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This is a question That's me on TV!

Hotdog asks: Ever been on TV? I once managed to "accidentally" knock Ant (but not Dec) over live on the box.

We last asked this in 2004, but we know you've sabotaged more telly since then

(, Thu 11 Jun 2009, 12:08)
Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Shiny Karaoke Steve
Just a few weeks back, I was in the audience of The Big Questions, BBC 1 Sunday morning ethical and moral debate show. Because of this, I can faithfully assure you that 8.30 on a Sunday morning does exist, as that's the time I had to be at the local school for filming. The questions being debated that day were (if I remember correctly) the ethics of suicide, with Dr Death from Australia; should we be ashamed of our legacy in Iraq, and would the world be better if everyone followed a religion.

There was free coffee, and passable pastries, which helped me forget the unearthly earliness of the day. And I bumped into someone I hadn't seen in a long time, so we caught up and all was fine. The only thing worrying me was that the seating was allocated - I like to hide at the back.

At about 9ish, we were all called through to our seats, and happily, I was sitting next to my old friend. Less happily, I was also sitting next to Shiny Karaoke Steve* who quickly started to tell me about his Aspergers, his suicide attempts and other fascinating insights into his life. To be honest, I'm happy to talk about this stuff, but being part of a live TV audience didn't quite seem the time or place.

Before the show proper kicked off at 10, we had a practice debate to get ourselves 'warmed up'. During this time a woman twice told dapper host Nicky Campbell that 'he was her number one fan', and Shiny Karaoke Steve made himself known. He clearly had a lot that he wanted to say, and was quite, quite desperate to be involved. Then, warm up over, the debate and the show began. Army types, vicars with models of aborted foetuses, anti war protestors, advocates of assisted suicide, Wiccan Priestesses and more had their say. One man did not.

Remember that kid at school, that always wanted to answer the questions, who'd swap arms when one was getting tired, who'd bounce around he edge of his seat, so keen was he to draw teachers attention? The kid who would actually support his elbow with his opposite hand, while all but shouting 'me, me, me' under his breath. This was Shiny Karaoke Steve.

Sadly for Steve, he had not seen what I did in the warm up. Answering the question, 'Has Gordon Brown lost the plot', he almost catapulted out of his chair before answering, 'Yes, loads', when Nicky Campbell said to him, 'Do you have a lot to say today?'. Nicky saw this. I saw this. Nicky responded by motioning a universal 'kill' sign - he caught the gaze of the producer, drew his finger across his neck, pointed at Steve and mouthed, 'Him, never'

So if you saw it, and you saw a wildly gesticulating windmill of a man, I was the person sitting next to him, occasionally ducking out of the way of his whirling arms. Not nailing him to his chair, not getting him to sit on his hands, just sitting there. I consider that to be a huge success.

*name changed to protect the shiny singer man
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 20:32, 1 reply)
ITV late night pilot
I was an extra on a tvpilot filmed in Billingham. Billingham was an interesting place to go to college. The BNP were popular and there were a few swastikas around the town centre and National Front stickers that said ''stamp out that fag''.

Anyway ITV was letting maverick directors and writers make shows. The college I was attending was used to cast the program and extra's and Bill Fellows (voice of Franks Factory Flooring, for northerners) was the lead role.

The program was about an unhinged cctv camera operator that gets obsesses with some town centre chav beauty. The program was rubbish but i starred at the start stumbling around on cctv then throwing up a mouthful of chicken soup.

That wasn't my only appearance though! I also appeared in rubbish northern film ''Purely Belta''. The filming involved me going on the metrocentre roller coaster 24 times!
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 19:49, 1 reply)
DWA - DUMPED WITH ATTITUDE
I was seeing a girl from Ireland's fair shores - a gal who despite her bourgeois upbringing, influential connections and rich parents had gone it alone and set up her own successful publishing empire with pop star clients and fashionista cred. She was a nice girl but things had tired; in truth her rather plus plus size was (hypocritically) bothering me and living in Scotland the flights over to a different country on a Saturday night then back on the Wednesday were a little too much to bear despite the cred of having a jet-set international relationship. I wanted out.

But I am also a coward. I schemed how to do it without the months of "Why? It's me not you" discussions. And I hit on a plan - I simply didn't turn up for her birthday.

Now obviously that is a shitty thing to do. I'm not proud but weighing up the options that seemed the easiest course of action. Like the emotional cripple I clearly am, if you can't run then hide I thought so I simply didn't get on the plane that weekend.

Now one aspect of all this that has to be explained is that the aforementioned successful girl was launching a new high-profile venture in Ireland (I can't say what since it would identify her and she is guiltless here - I'm the pathetic one in this story) and that new venture had drawn a lot of attention because of the relative backward nature of a nation still partially in thrall to the bigoted Catholic church. That attention had brought her to the attention of both the Irish and the international media and as a result a reality tv programme was being made of her and her new adventure.

So her birthday went by and I heard nothing on the day - RESULT! I thought: I must be well dumped without any of the pain or inconvenience of actually talking about it forever - but I had no idea what she had in store for me. I tell you now lads, never underestimate the ire of a clever and capable woman.

The day afterwards my house phone rang and thinking I was in the clear I answered it. First all I could hear was a song being sung down the phone: "Happy birthday to me/happy birthday to me/ happy birthday dear XXXX/happy birthday to me". Then the voice rasped at me in a very clear Dublin accent - "You didn't come for my birthday". I mumbled back my excuse - "Oh, it was your birthday - I err thought it was next week."
Pause. My lie had sunk in.

