Judith Cynthia Aline Keppel (born 18 August 1942), 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.
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. The Duchess of Cornwall is therefore her third cousin.
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 questions correctly and claim the top prize.
When Judith Keppel won the million, the confetti drop that usually accompanied the Million pound win cue did not happen, due to the confetti cannons malfunctioning. The issue, however, was later fixed as the episode continued, and the confetti drop 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 in 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.