Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Media wannabe

So. Today was my media 'wannabe' day. I'm one of those people who sit in front of the TV and shout out the quiz show answers. For years I've infuriated my family through University Challenge, Mastermind, Ask the Family, Screen Test (with Michael Rodd)....and more recently the likes of Millionaire and Weakest Link.

My kids - driven by avarice - keep saying I should go on one of these shows. So, finally, a few months ago I downloaded and completed a contestant application for the Weakest Link. Weeks and then months went by and I heard nothing and then, last week, out of the blue cam a call inviting me to an auditon in Oxford.

Well, around 8.30am this morning I pitched up at one of the grottiest hotels I've ever been near in my life. Flock wall paper (with a terrible Constable print hanging on it) competed with red banana leaf carpet. This was hardly starsville at the BBC!

There were nine of us there and we were told that we weren't competing against each other, but that this was going to be a couple of hours to test our suitability to take part in the programme. James and his mate...James, the researchers, explained that although Weakest Link is a general knowledge quiz, what really matters is the banter with Anne Robinson. So what they were looking for was people who had a bit of life and chat about them who'd make good television.

First off, we had to speak for a minute about ourselves, and then complete a 20 question written general knowledge test in three minutes. That's my forte - and I think I got all the questions right. But again, this wasn't a Mastermind audition, so my general knowledge zeal could well count for nothing.

After the test came a round of the game with little James taking the role of Anne. I got both my questions right - several others were just as successful but others weren't and as a team we banked £50....... pretty pathetic really. We all had a chance to nominate a weakest link and explain our reasons answering Robinsonesque jibes as pitched in by James. I think I held my own, but probably sounded a bit of a smug bastard by the end.

Anyway, then it was onto three minutes of individual filmed interview and then we were out the door. I'll hear in a week or so if they want me to be on a show. If they don't, I won't hear at all.

Weirdly, I've just spent my afternoon at Broadcasting House testing out new broadcast-related phone applications - if you fancy DAB and digital TV on your phone, it could be here within 18 months to two years.

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