"Well" she says: "I think we both know what that means....." Pause. I felt guilty I was hoping to avoid this - damn being a coward sometimes doesn't work. Mea culpa mea maximum culpa.

And then as I sat pondering my next response my mobile phone received a text message. I looked at it and it read:

THEY ARE FILMING THIS YOU BASTARD.

Class revenge. I had to admire it. In my head I could even hear the softspoken voice over on the eventual tv show building up the tension for the scene: "XXX is having a hard time with the launch, the stresses are building up on her as the money runs out and amidst the chaos and confusion she realises her Scottish boyfriend has missed her birthday. She makes a call to tell him what she thinks...."

There you are DWA - dumped with attitude. I've never seen the tv program, I presume it saw the light of day somewhere and I've always rather admired that she did that to me. I'm not without a sense of humour even when I'm on the receiving end. I deserved it really.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 18:43, 2 replies)
I was meant to be on "You and Me" back in the early eighties.
They came to my nursery but i got scared by all the strange people and hid in a box in the playground.

For the whole day.

Once I was in I couldn't get back out again and no-one noticed till my mum came to pick me up at 4.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 18:36, 1 reply)
This very morning in fact
A couple of Thursdays ago, I went to see a recording of the incredibly amusing radio programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. After a fabulous show, a friend and I stumbled into the Newcastle night, raving about how good it all was. Walking along, we failed to noticed a man brandishing a camera until it was too late.

"Hi there, we're doing a piece about the show for breakfast television, can we ask you a few questions?"

Having just done a journalism postgrad, I know how annoying it is to get the general public to talk to you when you have a camera, so I thought I'd be exceedingly gracious, grabbed my friend who was beating a hasty retreat, and smiled winningly at the camera.

He asked us a number of questions, basically trying to get us to say how good the show was, which we dutifully did. I remember rambling about how the show's humour had transcended the decades, remaining as funny now as it was in the 70s. My friend said some equally eloquent stuff, and, after having spoken to the men for about five minutes, we left thinking we'd have to check it out the next day.

However, the next day came and went and there was no sign of a feature about I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, so we assumed the piece had been dropped in favour of this swine flu furore and I thought no more of it.

That is, until this morning. Imagine my surprise when, at about 8.15 this morning, while I was nursing a hot, sweet cup of tea and blearily channel-hopping, I heard the ever-familiar theme tune ringing from the TV. "Oh," says I, "They're doing a piece on Clue." It took me far too long to put two and two together, that is, until I saw two very familiar people appear on the screen. Yes, it was me and my friend - and while she said something very meaningful and thoughtful, I gazed off to the side, looking a bit grumpy and confused. Before I could say my (just as philosophical) bit, the scene cuts to Rob bleedin' Brydon or someone.

And that's how I was caught on breakfast TV, looking far grouchier than one should after having just left a comedy show. Chuh.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 18:33, 2 replies)
Dalziel & Pascoe
I never really watched this, I must confess, but I was familiar with the programme, and would have no trouble pointing out its star, Warren Clarke.

So, I'm in Birmingham a few years ago for a two day conference, and staying in a hotel in the canal district with some colleagues. We decide to head out for a bite to eat and a couple of drinks, and find ourselves wandering around the generic waterfront business-and-leisure district, so beloved of city councils trying to tart up areas that previously they wouldn't touch with a barge pole. It was like pub-and-restaurant chain city; overpriced and unatmospheric establishments hawking their wares at us in a symphony of co-ordinated menus, lack of drink choices and bad lighting.

Eventually we plumped for a reasonable-looking Italian place and sat down to eat, taking a window seat that looked out onto the boulevard beyond. Just at that moment, a familar figure was spotted wandering along the walkway, looking intently around him. The stocky gait was instantly recognisable, as was the face, looking as it did as though it had been struck heavily several times with a bag full of wasps at the same time as its victim had just caught a whiff of a particularly nasty fart.

"It's him off the telly", stated one of my colleagues.

"What, Warren Clarke out of Dalziel and Pascoe?", I offered, putting a name to the face for her benefit".

"Yeah, that's him". And indeed, it was. But dinner had arrived and so we became more concerned about eating than observing a portly TV star wandering the streets of Birmingham. Then after about ten minutes another colleagues announces "There he is again".

And so we turn to window once more, and observe Mr Clarke once more doing exactly the same thing he had been doing before, walking down the bouelvard, scanning the area before him. He got so far, then stopped and walked back the way he had came, and then repeated the scenario once more.

It was at that point that somebody noticed the TV camera some way behind him. "They must be filming; ooh, we might be on the telly", observed a couple of our group excitedly.

I don't know if we did end up on the telly, but if anyone did happen to see an episode of Dalziel & Pascoe where the title character is walking through some identikit area development; if there happened to be an Italian restaurant in the background, with a bunch of slack-jawed civil servants dribbling pizza and pasta down their chins at the spectacle unfolding before them, then that would have been us.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 17:40, Reply)
Computeach
I appeared in the Computeach ads starring Martin Ball a coupe of years ago.

They say tv puts 10 pounds on you. No kidding! I'm not exactly slim but bloody hell! I looked like Jabba the Hutt! It was a great experience with some nice people.

