A keen politics student fulfilled a childhood dream when he appeared on a well-known television show.

Rhys Benjamin, who studies at the John Lyon School in Middle Lane, Harrow, in Year 12, has been a fan of popular television show Countdown for as long as he can remember.

The 16-year-old has just finished sitting AS level exams in politics, philosophy, economics and maths, but in between making revision notes and cramming for his final test he found himself on his way to Salford to appear on the show.

He said: “It’s always something I wanted to do because in my cupboards I have an old VHS tape of an episode from 2000, when I was just one, and my mother claims it was me who made her record it.

“They changed the filming regulations a few years ago, which meant that I wasn’t able to apply until I was 16, so when my birthday came round I put my form in the post.

“I got a letter back a few days later and unfortunately I had missed all the physical auditions for London so they decided to do one over the phone. I did that in November and I was told straight away that I passed.”

To prepare himself for the show, which was filmed on April 19 but aired on Monday, June 15, Rhys put himself through his paces using a website that generates Countdown practice content.

He said: “There’s a website on which Countdown aficionados train and they can play for fun against other contestants.

“It’s a bit pricey but it is worth it because there is nothing else quite like that.”

Despite his studies, Rhys – who is active in politics and regularly goes out canvassing – travelled to Salford with his father to spend a Sunday filming at the Channel 4 studios.

Now the programme has aired, with another due to be released next week, he is settling back to normal life as he continues to work hard for his A levels and prepares to apply for university, where he hopes to study politics.

He added: “It was a good experience to see people you don’t normally see, so the floor manager who was a very nice man, the makeup department, the researchers, all of these people who you don’t normally see and even some of the people on screen – it was nice to be able to talk to them out of character.

“Maybe in the future I might do a few more [quiz shows] but it’s not something that is my main ambition in life, unlike a few other people.”

The second episode starring Rhys Benjamin is due to air on Monday, June 22 on Channel 4 at 2.10pm.