Twins Samantha and Catherine Wilkinson secure fully funded PhDs

Photo:SM010412-041ow'Twin sisters, Catherine, left, and Samantha Wilkinson, from Oakham, who are appearing on Bargain Hunt.
Photo:SM010412-041ow'Twin sisters, Catherine, left, and Samantha Wilkinson, from Oakham, who are appearing on Bargain Hunt.
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TWIN sisters who shot to fame after appearing on the television dating show Take Me Out have secured fully funded PhDs.

Samantha and Catherine Wilkinson, of Nightingale Way, Oakham,were subjected to a wave of online criticism following their appearance on the show, being labelled as “dumb” and dimwitted”.

But the sisters went on to achieve first-class honours degrees and are heading for distinctions in their Masters studies. This autumn they will both start PhD research projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Catherine, 22, said: “The online bullying only made us more determined to be successful. This is a massive achievement for us and we are both so pleased.”

She will carry out her research at Liverpool University. Working in the geography department, her project title will be “Connecting communities through youth-led radio.”

Samantha will be based at the Manchester University, where she will research “Alcohol, young people and urban life.”

In the meantime the twins are focusing on finishing their masters courses, but are also taking time out for another television appearance.

Last weekend they will start filming for an episode of Bargain Hunt at an antiques fair in Derby.

The sisters went head-to-head with another set of twins to find bargain antiques and sell them on at auction for a profit.

Samantha added: “I’ve got an eye for quality but I’m not sure whether it will pay off.”

The programme will be screened later this year.