I was also on 'So Graham Norton' about 6 years ago. I was part of the audience and Graham pops out with a heat camera and came up to me, got me to take my top off and flash my tyres. Add to that the application of icy water to make me turn blue and that was that. Graham shook my hand about 50 times. I hope he was a washer and not a walker. June Whitfield was the guest and she was totally awesome!
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 16:20, Reply)
My terrible secret...
For the past five years I’ve spent my weekends motoring round the UK with a load of nerds to look at insects. We sit in our cars and chat about the new Star Trek movie, whether Transformers Two will live up to the hype, and poo-poo the crap science behind Star Wars (warp drive indeed, do me a favor, mate). We also wonder what it would feel like to talk to a member of the opposite sex, let alone actually touch one. (There was that time Eric accidentally tripped and stumbled headlong into a ladies chesticles because he lost his specs, but that doesn’t technically count as a sexual encounter, no mater what Eric says).

When we get to our destination we disembark, take a shitload of photos of the colonies of insects we find and post our results on the internet. Graphs. Graphics. Pie charts. Its great fun. Gets me out and about. But when I tell my non-nerdy, non-insect obsessed mates about this activity they always ask: “Ohh? When’s it on the telly? I’ve been watching that show for years. I love it when someone brings in a piece of old crap they’ve had on their mantelpiece for years thinking it was worth something, only to find out it’s fucking junk. The look on their face is fucking priceless.”

Confuses the hell out of me, that does. I mean, all I usually say is: “I’m gonna be on the ant-geeks roadshow this weekend.”
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 16:07, 3 replies)
A fine September morning in the city
I almost was on TV one day but, due to the cunting son of a rabid dog infidel alarm clock fucking up I over slept.

It was a nice autumn day in the city. My friends (about 20 of us) and I had flights booked early, we always liked to travel in a big group. We had four separate flights to catch. Unfortunately I missed my flight, and it was a shame, I was really looking forward to the trip. We had all been at flight school together so I thought it would be cool to catch a plane and know just what was happening and if something had happened to the pilots maybe I could have had a chance to fly the plane myself.

So I wake up about 8.30am and as I knew the plane had gone I opened the hotel window to let the sun in and made some coffee. I had a great view of the sky scrappers in the city, and the sun was shining not a cloud in the sky, then fuck me if I didn’t see my friend Ali, Musto, Jezza, Armid and Shelepo’s plane fly right by my window and smack bang into the side of the tallest building in town.

“You stupid son of a camel fucker” I called out to Ali (I knew it had to be Ali, he was always playing pranks like killing flight attendants and storming the cockpit on planes). I had told the silly bastard at flight school he wouldn’t make a good pilot if he didn’t learn to land and take off and there was more to driving planes than zooming about the sky. I turned on the TV to see if anyone had been hurt but, fuck me if I didn’t see my other mates, Moh, Moha, Prof and Sal’s plane, the one I should have been on, fly right into the side of the building next door. I figure the boys must have been laughing so hard at Ali they couldn’t see where they where going and totally fucked up.

So there you have it, if I had not over slept I would have been on TV that September morning. Anyone want to buy a box cutter? Never used.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 16:02, Reply)
Like a few of my other stories
this one is from when I used to work for the "BBCish"

Although not a full employee I did have access to the staff bar at Television Centre and was in there one Friday evening with some of my co-workers when we were approached by a runner looking for audience members for a program being filmed down in Studio 4. Jumping at the chance three of us agree and head downstairs to begin hitting the free bar before getting into our seats at the last possible moment.

We walk into the studio via the back door and straight up the steps to our seats and it was only then that we found out what was being filmed, ITV had rented the studio and were filming "Britain Sings Christmas".

Looking at each other in horror we took our seats near the front and prepared ourselves for an aural raping the likes of which none of us had experienced before. About 30 seconds into the first "Celebrity" singer we looked at each other and without a word stood up and strode up the stairs and made a beeline for the exit.

Unfortunately I don't know if we were caught on camera running in terror or not but I learned a very valuable lesson that night, ask what the show is before accepting instead of getting distracted by the free bar!
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 15:46, Reply)
Train crash telly...
Not necessarily an answer to the question, but I expect I probably was on telly... I just didn't see it.

It was October of the year 2000 and I resided in the trench that runs alongside the A1 and goes by the name of Hatfield. It had been a typically & tediously nondescript day when, whether simply unable to face passing through Hatfield, or just for the sake of shameless bandwagonism; a train took it upon itself to jump clear of the rails and slaughter a few passengers, just South of the station.

I heard little of the crash during the day, other than a smattering of excited chatter from the office chimps, but by the time I left work that evening the media vultures were massing in the skies above the run down, charity shop filled town and TV was there on mass hoping to capture shots of broken tracks splattered with bits of train.

I took my normal homeward-bound journey that meandered past the station, and smoked my normal homeward-bound spliff as I wandered through the knife-filled streets (this, in the days before knife-filled streets were de rigueur), reasoning as I did everyday that my inevitable mugging would be better faced stoned than sober (although the mugging ultimately turned out not to be, I'm very pleased to say).

It wasn't, therefore, until I reached the station itself that it all became far too apparent just how much of a media circus had gathered at the scene, with bright lights that offended my stoned eyes and intrusive cameras that fuelled my stoned paranoia. I pointed my face firmly floorwards and scuttled on through, hoping my red eyes wouldn't be captured by an electronic eye.

Five minutes later I'd reached the sanctuary of my home and fired up the old moving picture box to see a shot of the very bridge I'd just crept across. My stoned brain struggled to make sense of it, so I flicked onto another channel for some light relief and there, in the audience of some dreadful channel four student quiz shite, was the faces of my drunken flatmates gurning like idiots into the camera.

