Cambridge was that I didn't know what the place had to offer.
Final score? I could have worked harder. I got a Third in my first and second years. In my last year I thought I had worked rather harder and when the results were put up on the board, I looked first at the 2.1 list, then I looked at the 2.2s and next I looked at the Firsts. When I saw myself under the Thirds I was hugely disappointed, until two minutes later I thought: it could have been worse. At least I'd got a Cambridge degree, even if with three Thirdsn
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Almost 40m gallons of drinking water discarded – because a man urinated in it
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 3 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SharePoi...
£80000 - £95000 per annum: Charter Selection: A leading Global organisation Ja...