Darlington student David Ralph reflects on his experience of being selected as a contestant for the popular BBC quiz show, Pointless
I HAVE always been a fan of quizzes. There’s something entertaining about knowing random facts and trivia.
However, I really didn’t think I’d end up having to do it in front of millions of people. This is what happened after my girlfriend, Katie, entered us as contestants for BBC One’s Pointless.
Naturally it wasn’t against my will or without my knowledge, but there’s a growing tension in knowing you’re getting increasingly closer to national television for something your other half has kind of roped you into.
I didn’t even expect to get too far, considering I’d entered the Football Manager series of PC games as my specialist subject on the application.
But yet we were invited to an audition, and a couple of weeks after that we received a phone call from one of the show’s producers. They wanted us for filming at Television Centre in London.
We showed up to the BBC full of nervous energy and optimism, waiting with our fellow hopefuls in the foyer at TV Centre.
After being shown to the green room, the runners explained the rules of the game. They were followed by the costume department, who made sure our clothes didn’t clash with the studio.
One of our fellow contestants (who unfortunately had to withdraw due to time constraints), made sure of this by bringing the unusual ensemble of cowboy hat, boots, and Americana-themed shirt. At this point, I felt like we had underdressed.
Following a brief spell in make-up, you really believe you’re suddenly going be thrust in front of the cameras. However, this really wasn’t the case at all.
As there were two shows still to be filmed before ours, we were waiting in the green room for about six hours before filming. But, eventually, our time came.
We were led to the studio, where we were introduced to the audience and the stars of the show – host Alexander Armstrong and his ‘Pointless friend’, Richard Osman.
Once the game began, it was a surreal experience. It sounds obvious, but it felt like literally being in the television. And although it is well documented, Richard really is a giant.
At one point, having played a round, I found myself just looking around the studio taking everything in, only to realise Alexander and Richard had been talking to me for about two minutes about the answer I’d just given. Wake up.
Luckily for me, I managed to come to my senses and actually play the game as well as I could. Katie was great and I couldn’t have asked for a better team-mate.
Pointless understandably don’t want their contestants giving out spoilers about how the shows go, so unfortunately I can’t give too many details.
All I’ll say is that we had a fantastic, if slightly surreal, time at the BBC. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and one that I’ll certainly remember. I’d recommend it to anyone.
We’re not the first people from Darlington to appear on Pointless, and we certainly won’t be the last -two weeks ago, The Northern Echo reported about a local teacher and her mother appearing.
Our episode is on BBC One at 5.15pm on Wednesday (February 13). Now, where did I leave that Deal or No Deal application?