I decided that TV wasn't going to be my friend that day and hid in my room until I had to get up for work the next morning and face it all again.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 14:57, 4 replies)
I was once on a TV show called Fan TC,
it was a quiz show for kids hosted by Toby Anstis and Dannii Minogue back in the 90s. It involved 2 sets of fans of e.g. bands, pop artists, and more broad things like Football and roller coasters, pitched against each other in a quiz to see who knew most about the thing they were a fan of. The audience were situated on either side of the contestants, half representing one team and half representing the other, facing the other team's audience.

However, I was dumped in the audience for a team that didn't have enough of it's own supporters to actually make up an audience's worth. So, ladies and gentlemen, I had to proudly pretend for 3 whole fucking hours of filming that I was a fan of Shaun fucking Maguire, because they'd only got about 20 people and they were all ugly, spotty girls. It was pretty damn humiliating, I even had to clap along when he performed his new song. But to make matters worse, the team we were up against were something I actually gave a shit about, Rugby Union. So we spent the whole day getting laughed at by a bunch of soon-to-be rugger-buggers who actually thought we liked the "twat out of Grange Hill"*.

Yeah, well at least I got on TV I guess.

*actually I'm his biggest fan but don't tell anyone
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 14:18, Reply)
I may, or may not, have been on't telebox
A friend of mine managed to blag some tickets from work to watch the filming of "Orange unsigned act", or "Mobile act unsigned", or "Indie band X-factor" or whatever it's called that was (is?) on channel 4. It was free and being filmed in the student union bar near us so cheap drunkeness and the possibility of getting into Lauren Laverne's pants was on the cards, happy days!

Filming started rather early so I didn't have time for any food before I went out, which turned out to be a rather large mistake...

From watching the show it all seems very slick, band on, play a song or two, judges make their remarks, Alex James flops his hair about then the next band comes on... Turns out this is all achieved through the magic of television and filming actually takes fooking hours!

After about 2 bands the night became rather hazy as the cheap beer and no food combo started to take hold, I remember little of any of the bands but I do remember my mate first cornering Alex James and confessing:

"Alex... ALEX!..."
"Yeah?"
"...I... Love youurr trrrrousherssss"
"Ummm, thanks?"

Before turning to Ms. Laverne and asking

"Lauren, whensh the Cuuuuult show back on? mmmmm"
"Its already back on? BBC2 on a sunday"
"Ah Cheershh"


(Scene deleted)


We stumbled out of the make shift studio and headed for the car. Unfortunately, when we started driving, I got the distinct impression that I was not supposed to be there; "mate shhhhtop the car, I I I need to get out, gonna be shhick..." But the bastards wouldn't pull over for me. So I just concentrated on not being sick until we pulled up to some traffic lights and, seeing my opportunity, made a break for it... and preceded to wander about in the middle of the road, dodging on-coming traffic for a minute or two before I could be sheppherded away by my mates.

Thankfully we stopped so I could get the deamons out of my tummy and pick up a chinese to put them back in

(scene deleted)

I awoke in a daze, at my mates house fully clothed and was instructed to take a look at what i'd done to the car. In the back where I had been sitting was a delightful, what can only be described as 'rice angel'. A good night had by all

So If you watched the Oxford leg of that show, did you see anyone making a drunken cock of themselves in the crowd? If so, chances are it was me!


Appologies for length and wheeey we got pissed-ness, but its the only one ive got for this week!
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 13:52, 5 replies)
mandarin
I move in political circles so I'm quite often on the telly-box.

Most recently I was involved in some pretty high-powered talks with the Japanese government with the aim of coming to an agreement over protectionism in their auto-industry.

In typical fashion we managed to get a resolution signed at the 11th hour.

This was the honda accord.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 13:38, 6 replies)
Nearly
I'm a member of a power kiting club that holds quite a well known festival in East Anglia every year. Every year, the TV crews promise to turn up, and every year they fail to do so after we've organized dozens of people to put on a display just for them. This year they went to cover a murder instead.

Next year, we're just going to kill someone at the festival.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 13:04, 3 replies)
some time ago
I had an affair with an american woman, she was from Des Moins. It was a few years after we broke up that she rang me out of the blue, to tell me she had a child by me, she found out she was pregnant after returning to the states, and that now he was growing up and was asking about his daddy and she thought it only right to tell me about him, hopefully so he and I could meet.

I was shocked, as you can imagine....This had come out of the blue, but I agreed to meet them...she was visiting the UK and would bring the boy to meet me.

He was a delightful child and the meeting went very well...that is, until it came to dinner time....We'd been out all day and the young fellow was hungry...It was then that she told me about 'specialness'...he was slightly autistic, andthe only food he would eat for his evening meal was alphabeti spaghetti, but only after he had first checked that all the letters of the alphabet were present.......I know, funny huh?!!!......

Well....as I opened the can, it slipped a little and spilled some letters out...I scooped them up and put them in the pan with the others and cooked them......When the lad started to check the letters he went mental...there was a letter missing and no amount of care and compassion to his plight would calm him down.....In the end he was raging so much his mother had to take him away...and I never saw him again.....

but...Imagine my shock when I walked into the kitchen and spotted the missing letter stuck to the front of a kitchen cupboard, where it had slid off the worktop in a tomato juice slick...

Yes...I was amazed to find that Iowa Son Tea V...




