My Fifteen-to-One Experience
I was always interested in TV quizzes from an early age. Always liked playing games and learning facts ever since I started school. I don't know why I never found out how to apply for TV quiz shows before 2001. It may have been the increased use of the internet, I don't know.
I remember the audition was held in the marvellously named Harlequin Theatre, Redhill and it was a long drive from the Sussex Coast to the venue especially as I was driving an old school Mini Cooper at the time.
There were lots of people in attendance and certainly felt like there was no way I was going to get on the programme.
I decided to go on in the first group and let others watch me (and 14 others) play a revised version of the game to see what our level of general knowledge was like. Thankfully, I didn't too badly but afterwards I stayed around for a bit, made a note of a few questions ready to use for the quiz I was hosting later that night at the Social Club.
A couple of weeks later I had confirmation that I was on the programme in September 2001 [Series 31 - out of 35 that were made].
The studios were in Wandsworth near to the Fullers Brewery and I had brought my Dad with me for moral support. In the make-up room, something I was certainly not used to, I needed a couple of touch-ups [steady, readers!!] to stop my shiny forehead from ruining the recording.
William G Stewart, the host said hello to us before the recording started and said don't be nervous. I was trying not to be but was certainly feeling some nerves beforehand.
We had a group photo taken (see above) which I have somewhere kept for posterity.
I got past the first round with a question on Worcester - something about Lea & Perrin sauce. I got a Scottish motorway question wrong which I was disappointed about as I did think I knew a lot about roads but ultimately was English, Welsh and Northern Irish roads on reflection.
The second round came and with six contestants left I decided not to make eye contact with anyone in case they picked me but sadly I did get a question wrong when I answered "flat-billed" instead of "duck-billed". Of course, you know I'm referring to the endearing platypus here - but this is something which I'm reminded of every time by my wife whenever a platypus is mentioned on television.
So my first experience of being on TV was an unbelievable one and one I wanted to experience again. My Dad was proud of me as well so I can't complain too much.
I did have the episode on VHS but sadly, the tape broken and is lost forever. I have checked YouTube for it but is not there either.