Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on a TV show? Does the camera really add 10 pounds? Is it really all lights, camera, action? Well I’ve got first hand info for you following my appearance on ITV’s Winning Combination last year and I thought I’d round it up by letting you all in on 10 things you didn’t know about being on a TV show.
I’ve always dreamed of being on a TV show but mostly avoided it because of my anxieties like: will I get stage fright and freeze up? Will I embarrass myself on national tele? Will I look like I’ve doubled in size? I absolutely LOVE quiz shows and watch them religiously! I wouldn’t say I’m a quiz aficionado but I decided to apply anyway as I really wanted to get over my anxiety and have the experience of going on TV. And as an added extra bonus win some money! It was literally the highlight of my year and an experience I’ll never forget.
Note that this show was filmed during a whole pandemic so some of the things I mention may be different to how things usually operate. Nevertheless here are some interesting things you may not have known about what goes on behind the scenes…
1. A 1 hour show takes several hours to film
On the day that I filmed they scheduled 3 shows to be filmed for that day and I was slotted in for the second filming which started at 10am and ended at 4pm. Not such great news for the group that had the first and last slots as that would mean very early and very late schedules. For the 6 hours that I spent at ITV we got a briefing on how the show works, a quick wardrobe change, a lunch break and then filming the actual show! Here’s a fun fact: because it was a quiz show, there was one round that took us FIFTY (yes 50 minutes) to complete because none of us were getting the questions right, the producers left that round out of the show for obvious reasons haha
2. You get a dressing room but its nothing like the movies
I had my own dressing room but it was nothing like the glitz and glam you see in movies. I had no time to kick back and unwind, it was purely just for getting dressed into your filming outfit. I spent a total of 10 min in my dressing room
3. There’s no audience but they add sound to the show to mimic an audience
Some shows just never have an audience and I’m not sure whether the pandemic was the reason for this particular show not having an audience. However if you watch the show now you’d never think there is no audience as the added background sound is so convincing!
4. Even the presenter has to do re-takes
Now this one was a real eye opener for me because I learnt that even the best people in showbiz need to do re-takes from time to time. It’s normal for anyone to get tongue tied or clear their throat so re-takes happen for presenters too. That also means that if the presenter needs to repeat their joke you need to laugh again like its brand new LOL. (Shout out to Omid Djalili for genuinely having us in stitches all day long!)
5. You have to clap A LOT!
Even though fake audience clapping is inserted into the final show you see on TV, you still need to clap after every achievement on the show. This is something I never realised while watching quiz shows but there is a lot of clapping!
6. You take your own outfits and the producers choose what you wear
We were asked to bring 3 outfit choices that we’d like to wear on the show. You then hand over your first choice and they ‘test’ the fabrics and patterns on camera to see if they show up weird. If it doesn’t pass, your second and third outfit choices will be tested. The show is filmed in full HD so sometimes a certain fabric or pattern can have weird effect on camera. I’m sure you must’ve seen with some stripy tops it looks almost wavy on camera? Once they’ve approved your item of clothing it then goes for a steam so that you look fresh on set
7. You get escorted everywhere
You want to go to the toilet? You get escorted. You want to get something out of your bag? You get escorted. Besides the fact that you need to hand over any internet connecting device at the very beginning, you are escorted everywhere so that there’s no room for cheating whatsoever
8. You don’t get your prize money on the same day
If you’re lucky enough to win some money on the show, don’t expect to be spending your winnings straight away as it takes a few weeks for them to process any payouts
9. The studio really is lights, camera, action
I was particularly overwhelmed by the studio. Its exactly what I expected it to be and more! Lights from every angle, podiums, big LED screens, several massive camera’s focussed on each individual, cameramen, producers, you name it! It was at that point for me when I thought: wow this is really happening!
10. We had to wear masks absolutely everywhere
You wouldn’t know this by watching the show from your sofa but between every take, every break, every movement to a new podium we had to wear our masks. We hid our masks inside our podium and would put them back on every time we moved. Safety first!
To summarise I have to commend ITV on doing such an amazing job at casting and filming during a pandemic. They took every possible precaution to ensure the safety of everyone involved. I had an incredible time on set with them and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Due to copyright I’m unable to share the show on my blog but the show is still available to watch on ITV Hub so make sure to give it a watch to see how *cough-cough* badly I did 🙂
If there are any other questions about being on TV you’d like to ask please put them in the comments down below and I’ll get to them!