Aythankqueue
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 12:48, 1 reply)
"P-L-A-Y, Play, Play Away..."
Older B3tans will remember back in the mists of time, just after TV had gone colour but before Multicoloured Swap Shop and Tiswas had seen the light of day, let alone Why Don't You Etc Etc, the Saturday afternoon treat that was Play Away.

It was either that, or the rugby league with Eddie Waring on BBC1 or Dickie Davies introducing the wrestling on ITV. God, we were spoilt back then.

At the time, we lived on a huge council estate on the fringe of South East London, a fantastic place to be a kid, although looking back now I know that my mum would have much preferred living somewhere leafier and more genteel (my dad, however, was an architect, so he has no excuses - my mum blamed him and his colleagues for building the concrete futuropolis in the first place).

One of the places we would spend much of our school holidays was the local Adventure Playground* basically, a death trap made out of telegraph poles, ropes, pulleys and such like - staffed by three stoner hippies who rejoiced in the names Catweazle (due to his physical similarity to the TV character), The Joker (who never stopped smiling, probably because he was off his head) and the curiously nickname-bereft Jane.

This was run by the council, as far as I can remember, and one wonders what on earth modern-day health & safety people would make of the whole set up; actually, scrub that - it's probably used as a case study in health & safety school about how not to do it...

One year, ahead of the school holidays, a poster went up advertising a kind of summer camp down in rural Gloucestershire, and after a bit of pestering, the parents signed me and my older sister up for it, with the two then little 'uns staying behind with them at home.

The bus that took us down there was an old Routemaster, painted up as only a bunch of spliffed-up hippies can paint a bus, and we felt like the cast of Here Come The Double Deckers as we headed down the M4 (having first stopped in Deptford and Peckham to pick up some other lucky kids who were off on the same trip).

I've got to say that the holiday, which was at a place called Macaroni Wood remains one of the most fondly remembered experiences of my life - we got to go to the airfield near Bristol where the Concorde prototype was (and got to clamber all over it), we had a trip to the open air swimming pool at Cirencester and got to see some Roman stuff too, we would sit round the camp fire in the evening and sing songs and get scared shitless by the ghost stories told by the grown-ups, and I finally snapped and hit the school bully who had tormented me for the last couple of years so hard that burst out crying and ran away to be found a couple of hours later trying to hitch a ride home (he never touched me again).

But the best thing, from the boys' point of view, was the day we spent making go-carts, especially when we were told, as we were shown a pile of random materials from which to make them, that the Play Away crew were coming down at the weekend to film us. None of us had ever been on TV, so this was The Most Exciting Thing Ever (this was just the boys - the girls got their own segment showing them making dolls, or basket-weaving, or whatever it is they were getting up to).

I worked so hard on that go-cart, styling it on Jackie Stewart's formula one car (basically, nailing a plank of wood front and back perpendicular to the main plank so they looked like spoilers) then, on the appointed day, they took us to a hill that to our young minds seemed as tall and as steep as the one that they roll the cheese down (same county, I suppose) and the legendary Brian Cant was there with his film crew (of course, being cheeky little council estate dwellers with Sarf Lahndahn accents, we just about got away with misprounouncing his surname - "'Ullo', Mistah Caaahhhnnnt!")

Then we had the all-too-brief race itself - absolute carnage that taught us quite a lot about the force of gravity, the usefulness of brakes (not that we had them) and why it's a good idea to roll out of the way when a proto-Jackie Stewart is careering down the hill towards you at speed (the kid was called Dylan and came from Deptford - I don't think I did him any lasting damage, however).

We watched Play Away every week for what seemed like months after that, and finally the episode aired - complete with me crashing into the unfortunate Dylan accompanied by a stern voiceover warning not to do this type of thing without adult supervision.

Happy, happy days.

* If you have time, have a look through the full set of these photos which were taking by a young teacher at the local secondary school (my sister went there, I didn't) - it's an outstanding record of what it was like to be a kid back then in the days before video games, SATS, paedo hunts, etc.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 12:41, 5 replies)
As far as I know....
It was back in 1990, a 23-year old married mum of two type of Sparkie grew more and more angry. Now this was the year of the Community Charge, levied by the Conservative Government of that time. This resulted, on a personal level, in a £700 increase on our household bills, when I wasn't working, because I had just given birth to Sparklet minor. So we went from being a bit skint, to being threatened with losing the house, malnutrition kind of skint at one fell swoop.

Well, something had to be done, so I did it. Yeah, a bout of shouting outside a Victorian town hall should be just the fella to stop all this nonsense... Right...

Step 1, Phone Mum-in-law up and arrange to park Sparklets, telling her that I'm just off shopping..

Step 2. Phone Mr Sparkie and arrange to meet him, He's always been fond of a ruck as well, so this is right up his street.

Step 3.. Sparkie is on the bus, on her way for the first decent bit of public shouting since her times with CND.. woo hoo! etc.

Step 4. Meet up with Mr S. we both note that although there's loads of camera crews, a good four or five lots, they're not doing an awful lot of shooting. They're mostly hanging about about smoking and drinking tea.

So we walk round the Town Hall,looking for a way into the building, with vague plans of either disrupting the meeting or getting ourselves arrested in order to highlight our plight, and the fact that we can't be the only ones in such financial brown and smelly.

By the time we return to the front, there's loads more people, singing and chanting. I ran into an old school friend, so we happily gossiped and sang and shouted along when required. then we noticed that a little door had opened in the front of the Town hall, so along with the hundred or so others present, we stampeded to the door, which promptly slammed shut again.

