Football questions Cost-as dad £14,000

John and Paul Sinha

John and Paul Sinha

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A Peterborough writer was just 11 seconds away from winning thousands of pounds - but missed out on the cash in a chase to the line after slipping up on a football question.

Former Peterborough Telegraph features editor John Baker (36) narrowly missed out on success on ITV’s general knowledge quiz The Chase, as he and his team mates were caught by Paul ‘The Sinnerman’ Sinha on Friday evening.

John who said he would have spent the money treating his wife, Emma, and young daughter Eliza, had made it through the ‘cash builder‘ first round with £6,000 to reach the final with all three fellow contestants - with the jackpot standing at a total of £56,000, which would have been split between the four of them .

But they narrowly missed out on the jackpot after slipping up on a number of questions - including a football teaser - which country was Chelsea star Diego Costa born in - which football fan John said he should have got right.

He said: “I’d been told I was up first and I was quite happy with six correct, although I really should have got a question about Harper Lee correct as I studied her for my GCSEs. When Paul (Sinha) came out we had a bit of banter, starting with the comparison to Ian Hislop which I’ve had for about 20 years now!

“Of my 5 questions I knew 3 straight away, and the other 2 - where the bony labyrinth is, and something to do with carrots in America - were educated guesses.

“Even when I went back to my seat I wasn’t thinking about money - only when Pete put £47,000 into the pot did I start thinking things were getting serious. At the end the four of us were really confident I think.”

John said the four believed they could win the big money - but 18 steps on the board was not enough.

He said: “It all went wrong, starting with one question where I buzzed in at the same time as (fellow contestant) Julie and her name came out, but I said ‘E…’ - as the answer was EastEnders. There was a break of about 5 minutes while an adjudicator reviewed it, and in the end they knocked a point off us, which broke up our rhythm straight away.

“I got a Shakespeare question wrong that I knew, and a football one (where was Diego Costa born?) that I also knew - it all got a little bit mad in the middle of the 2 minutes. We all knew 18 probably wasn’t going to be enough, so we needed pushbacks - I was really happy to get a question about Caligula correct, but I was talked out of a question about Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that I was confident on, and we got it wrong.”

Despite leaving empty handed, John said he enjoyed the day.

He said: “I was gutted at the end, but it was still great fun and one of the most unusual days in my life. Would I do it again? Definitely. In fact, I’m going to apply to other shows now…”