Meet our experts: Di Coke is a regular game show contestant and competition winner. She blogs about her experience and top tips on superlucky.me. Sam-Dean McMurran is co-founder of beonscreen.com, the UK website that advertises opportunities to star on TV.
When you shout out the answers to your favourite TV quiz show, do you often think that you could do better than some of the contestants? Well, getting on a game show isn’t as difficult as you might think. And in the process you will have fun, meet lots of new people, and experience the whole process of putting together a TV quiz programme.
Find a show for you
The first step is to find a show you would like to appear on and make an application. Many shows advertise at the end of the programme so watch out for details of how to apply, usually just before or after the credits roll.
“Don’t be afraid to apply for brand new shows that perhaps don’t even have a confirmed title yet as well as ones you’re familiar with,” says Di Coke, a regular game show contestant and competition winner. “The new ones get fewer applications, making it easier for you to get on.” Usually, you will be asked to film a pilot episode then asked back a second time if the show gets the go-ahead.
Before you apply, it’s a good idea to consider whether the show is right for you. “You need to apply to a show that you are going to feel comfortable appearing on,” says Sam-Dean McMurran, co-founder of beonscreen.com. “Some shows require you to share a lot of yourself in the application process and on the show so check out the format beforehand and make sure you feel happy with it.”
“Shows such as Million Pound Drop, Pointless and Eggheads require you to have a partner so ask them to see if they’re interested first.” Di recommends pairing up with someone who has different interests so you can cover all topics.
www.beonscreen.com puts most of the latest opportunities for existing and brand new shows all in one place. Also try www.bbc.co.uk/beonashow, www.itv.com/beontv, and www.channel4.com/programmes/take-part
Make your application sparkle
Your application is your chance to make an impression so take your time over it. “Make yourself sound as interesting as you can,” says Di. “Include funny stories and any fun facts about yourself .” Some application forms ask you for information such as your signature party trick or if you have a quirky hobby.
“You usually need to attach a photo so find one that shows you smiling naturally. Or you could do something a bit unusual – for example, when I applied for Supermarket Sweep I had a friend take a photo of me with a trolley in Tesco.”
Just be yourself
If the producers like your application, you will usually get a phone call from them soon after applying. “Be chatty and enthusiastic. Sometimes you will be asked general knowledge questions, but you don’t have to get these all right. In fact, sometimes it’s better if you don’t, as getting some wrong answers often makes better television,” says Di.
After this, you might be invited to an audition, usually at a big city near to you. You won’t necessarily be paid expenses for this so bear in mind how you’ll get there. “Once you arrive, start chatting to the fellow contestants,” suggests Di. “This will make you feel more relaxed and you might be able to pick up some tips from anyone who has done TV quiz shows before.”
“Producers are trained to spot anyone who is putting on an act so just be relaxed and genuine,” says Sam. “The main thing they want to see is that you can talk about yourself freely and are up for a bit of fun.”
Make the most of the moment
Once you’ve got through the audition, it’s show time! You will be briefed in advance on what to bring with you. You usually need a couple of changes of clothes in case you clash with the other contestants.
It’s a good idea to do some homework before you find yourelf in front of the TV cameras. “Try to swot up a bit before the big day,” suggests Di. “Go to a few pub quizzes or find a quiz on the Internet that’s similar to the one you’ll be on.”
Then it’s just about enjoying yourself. “Being on a TV game show is an amazing experience,” says Sam. “All the production crew are experienced in making you feel welcome and completely at ease. Any nerves or questions you have, someone will always be on set to talk things through with you”.
And if you fluff an answer? “It’s not the end of the world,” says Di. “Getting stuff wrong just makes you human. Being on a game show really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you can tell stories about for years to come so just savour every moment.”
Is your favourite quiz show looking for contestants?
Inspired to take the plunge? Here’s how you can be a contender.
The Chase: Do you have what it takes to beat The Chaser? Casting has begun for series nine. Call The Chase hotline on 0207 157 3816 or visit https://itv.etribez.com/a/itv/thechase/welcome.
Tipping Point: The show, hosted by Ben Shephard (right), is on the lookout for new contestants. Visit www.itv.com/beontv/shows/tippingpointseries6 Applications close September 28, 2015
Fifteen to One: Could you be the next Fifteen to One grand champion? For an application form, email email@example.com
Deal or no Deal? Would you like to beat the banker? Visit https://contestantform.dealornodeal.co.uk/
Countdown: This Channel 4 favourite is searching for contestants who are clever with anagrams and numbers. www.channel4.com/programmes/take-part/articles/all/be-on-countdown to download the application form
The National Lottery: Win Your Wish List Hosted by Shane Richie, the BBC1 Saturday night game show is looking for lively couples to take part. Write to Win Your Wish List, Victory Television, The Hub, 70 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1EA or email firstname.lastname@example.org before August 1, 2015
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