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NowTV Crowns £35k Box Set Sabbatical Champion After Creative Video Impressed Judges

NowTV Crowns £35k Box Set Sabbatical Champion After Creative Video Impressed Judges

Mari Burkinshaw won the competition after submitting a poetic video which saw her transform into the characters from her favourite shows

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

Put your hand up if you've ever binge-watched a series for way too long. All of us, right? But have you ever thought to yourself 'I could really jack my job in and do this full time'. Probably not as likely.

Unless you're Mari Burkinshaw, who has won NowTV's first ever 'Box Set Sabbatical' - bagging herself £35,000 ($45,000) to simply catch up on the latest and greatest telly.

The 29-year-old print designer from Woolwich, south-east London, submitted a ridiculously creative video which saw her morph into Phoebe Buffay belting out a rendition of 'Smelly Cat' in Central Perk before taking on the role of Donna Paulsen from Suits.

The self-professed 'amateur binge watcher' posted the memorable video on Instagram, beating over 1,000 other entries to claim the prize.

Earlier this year, Mari had been working full time at a fashion brand. She decided to go freelance in January for better work-life balance - and then spotted the Box Set Sabbatical competition.

Mari will be nibbling on popcorn for the next year as she enjoys the 'Box Set Sabbatical'.

Speaking about her success, Mari said: "I was working full-time in an office, commuting long hours, juggling family commitments, not to mention maintaining a social life, or even finding time for myself. I realised I wanted to have more flexibility and decided to leave.

"Around the same time - I saw NowTV was offering a paid sabbatical to spend a year watching box sets - and as a huge TV fan I realised this was the perfect opportunity for me.

"With so many amazing entries, I genuinely didn't expect to win, and I'm absolutely delighted to spend the next year catching on all the shows I've missed."

Get comfy girl.

Burkinshaw's entry featured 21 different Box Sets, which she insists are 'just her favourites', including Sex and the City, Westworld, Big Little Lies, The Handmaid's Tale, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

She continued: "I decided to enter when there was just three days to go - so I pulled out all the stops to get my entry in on time - even raiding my sister's jewellery box to dress up in costumes.

"I've always been one of those people who stay up far too late catching up on a box set and squeezing in shows. Winning this paid sabbatical from NowTV means I can genuinely take time off, re-balance my priorities, spend time with people I love - and watch some amazing TV, such as The Sopranos and The Wire - and not feel any guilt, something I didn't imagine would be possible. It's a dream!"

Mari impressed judges with her video.

The Box Set Sabbatical champion impressed judges, including TV buff and comedian Joel Dommett, with her entry.

Joel explained: "They were ALL so good. I say all - some were terrible, but all the good ones were REALLY GOOD. It was so tough to help pick a winner - so many entries with incredible songs, artworks, poems and loads more.

"People put so much time and effort into making it special. Mari's entry was visually interesting, fun and creative and I truly believe she is dedicated to the TV watching cause - what an unbelievably great gig she's landed."

Mari will also get a NowTV Smart Stick, plus 12 months of NowTV Passes, with access to over 300 box sets to help her truly immerse herself in great television.

Featured Image Credit: NowTV

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film