A Coleraine man got the surprise of his life a few weeks ago when he starred on ITV’s prime time Sunday night show ‘Surprise Surprise’.
Dougie Fillis, a local post man, was nominated by his daughter Catherine for his work with young people in the Coleraine area with special needs.
He’s been involved with the Jet Set Special Olympics Club for the past ten years.
Speaking to The Times on Monday, Dougie was still coming down from cloud nine after his television appearance.
“I got involved with the Special Olympics group about ten years ago, through my son Jonathan, who has special needs.
“A few months ago I got a call from ITV to ask if they could interview me about a programme they were making about special needs.
“Two guys came over to the special olympics club, which takes place every Monday night in the Jet Centre, and spoke to me, some members, volunteers and parents.
“They told me that they would get back to me if the show was running, and to be honest I thought no more about it.
“I then got a call a few weeks ago to say that they wanted me to come to London to be interviewed.
“We were put up in hotel, and I was to be interviewed on the Sunday morning - I’m not really good at things like this, but I though I’d go for it just because it was for a great cause.
“My daughter and my wife were away shopping in Oxford Street on the Saturday, Catherine then called me to say that the producers had got us tickets for a show. Catherine said she thought it was ‘Surprise Surprise’ - little did I know that I was going to be the one surprised!”
Dougie added: “ I just had no idea. We queued to get in to the studio with the rest of the audience, so when the spotlight fell on me I was really shocked.”
Dougie was rewarded with a trip on the London Eye with champagne for up to 40 people. He says what pleased him the most was that a picture of the club members was shown on television as part of the show.
“ I just know that all the kids will be delighted. We told them last week, that they might be getting a wee mention on tv.
“I haven’t seen them yet, but I can’t wait to hear what they thought.”
Dougie hopes that his appearance will highlight the positive work by the Special Olympics groups in the area.