Re-energised by this, (oddly) We started jumping on the spot and singing. Not noticing of course, that it had suddenly got very very bright, from all the lights that the suddenly awake camera crews were using, we were all there for ages, until an announcement by the council advised us that we had to queue at the other side of the building to get into the public gallery of the meeting. So this kind of broke up the party, and we all went our separate ways home..

The next day, I got a phone call from my own Mum.

"Sparkie"
"Yes Mum?"
"Did you go out last night at all?"
"I might have done"
"That's good, I'm pretty certain that you haven't got a twin, so at least you didn't try that one again"
"Was it on the news then? Outside the town hall"

"Yeah, I'd got the film on, until your Nan, and both Aunties called, then your uncle Colin, and your other Nanna, and a couple of the girls from work rang, then both of your brothers, then your Mum-in Law rang.. I was on the phone for hours, and I missed the end of the film. I'm proud of you though. But can you let me know next time?"

The quality shouting didn't help in the end, they still chased me for the money 9 years later, when my Mum paid the courts off, because she didn't want another relative in Holloway, her Nan being a Suffragette and all.

And my Mum didn't tape it. And there's nothing on YouTube, possibly because it wasn't that dramatic, no one got hurt etc..
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 12:13, 2 replies)
Supermarket Sweep
During my student days I was on Supermarket Sweep.

Got through to the final round where you have to find the two grand but got conned by the last question. Had to look for a 'trifle' but it turned out to be a box of Mr Kiplings Trifles which are not trifles they're bloody cakes so went looking in the wrong place grrrr.

Still, got the monetary equivalent of the contents of our trolley and £269 went a long way in those days.

In case you were wondering everything in the supermarket was real except for the frozen poultry.

Submitting to this QOTW feels kind of therapeutic.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 11:20, 3 replies)
Not ME
NO but mt Mum was on a gardening program, with an extreme close-up. Looking somewhat puzzled....
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 11:14, Reply)
My friend Craig
won BMX Beat in the 80s, receiving a trophy from Gaz Top.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDEsM1dU4PY&feature=channel_page

He also went on to become the UKs first professional BMXer - although of course compared with meeting Gaz Top this is very minor.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 10:46, 2 replies)
OPTOMUFF
Last summer during the few days of brief sunshine we had in London, I was lounging in Regents Park, a few cans by my side cradled in a classy Tesco’s carrier bag, engaged in a heavy semi-professional-level session of sweaty gusset spotting. There’s nothing quite like laying on the warm grass on a beach towel, sipping a can of the cool wet fizzy stuff while you scan the delectable, nubile young ladies having a sunbath all round you. It’s a bit like being in a harem, or an up market beach resort for the young and beautiful, or a really expensive brothel. So, you scan the great expanse of parkland like a lion searching for a tasty gazelle, and you focus in on a girl wearing a short skirt or a bikini, laying on the ground, soaking up the sun who’s positioned in such a way in relation to yourself that you’ve got an excellent view of her clam through a thin layer of flimsy undergarment material. This is the OPTOMUFF view.

The Optimum Perv TO Minge Unadulterated Full Frontal view.

I swear, if I’d have looked any harder and intently at some of these barely-wrapped vag valleys my eye’s would’ve cooked from the inside and exploded in a cloud of boiling hot eye juice.

So, I’m quite happily gazing at a lovely lady’s love canyon (well, I assume she was lovely – fuck knows what her face looked like but she had a very attractive quim poking out from the sides of her yellow knickers), when I hear a voice.

“What are you views on the drinking ban on public transport, Sir?”

I looked up, squinted, some bloke in a suit holding a BBC microphone was leering down at me. (Radio, I think – so not really TV, well, not unless he had one of those invisible camera crews with him). He’d obviously seen I was sitting there getting quietly sizzled on beer and thought he’d ask my expert opinion. Freaked me out a bit, being called Sir. The last time I’d been called Sir was when I was paddling in Camden Lock and a copper advised it wasn’t a very good idea to do this unless I wanted to contract legionnaires disease.

Now, I was pissed, so as the microphone was lowered towards me I replied: “Jesus… would you just look at that arse?”

The fella with the microphone followed my gaze and gulped. His gaze lingered on the fine bikini-clad buttocks of the girl I was perving over, and I could tell he tended to agree. But he pressed on and asked me about having a few drinkies on the underground again.

I thought about it seriously for a bit. I was in ultra-relaxed mode twinned with a code red perv alert, fuelled by Tesco’s ten cans of Stella for under a tenner offer. So I gave this reporter the most incisive, most eloquent, most thought provoking response I could come up with at the time:

“Be a good man and fuck off will you?”
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 10:25, 6 replies)
Germans with no Sense of Humour
Couple of years ago I took part in a documentary called "The Truth About Food". There were nine of us,7 Brits and 2 Germans as it was a co production. We filmed it over two weeks living in Paignton Zoo, trying to re create a prehistoric diet. The first half was filmed by an English crew, then a German crew took over for 3 days. Miserable? Even the Germans who were staying with us said the german camerman was boring and had less sense of humour than a tree. One day we were visited by John Lord, he's a really nice guy, used to be curator of Grimes Graves, and now spends his time teaching Flint Knapping. Herr Camera Man wanted a great shot of the flint, so he pushed his camera between John and his own hands to get a shot. Obviously John couldn't knapp the flint, so had to stop. when he tried again Obergruppen Cameraman tried again. Eventually 9 of us turned round to the crew and said we've had enough of this guy and refused to work with him. Next day the English crew came back. The BBC put the program out about a year later, but the Germans shelved it and never showed it. England 1 Germany 0
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 9:24, Reply)
How TV grassed my Dad up
A couple of years after we moved down from Scotland in the early 1970s, London Scottish got to the rugby union cup final at Twickenham against Coventry, so with my Dad being a rugby fan, he naturally got us tickets.

