Judith Cynthia Aline Keppel (born 18 August 1942)[1], a garden designer from Fulham, was a contestant on series 8 of the UK version of the show on 18, 20 November 2000. She was the first British contestant to win £1,000,000. Later she appeared on September 6 and 9 on 2003 with David Seaman and won £32,000.

Personal life

Judith is the granddaughter of Walter, 9th Earl of Albemarle. Her great-grandfather, the 8th Earl was brother-in-law of Alice Keppel, the mistress of King Edward VII and was the great-uncle of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.[2] The Duchess of Cornwall is therefore her third cousin.


Fastest Finger First

Fastest Finger First Question
Starting with the earliest, put these British prime ministers in order.
• A: Anthony Eden • B: Alec Douglas-Home
• C: Harold Macmillan • D: Winston Churchill
From the 8 remaining contestants, only Judith (with a time of 8.00 seconds) correctly answered D-A-C-B, making it into the Hot Seat.

Judith's Run to the Million

£100 (1 of 15) - Not Timed
Complete the saying: 'As sick as a…'?
• A: Partridge • B: Puffin
• C: Parrot • D: Penguin
£200 (2 of 15) - Not Timed
Which legal document states a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property after death?
• A: Would • B: Shall
• C: Should • D: Will
£300 (3 of 15) - Not Timed
Complete the title of the James Bond film: 'The Man With the…'?
• A: Golden Tooth • B: Golden Gun
• C: Golden Eagle • D: Golden Delicious
£500 (4 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of these fruits shares its name with something superior or desirable?
• A: Apricot • B: Grapefruit
• C: Plum • D: Mango
£1,000 (5 of 15) - Not Timed
In which sport do two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope?
• A: Tug of war • B: Basketball
• C: Ice hockey • D: Polo
£2,000 (6 of 15) - Not Timed
Where would a cowboy normally put his 'chaps'?
• A: On his head • B: On his arms
• C: On his legs • D: On his hands
£4,000 (7 of 15) - Not Timed
Which of these zodiac signs is not represented by an animal that grows horns?
• A: Taurus • B: Capricorn
• C: Aquarius • D: Aries
£8,000 (8 of 15) - Not Timed
Sherpas and Gurkhas are native to which country?
• A: Russia • B: Ecuador
• C: Nepal • D: Morocco
£16,000 (9 of 15) - Not Timed
Prime Minister Tony Blair was born in which country?
'Ask the Audience' lifeline used
• A: England • B: Northern Ireland
• C: Scotland • D: Wales
Ask the Audience Results: A: 19% • B: 12% • C: 53% • D: 16%
The klaxon called time and Judith would return on £16,000 with 2 lifelines still available.
£32,000 (10 of 15) - Not Timed
Whose autobiography has the title 'A Long Walk To Freedom'?
• A: Ranulph Fiennes • B: Mother Teresa
• C: Nelson Mandela • D: Mikhail Gorbachev
£64,000 (11 of 15) - Not Timed
Duffel coats are named after a town in which country?
'50:50' lifeline used
• A: Belgium • B: Holland
• C: Germany • D: Austria
£125,000 (12 of 15) - Not Timed
Complete this stage instruction in Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale': 'Exit, pursued by a …'?
'Phone-a-Friend' lifeline used
• A: Tiger • B: Clown
• C: Bear • D: Dog
Judith did not know, so she decided to call her friend Jilly, who was 100% sure it was Bear. She decided to go with her friend and won £125,000.
£250,000 (13 of 15) - Not Timed
The young of which creature is known as a 'squab'?
• A: Salmon • B: Horse
• C: Pigeon • D: Octopus
£500,000 (14 of 15) - Not Timed
Who is the patron saint of Spain?
• A: Saint James • B: Saint John
• C: Saint Benedict • D: Saint Peter
£1,000,000 (15 of 15) - Not Timed
Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?
• A: Henry I • B: Henry II
• C: Richard I • D: Henry V
Judith Keppel: Millionaire


On the Celebrity Edition on the 22nd September 2001, Judith was one of the Phone-a-Friends of celebrity contestants Fiona Phillips and Martin Frizell. Martin reads her their £8,000 question, in 1857, which title was conferred on Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Judith told him she was fairly sure by 80% it was C: Prince Consort, so Fiona and Martin went for C: Prince Consort and got it right.

On the Celebrity Edition on the 2nd March 2002, Judith was one of the Phone-a-Friends of celebrity contestants Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Andy reads her their £16,000 question, in 1857, who starred opposite Marilyn Monroe in the 1957 film "The Prince and the Showgirl"?. Judith told him it was A: Laurence Olivier without Andy reading the choices, so Andy and Richard went for A: Laurence Olivier and got it right.

On the 6th and 9th September 2003, Judith returned to the hot seat as part of the 5th Birthday special, playing with former goalkeeper David Seamen and winning £32,000 to share between their charities after answering the £64,000 question incorrectly.

Keppel now - and still does - appears on the BBC Two quiz show Eggheads, where she and six other quiz champions (including later million pound winner Pat Gibson) are pitted against members of the public.


  • There was speculation at the time that the win was fixed so that ITV would draw ratings away from BBC One which was showing the last episode of One Foot in the Grave in the same timeslot. However, the ITC cleared Celador and ITV of the allegations.
  • Judith Keppel's win was broadcast just over one year after John Carpenter's run (19 November, 1999), the first American contestant to claim the million dollar prize on the U.S. version of the show and the first contestant anywhere in the world to answer all 15 questions correctly and claim the top prize.
  • When Judith Keppel won the million, the Confetti Drop that usually accompanies the Million pound win cue did not occur, due to the confetti cannons malfunctioning. The issue, however, was later fixed as the episode continued, and the confetti drop eventually took place at the end of the episode, as the credits were rolling.
  • Judith Keppel is the first - and only - female contestant to win the top prize on the UK version of the show.
  • Judith Keppel is the only British contestant to win £1,000,000 in neither the months of September or April and not on a Saturday.


  • Chris Tarrant mentions after Judith's win that the Americans (6), South Africans (1), French (2), and Portuguese (2) managed to win the top prize before. However, he didn’t (or forgot) to mention that the Spanish (1), Japanese (3), Israel (1), Indians (1), and Belgians (1) had also done it before.



  1. Charles Mosley (ed.), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (London: Burke's Peerage, 1999)
  2. Sir William Coutts Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle
Preceded by
Dave Chapman
UK Contestant (Series 8)
Judith Keppel
Succeeded by
Chris Elliot
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