Hmm. In the last few months, me and my sister Grace have applied to go on Pointless twice, and requested a third application form, that we hadn’t actually got around to filling in.
Anyway, last Thursday morning, I had a phone call from a girl called Sarah, a researcher on the show, inviting us to attend an audition next (ie this) week. So we’re going to a hotel in town for 2pm on Wednesday, where we’ll be for between half an hour and two and a half hours. It’s occurred to me over the weekend that I don’t actually know anything. Hoping this won’t prove to be too much of a problem.
Should we prove to be successful, we could be filming in November/December. Which would be nice – isn’t Pointless filmed at BBC TV Centre? I’ve always wanted to go there, didn’t think I’d ever get chance. I still might not, yet. Watch this space, I’ll let you know what happens…
EDIT: Looking back at my Pointless emails, I just noticed that last Thursday, when I received the call, was actually a year to the day since I first asked for an application form. That’s a nice co-incidence, isn’t it?
UPDATE – AUDITION DAY: October 17th, 2012
So, audition today. Hair and beard trimmed in preparation (well, I need to look tidy, don’t I?), and off we went, about 11am or so. Got into town, had a 6″ Sub for dinner (that’s lunch to you southern types), then started a steady walk down to the hotel, which was just out of the town centre. So, we there pretty early – we were to be there for 1:45, we actually got there about twenty past. There were two other couples already there, and we all sat in the reception area until Sarah, the researcher who phoned me last week,came through and collected us all, seven couples in all (including me and Grace).
First off, we filled in some forms – name, age, address, proof of ID, that kind of thing – then we had a general knowledge quiz to fill in. Just twenty questions, and four minutes to answer them all. On our own, no conferring, that kind of thing. Then they were taken off and marked in private. That way, they’ve got some idea of what we know, and also who among us was so ridiculously thick that to put us on a primetime quiz show would just be cruel.
Then we went round the table, introducing ourselves, and revealing the ‘interesting fact’ that we’d been asked to provide about ourselves. My recent cameo in The Dandy was my bit of excitement (cheers Stu), and I passed said comic around the table for everyone to coo over. I also let everybody know that The Dandy‘s only going to around for another six weeks. :'(
Other quirks from other prospective contestants included a girl who’s superstitious to a fault, a guy who’s medically allergic to exercise, a bloke who used to own a pair of Kevin Keegan’s old football boots, and a woman who’s been to Buckingham Palace as her mother collected an MBE.
None of them have been in The Dandy, though.
We then had a cheap and cheerful game of Pointless, funnily enough, with Sarah, the researcher, and Assistant Producer (or possibly Production Assistant, can’t quite remember) Izzy acting as our hosts.
The game was split into three rounds – one each, and a team round. No-one was knocked out during the game, but we were still trying to get a low score, obviously. I’m assuming, if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with Pointless – if not, look here.
We were given a choice of rounds to start, so we could choose who wanted to go first and second. Hence, Grace took Round One: Film Actors, to leave me with Round Two: Football. The ‘Film Actors’ question was Jack Nicholson Movies, which, it has to be said, neither Grace nor myself know a great deal about. The Shining and Batman, that’s about it. Luckily, Grace was second to go, so, The Shining having already gone, said Batman and got a not unreasonable score of 24.
My ‘Football’ question was on Teams who have lost an FA Cup Final. As this was ‘the second pass’, as it were, I was second from last to answer, and the random answer I initially thought of, Burnley, went quite quickly, getting just one or two points. But, I remember Sheffield Wednesday losing to Arsenal in both Cup Finals in 1991, so I said that, and got a decent score of 8. Wednesday proving of worth, for once.
The Third Round was the team round, on the topic of ‘Soap Opera Characters’, and we had to supply the names of EastEnders characters who have bourne the surname of ‘Mitchell’. I’m not an EastEnders viewer myself, and though Grace hasn’t watched it for a fair while, either, she came up with Roxy’s daughter, Amy, which gave us a great score of 4 for the round, and a grand total of 36.
Of the seven pairs, I think we came third, after a pair from Liverpool called Brian and John, who got a wonderful total score of just 4, and an Irish pair called John and Stephen, who also got a very low score, including registering the day’s only Pointless answer. I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see any of those on the show.
So then, that was more or less it. We were all told that we’d done well even getting an audition, as hundreds of application forms are sent in for each series, and they call in the people they like the sound of. If we haven’t heard back from them by November 2nd, we won’t have been successful this series, but there’s nothing to stop us re-applying. Apparently, they also have a certain number of partner/friends/siblings pairings they have to meet each series, too, and after Izzy and Sarah had had a chat, they were going to call a couple of teams back in for another quick word (not being called back in, it was stressed, wasn’t a bad thing). Three or four teams were called back in – not us – and the rest of us went on our way.
A fun day out – we were the only team actually from Sheffield, one of the Irish lads had actually flown over this morning! We’ll know in a couple of weeks if we’re to voyage down to TV Centre next month or not. We were very happy to learn that if we are, all travel and accommodation is paid for. Which is nice…
UPDATE: November 3rd, 2012
We were told at the audition that we’d hear from them by November 2nd if we were successful. But only if we were successful. Well, it’s November 3rd now, so it’s fairly safe to assume that we won’t be appearing on Pointless series eight… Oh well. Two failed applications for series six and seven, an unsuccessful audition for series eight – who knows how far we’ll get with series nine?