The stadium was by no means full, so Dad found a spot for us, told me to stay there while he popped off "to see a man about a dog", which I now understand to be another way of saying that he was going to the bar.

After what seemed like half an hour, with no sign of my old man, I decided I'd better wander off and find him. I should perhaps mention here that I was nine years old and wearing a bright orange jumper.

Anyway, I walked up and down the stand looking for my Dad, no trace of him, then towards the end of the match he suddenly reappeared seeming much more cheerful than he had before, despite the result (I guess it wasn't just London Scottish who got hammered that day).

We had an uneventful journey home, where my Dad assured my Mum that no, he hadn't had anything to drink and he'd kept a close eye on me the whole time, and the story would have ended there, except my Dad decided to watch the highlights on Rugby Special the following afternoon. On our recently-bought first-ever colour TV. So we all settled down to watch the match - me, my siblings, and my parents.

It so happens that we were in the part of the ground opposite the TV cameras, and you couldn't help but notice this little orange blob wandering up and down during the entire match - indeed, the commentators even pointed me out (for the benefit of people watching in black and white, I suppose). They also put two and two together and suggested that if I was looking for my Dad, I could probably do worse than look in the bar...

Length? A good week or two till my mum spoke to him again, and even longer before he was allowed back out on his own.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 8:28, 1 reply)
Engineer dreams dashed
SpankyHanky reminded me of this one from my school days...

Local TV news show BBC Look East made a visit to my primary school in the late 80s to do a report on the soon-to-be-completed M1-A1 link road (now the A14). My class went on a field trip to the building site that morning and spent the rest of the day inventing apparatus to assist the road builders. We were given the incentive that the best ones would be showcased on the TV report the next day.

Looking at the materials I had available (a stack of firewood-quality timber, some crusty glue guns, a load of rusty chicken wire etc) I soon came up with my genius idea. I was going to craft a gravel-sifter which would sort out the different sizes of stones. I can't remember why I thought this machine would be useful, but it would be relatively easy to build one. I'd used my dad's tools before to knock together go-karts and tree houses, so I pressed on, twatting nails in all over the place and smearing red-hot molten glue all over myself in the process.

The device I constructed resembled a medieval instrument of torture. It was a box with three sliding drawers and an open top. The top drawer had large holes in the mesh, the middle had smaller holes and the bottom drawer had tiny holes, the idea being that the gravel would filter through and be sorted out into different grades. Apart from the wood splinters, it also featured razor-sharp edges where the chicken wire met the frame, hidden nails poking out from every handling point and the main bodywork looked uncannily like old asbestos cladding. I’d painted it in bright red metalwork paint, which wouldn’t dry and smelt dreadful.

All in all, it was a diabolical fucking death trap.

Lacking practical woodwork experience, I'd also failed to factor in that the drawers needed to be slightly narrower than the runners on which they sat, necessitating a colossal amount of force to move them. This problem was alleviated slightly by the application of huge quantities of industrial grease, but the mechanism was otherwise firmly seized-up and moving it required all the strength my ten-year-old arms could muster. Despite its obvious shortcomings, I was pleased with my creation so I demonstrated the treacherous machine to my teacher. Faced with a cornucopia of shit handiwork from my fellow classmates, he witheringly agreed it would be on the report.

When the TV crew arrived, they picked me to be the main focus of the report. I was so happy I may have actually wet myself. We did a quick rehearsal with Stewart White, the legendary East-Anglian news anchor but my wretched contraption refused to budge and I started to worry. Not that he noticed; he was as bored as you might expect and was going through the motions in front of the camera without paying much attention to the students or our work.

The heat from the lights was making me feel ill. Filming started and the cameraman moved round to my spot. Stewart had told us that the audio would be redubbed later and was giving us cues. He gave the signal to do my demo and so I tried to operate the infernal abomination. I was feeling extremely dizzy by now; the paint was coming off on my hands, I was getting high on the fumes and I was about to be humiliated on local television. Prepubescent rage built inside me so I gave it an almighty shove and to my surprise, the drawer moved enough to give the illusion that it worked as expected. Job done, so I thought.

The report was shown the following evening. I sat with my family to watch my moment of glory, my dad had even cracked open a new tape for our top-loader Betamax VCR to record the occasion. The reporters waffled on for ages about the actual road project but just before the end, it cut to our school and THERE I WAS, with my new pal Stewart White cheerfully narrating:

“These students have built tools to help the engineers; this one is a gravel sifter”

Accompanying his dubbed voiceover was a long shot of me dementedly tugging and thrusting at the dangerous boxy bastard, fighting hopelessly against the overwhelming friction as it rocked back and forth. Despite the voiceover track, I could still be heard clearly in the background audio, pleading with the equipment “Please work, come ON! It’s not fair! I hate this! I HATE THIS! Why won’t you move!?!?” Then they cut to the studio right before the part where the drawer finally moved, making me look like a desperate, useless failure. My dad looked at me despairingly before going to make a cup of tea. My mum seemed impressed with my “nice red box”, which did nothing for my crushed ego.

