I was a broke, single mum but I applied to Deal Or No Deal 40 times and finally won £21k – it totally changed my life | The Sun

I was a broke, single mum but I applied to Deal Or No Deal 40 times and finally won £21k – it totally changed my life | The Sun

A SINGLE mum has revealed how her life changed after scooping £21,000 on Deal or No Deal 16 years ago.

Catherine Gladwyn, now 46, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was 29 when she applied for the show and was so desperate to get on she put her name in a whooping 40 times.

Now, the plucky candidate has lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes secrets of the popular show – which is due to be rebooted with host Stephen Mulhern.

The original series, fronted by Noel Edmonds, ran on Channel 4 for 11 years until 2016.

Insiders have revealed ITV are now working to reboot the popular show which saw contestants choosing one of 22 boxes and gambling against the banker in a bid to walk away with the highest sum.

Speaking to Fabulous about her experience in 2007, Catherine said: “I wasn’t flush. 

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“I was a single parent, my daughter was seven and I had a mortgage of £21,000 then.

“I loved game shows as a bit of light relief and always fancied going on one, but knew I’d never get far with anything that required too much knowledge so Deal or No Deal was perfect. 

“I just had to open a box.

“I sent in 40 applications until they invited me in.”

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After being determined to stand out wearing a nice dress and carrying a helmet after her dad gave her a lift to the studio on his motorbike, Catherine was selected for the show. 

Filming took place in Bristol and they shot three shows each day over the course of two weeks (Monday to Friday) while contestants stayed in a hotel.

She added: “We were provided with breakfast at the hotel (Marriott), lunch on site and then the most wonderful buffet every evening, plus money off drinks.

“Whoever had been in the seat that day would either buy drinks for everyone, if they’d won money, or have a drink bought for them if they’d lost.”

While none of the contestants hooked up during her filming, Catherine reckons it was likely they did on other shows. 

She claims: “It would definitely have happened at some point, we’re together all day and the drink was cheap in the evenings.”

Catherine’s episode was filmed last and she said she was “shaking” so hard she couldn’t pick up a cup of tea. 

She added: “Once picked you’re mic'd up and taken outside to scream – this apparently gets all your excitement out so you can walk with the box to Noel.

“I went through the whole box opening and eventually ended up with £21,000. 

“My next three offers were: £35k, £55k and £75k so I shouldn’t have dealt but I’ve absolutely no regrets because the experience was priceless.”

Catherine does have a sneaky suspicion that her hotel room was bugged after confessing to her friend Becky that she would be happy to walk away with £21,000 – the exact figure she was offered by the banker.

She admitted: “This is where I thought, that can’t be coincidence. They are either bugging the rooms or it’s a sign. So I dealt at that.”

Catherine was overjoyed to win the money – and also admitted she had a crush on host Noel Edmonds. 

She said: “Noel’s fit, funny and genuine.

“Absolutely superb, a great sense of humour, no airs and graces, got jokes, got involved in jokes, gave us time, took his role seriously. Just brilliant.

“When I got on the chair, he told me ‘oooh, you’ve been acting so dumb over there (behind the boxes) and it’s all a front, you’re actually very savvy’.”

And who was the banker?

Viewers spent years trying to work out the identity of the mystery banker and it has now been revealed to be Coronation Street actor Glenn Hugill.

Catherine added: “I got to speak to him on the phone but we never saw him. He was very funny too.”

The hardest thing about filming was being away from her daughter – who is now 24 – for two weeks.

Noel’s fit, funny and genuine.

But winning £21,000 was incredible for Catherine, and she revealed what she spent it on.

She said: “They say you don’t get the money for 30 days, but it came through quicker than that. “On the drive back home to Swindon I was like ‘I’ll buy a Mercedes, I’ll buy this, I’ll buy that’, so waiting for the money is a good thing as it stops any impulse purchases.

“I paid for my daughter and I to go to Disneyland Florida, she had things she wanted for Christmas and I paid for a conservatory on our house that was intended to be a den for her as a teenager.”

Catherine said that while some people were superstitious with picking her numbers she reckons the game is just “luck.”

She added: “I think you are naturally drawn to boxes of the people you’ve bonded with a little more though.

“I recall there was someone new on the block who I’d not really met and I wasn’t drawn to him or his box.”

Deal Or No Deal ended in August 2016 following 13 series – and even had a farewell tour around the country so fans could watch it for one last time.

The tour ended after one year and after 3,000 episodes the show finished for good.

The year before it finished, it was worked out Deal Or No Deal had given away over £40million in prize money.

A source said: “Deal Or No Deal was absolutely huge back in the day and pulled in millions of viewers.

“ITV think there is still a huge appetite for it and think they could make a huge success of the show if they brought it back.

“Plans for the reboot are in the very early stages and the details of when it could come back are being closely guarded.

“There have been discussions around Noel possibly returning but ITV decided they want to give the show a completely fresh look and feel.”

Catherine is excited for a reboot, and said: “I think Stephen will be great. 

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“I follow him on TikTok and he is effortlessly funny. 

“The experience was phenomenal. I wonder if I can apply again?”

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