Friday the 13th…a date that fills dread into the heart and souls of many people, including me. However Friday the 13th will forever take on another face to me, namely the day I was on a TV quiz show with officially the “worst contestant ever” (according to the press).
As discussed in my previous blog, I had managed to secure a place on ITV’s The Chase. I travelled down to the studio in high hopes that the quiz would be my key to sourcing the full funding of my trip. Sadly, from the start I felt that would be a bridge too far.
Upon arrival I met my team and had mixed feelings. Adam, a mortgage broker, seemed confident, knowledgeable and I felt would make the final. Next was Rita, who was in her 80’s, from Manchester and the grandmother of the group. She was funny, a big Bradley Walsh fan and was loving the experience, however I didn’t have confidence that her grasp on general knowledge would take her all the way. I then met Emma, the MA student who looked a bit like Bridget Jones….and had a personality to match. Quiet, glued to her phone, more interested in her hair…I didn’t have high hopes.
Once we went through the rules of the game with the runners, and spent some time with make-up, we then went to our dressing rooms to wait for our call. 1 hour later the moment came and we went into the studio. The Chase isn’t filmed in front of a live audience, so it was quite spooky at first being on a famous set, with no one in sight. We had a tour of the set, shown the buttons we had to press and took our seats after having our mikes put on. Sadly, the more you looked at the set, the more I could see the sticky back tape…the set was showing its age behind the scenes.
Then it happened, from the distance Bradley Walsh walked in, sat down, checked his mobile, then was called over to do the intro’s. He shook all of our hands and wished us luck…what could go wrong I thought.
Music, lights…”Welcome to the Chase” beamed Walsh…we had kicked off.
At this stage we did not know who the Chaser would be on the show, however I had hoped it would be Anne Hegarty, who I felt would be a pushover.
Adam was up first, so he’d be the first to find out. He struggled with the cash builder questions, but I hoped he would shrug it off when he faced the Chaser.
“Time for the chaser” – You could see a shadow in the distance and down the lit corridor walked Shaun Wallace, the dark destroyer. Not the one I wanted, but one I felt as a team we could take down. Adam however had a crushing chase and Shaun soon made quick work of him…I think nerves got the better of him.
Next up was me. Bradley offered some small talk, however I just wanted to get on. I built up £6K in the cash builder and then faced Shaun. We sparred a bit, but I got through with my £6K and I was in the final…thank god. Shaun praised me for my efforts, and I felt maybe Rita or Emma might pull something out of the bag. How wrong was I.
Up next was Rita. She made £4K on the cash builder and won over the hearts of not only the audience but also Bradley. Sadly, on her first question she forgot to press the button…and the chaser was one step closer. She recovered, but was caught on the final step. Bye Rita, you were a star.
It was now essential Emma got through.
Emma, talked about her love of handbags at the start and if she won she planned to buy a designer bag…not the greatest aspiration I thought. She then only got 1 question right in the cash builder and then (much to the annoyance of Chase Twitter followers) opted to go one step closer and take £500. In one way I had hoped she could get through, as it was another step on the chase board…but would she make it.
The Chaser ripped through the questions, with Emma only getting 2 questions right before being caught. Her performance was recorded as the worst in Chase history.
Personally I was gutted not only for her, but also myself…I had to face the Chaser alone!
Rather than me explained how it went, here’s the video of the final chase.
Now, I just want to clarify a few things….
- I did know the Mounties answer…sadly my brain said Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but my mouth (damn you mouth!) said “Royal Canadian Police”…”wrong!”
- I should of knew the dog question…I work for an animal pharmacy
- I knew the cycling question, but misheard. I could of put my hand up and the clock would of been halted and the question stated again, but I didn’t. In the heat of the chase, that rule went out of my head.
- Shaun Wallace knows his stuff…and is a gentleman. As I waited for the lights to come down on the final, he caught my eye, gave me the thumbs up and mouthed “You’ll be fine”. Afterwards he shook my hand, thanked me and then we exchanged tweets.
So I lost with 5 seconds to spare.
£6K gone. My dream died. My pride however was intact, as I felt I didn’t let myself down. Sadly, and this is me being brutally honest, I didn’t have the best team and the questions in the final were seriously hard. You roll the dice and sometimes you win and then the other times you get beat (on national TV).
So what have I learnt? Well, I’ll keep on applying to game shows, saving my spare cash and hoping funding or sponsorship will come through to help pay for my trip to Japan. I’ve also learnt that, even if you do everything possible, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.
Whatever happens, I’ll always know …its the bloody Royal Canadian Mounted Police.