It took me a week to get the fucking paint off my hands, but my shame lingers to this day
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 5:10, 1 reply)
All the time
You've probably seen me on TV loads of times, but as I prefer to remain anonymous I am rarely, if ever, named. It's often in rather dramatic footage but until recently the quality of the footage is usually terrible, but to be fair I never give the camera the time to be set up in the best position. Still, I guess that's the downside to being a bank robber.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 3:27, Reply)
Just this weekend...
Take your mind back to Saturday afternoon, it was a nice day and I wanted to get out of the house. So...

I decide to go out for a ride around town on my bike. Down to Hyde Park, meet up with a few friends, and have a ride round central London. So, I hear you cry, how did this get me on the telly?

Did I mention that there were over 1000 of us, and we were naked? I'm pretty sure I'm in this ITN piece (not one of the interviewees, but still.)

Length? Six miles, and the whole width of the road.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 2:00, Reply)
Length
I streaked at Maccesfield v Shrewsbury and was shown on Soccer Sunday.

Win.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 1:57, 2 replies)
Julie Kirkbride
Back in the summer of 1997, when Labour swept the Torys off the political map with their D:Ream themesong and promises of awesomeness and free sex and money for all (or whatever was in their manifesto - I forget), I was 17 and had scored myself a job as one of the vote counting staff in the Bromsgrove ward at the General Election.

The job was pretty awesome if you didn't mind the 3am finish - first of all the pay was ace (£30 for the first 2 hours then £9ph after, plus expenses), secondly it was an absolute hoot to see some of the spoilt ballot papers that have some very offensive statements written on, or had been signed in blood in one case! (bit of a tip - the candidates NEVER SEE the ballot forms that have been spoilt, they just get rejected by the counting official, so don't waste your time spoiling your paper, just don't vote). Finally the MP's daughters were almost always impossibly sexy, so it was a good oggle fest as they walked around. Good times.

The results were in and Bromsgrove had bucked the national trend and elected a Conservative MP - Julie Kirkbride (the woman who put her mortgage on second home, while her MP husband did the same for their other place so neither had a first home!). A tiny spot of blue in an otherwise totally red political landscape.

Of course the TV people were straight onto this one and the Beeb news crew hastily erected their cameras to give an exclusive televised interview, whilst the Labour MPs looked on in dismay (if they couldn't win a seat in 1997 then they had no chance!) Soon they went live to the country, interviewing Ms Kirkbride as she hastily came to terms with her improbable victory.

With me, sat in the background, cross-eyed and gurning as hard as I could, pretending to pull my eye out, eat it then pop it back in.

On national TV.
(, Mon 15 Jun 2009, 1:19, 3 replies)
Skeedadle!
Growing up in Los Angeles I had tons of oppourtunity for my five minutes of fame. Being the spawn of a child actor I was intentionaly kept away from "The Biz" that had turned my father into a terribly sucessful buisness man as a result. However there was one thing that television and more specificly a game show could offer a 10 year old Anotherlogan.

A Nintendo Entertainemnt System.

My mother flat out refused to buy me one as I already had an Atari. My pleads were met with a "Why don't you read a book?" But books couldn't shooot fireballs and stomp on goombas. One of my neighbors was a producer for all kinds of crap syndicated television and his latest venture was a children's gameshow called Skedaddle! He invited me down to the studio for an audition. My mom was deathly against me acting, but I guess she figured a gameshow wouln't result in me robbing liquor stores by the time I was 15.

I aced the audition and was invited back the day of the show. My Mom and I arrived at the KCAL5 soundstages around noon. To think I was in the very place where they taped the shows Small Wonder, Mama's Family, and Star Search did nothing for me. I cared for nothing but the Nintendo I was about to win. The 30 kid contestants were separated from their parents and we were corraled into a soundstage. We changed into our bright red jumpsuits and matching Converse All-Stars on the Jeopardy! set (much smaller than it looks.) We were lined up by team and told which episode we were to be on. I was to be on the first run.

The gameshow was one big clusterfuck. I couldn't explain it if I tried, so I just did a copypasta from the 'pedia.

One team selected one of three dinosaurs (named Slam, Dunk, and Seymour), who would come out from his lair with a small object, such as a top hat. The object corresponded with a question which had a numerical answer. To answer the question, the team had to toss the object back and forth from player to player within a certain amount of time. As soon as the number of passes equaled the team's guess, the player with the object ran to the middle of the studio and honked a bicycle horn.

We were tossed our first item, I think it was a toaster. Whatever the question was, the mong that honked the bicycle horn got it wrong. So then this happened.

If the team's guess was correct, they received points. If they were wrong, ran out of time, or threw the object out of bounds during play, they received nothing; in addition, the chosen dinosaur spun a "wheel of torture", which caused that team to get slimed with some by-product poured into the sewer.

We got slimed with the by product of rice pudding and Cherrios. Then we had to stand there for another 20 minutes covered in crap while the other team ran ramshod over us. We didn't make it to the bonus round. No trip to Spacecamp. No Huffy BMX bikes. No Nintendo Entertainment System. However we did get a $50 gift certificate (no cards back then) to Toys "R" Us. I parlayed that, some birthday money, and some good old fashioned whineing into my new Nintendo that i bought a week later.

A few months later I told all my friends and family memebers to watch channel 13 at 7:30am to see me. My episode came on and everyone watched me get a bucket of crap dumped on me and then fiddle with my pecker through the buttons my jumpsuit for the next 26 minutes. Whatever, I had my Nintendo.

Length? 4 years. Then I got a Sega.
(, Sun 14 Jun 2009, 21:48, Reply)

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