Old girl Sian Stephens (nee Evans) 1980-87 was sitting at her desk one Monday morning opening emails to the busy careers enquiries mailboxes she managed as the national Recruitment Manager for a UK luxury boutique hotel chain when an email from a TV Company caught her eye. Looking for lively couples to apply for a TV quiz show to win their dream wish list by answering general knowledge questions on a range of topics against the clock and is hosted by Shane Ritchie on the BBC Lottery show on Saturday night. Sian saw this as an excellent opportunity to try and win their dream holiday to visit their best friends who had moved to Perth in Australia and as both her and her husband enjoy quizzes and know their general knowledge and trivia so Sian applied. A few weeks later Sian had forgotten all about the show until she got a phone call from one of the show’s producers who invited her to audition there and then over the phone. Sian’s husband Phil also received a phone call which was somewhat of a surprise as Sian had forgotten to tell him! However they both passed the initial audition and were then invited to a live audition with 6 other couples in Manchester. We were very nervous and I made a few comical errors Sian recalls, but managed to win over the producers who selected them for the show.
In August 2015 the couple along with 5 of their friends who were invited to come and watch for support, travelled up to the BBC studios in Glasgow to film the show in front of a live studio audience. It was very nerve racking but Shane Ritchie was lovely and really made us feel at ease Sian remembers and we overcame our nerves to win an amazing 6 out of our 7 prizes which totalled £35,000 including our dream holiday to Thailand and Australia, a festival in our garden with live band, DJ and Hogroast, room makeover, a man cave for Phil and a spa weekend by answering all our questions correctly beating the clock to even get some as an instant win. Sian’s topics included nature and popular culture and has credited her Merchants education as helping to give her the thirst for knowledge and keeping up to date with current affairs – I knew my General Studies A Level would come in useful one day she states!
The couple had become somewhat celebrities after appearing in the local paper twice so decided to organise an evening for friends and family at a local tennis club when the show was aired to help raise money by holding a raffle for their friends charity Believe Organ donation (believe-ods-org.uk) started by the widow of local boy Stuart Bates who was tragically killed with his young son by a speeding driver last Christmas as they walked home from a family party. They continued their fundraising by collecting donations for the charity at their recent festival in their garden. Sian is a keen athlete and charity fundraiser and with her previous company Lloyd’s Register EMEA (marine surveyors) was chosen by the CEO as one of the runners in an international team from offices around the world to compete in the gruelling 250,000 anniversary Athens marathon in 2010 raising over 40k for various marine charities. In 2010 Sian also started a charity project called the Breakfast Club for local homeless shelter the Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool which involved volunteers from her office serving breakfasts to the Homeless on a weekly basis which launched the volunteer programme still going today.
After Sian left school she attended Surrey University achieving a Joint Honours in English and Sociology then continued living and working in London in Health Club Management for over 13 years. She then moved back to Crosby in 2002 and married childhood sweetheart Phil Stephens whose sister Elizabeth was deputy Head Girl in 1986/7 and eventually buying her childhood home which she shares with Phil and their 3 children.