I was on Mastermind the other day, which was quite good fun. It was rather unsettling, too: watching yourself on TV is a strange experience that I’m not sure I’d recommend. However, I would recommend actually being on the show, as it was a very enjoyable way to spend an evening and a day. So I thought, this being a blog, that I could write a few thoughts about this in case anyone fancies giving the old black chair a crack.
I then forgot all about it, for about 4 months. Then a phone call, with a man at the other end informing me I was through to the next round. It took me a little while to figure out what was happening – I was just boarding a train – and before I knew it, a barrage of 20 General Knowledge questions exploded in my face. I did my best, whilst struggling through the ever-spacious aisles of First Great Western, through a dodgy connection and low reception, until that was that. Assuming that rolling a heavy suitcase over the toes of businessmen was not a great context for excelling at a quiz, I decided to pretend to not be excited by the prospect, even to myself.
On receiving the phone call about a month later, inviting me to a proper audition at BBC Bristol, I realised that I could now be excited, and decided to add a feeling of terrible fear to the mix, too. I never knew how well I did at the train-based quiz, nor did I discover had badly the businessman’s toe was broken, but I knew I had made it through another barrier. The auditions were during the Easter Holidays, which was good, so I had plenty of time to relax beforehand. Impressed by the gleaming BBC, and its ranks of fresh faces, I entered my audition on a grey Thursday morning, and was greeted by another salvo of viciously barbed questions designed to make me cry. I stumbled through this, proud that I remembered the word ‘Nimrod’, and left, after a brief chat about my specialisms and their availability. Sitting with a boisterously strong coffee at Boston Tea Party, I contemplated waiting for yet another phone call.
To be continued…