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Dublin grandad in Countdown finals

DUBLINER Peter Lee first asked for "a consonant, please, Carol" 10 years ago but now he's back on Countdown and has booked his place in the finals.

Peter (56) was a huge hit with viewers of the cult programme with his deft word skill and mathematical ability.

The grandad, who works in Met Eireann, is now one of the top two highest scorers on the show.

"I was on 10 years ago. The first time I went over I lost in the first game against a guy that was really good," he told the Herald.

"I got a 93 point score and they said that they'd invite me back. They did -- but it took 10 years."

His first experience on the show was with Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman and then later with Anne Widdecombe, John Parrott, Nick Hewer and Rachel Riley.

"They were brilliant," he said of the hosts. "Nick went to school in Ireland. His parents sent him to Clongowes. He spoke a bit of Irish on the show so there was a big link there.

"I got on brilliantly with John Parrott. He has moved from snooker and is really into horse racing in Ireland. He owns his own horse."

Peter credits an inspirational teacher in O'Connells School for his interest in maths quizzes.

"I had a great teacher in O'Connells -- Michael Haran -- he gave me a love for maths," he said.

"When we had him in 5th year, he wrote out a copy of his model answer to a question. I took it home, went through it and it just opened up something for me."