I removed the console / gaiter surrounding the gear lever. Remove sponge from around gear linkage.
Now I also had the dash out with the heater controls and clock as I was replacing my Zetec silver finish with the Ghia X wood finish... you may have to remove this as well. Personally, I'd try first, without that extra hassle. You may be lucky.
Remove the two side trims from the side of the console from the gear lever towards the front of the car. Behind each side is a screw to remove.
Remove the ashtray / cupholder, another screw under here.
Lift centre armrest, remove everything you have inside. At the bottom is a mat, remove this and there are 3 bolt head screws to remove.
Pull handbrake up as far as you can get it then lift the rear of the console until you're clear of the handbrake, then you're out.