AN AVID fan of long-running game show Countdown recently got the chance to visit the studios of his favourite programme.

Max Jakes, who suffers from autism and epilepsy, lives at the Midlands location of the Adolescent to Adult Life Preparation Service (AALPS) in Hanley Castle and watches the popular show every day.

In March the 23-year-old was given the chance to visit a filming of the show and tour the studio in Salford Quays.

Stephanie Trussler from AALPS said Max - who is very keen on numeracy and literacy - had thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

"Since he watches Countdown religiously every day I emailed them to be in the audience and asked if they provided any special opportunities for people with special needs," she said.

"They said they didn't but they made a special exception for Max.

"He loved it.

"It was like he was star struck - he couldn't believe he was really there."

She added the organisation had not run many activities such as this in the past, but was looking into expanding the opportunities for the people it works with.

"We are looking into branching out more in the community and helping people develop more life skills which we can build on," she said.

For more information on AALPS Midlands call 01684 312 610 or visit