TV quiz shows and in my guise of Z-list celebrity (I write a weekly column for
the Metro and once appeared on the BBC4 show “Never Mind the Fullstops”) am
occasionally invited on to play. I am
highly competitive and desperately want to win, but so far fate has conspired
to mean I have gone home empty handed.
When I appeared on Celebrity Mastermind (one of the most terrifying experiences of my life) I actually managed to get 35 points, the highest ever score for the celeb show. Sadly my record stood for approximately 3 minutes as the final contestant Hilary Kay scored 36. I failed to win the trophy and have spent the past six years waking up in a cold sweat shouting “Why did I say ‘Fast Food’ and not ‘Junk Food’?!” I had only had one pass to Kay’s two. I WOULD HAVE WON.
I am totally over it.
Pointless is, for me, the king of the quizzes and I am brilliant at it at home, but the first time I went on I crashed out with 200 points in the first round (I wake up every other night shouting “Why didn’t I say Joe Dolce?!”) and the second time was edged out in the second round after getting a Pointless answer and going into lockdown.
I so want to win a Pointless trophy that it’s actually embarrassing. I have nearly cried twice whilst on the show.
So I was filled with excitement as well as a strange sense of dread when I got a phone call last Wednesday night asking me if I could be a last place replacement on a recording the next day (maybe Z-list was overstating my fame). There were two problems: firstly Thursday was meant to be a rare date night for me and Catie, my wife and secondly, they wanted Catie to partner me. She is not interested in quizzes and finds my obsession with them embarrassing, having had to deal with the emotional fall out and tantrums when I inevitably lose.
Could I convince her that going on Pointless Celebrities (yes, I think that was a deliberate joke on the programme makers part, so you’re not being clever) was actually a date?
And more importantly if we failed to win this time round would our marriage survive? I mean I blame Robert Webb for my last defeat, but I don’t have to sleep with him (I still do, but I don’t have to).
Knowing how much this meant to me Catie reluctantly consented to appear. I thought I couldn’t love her any more, but I could love her more. As long as she helped me win a Pointless trophy.
On the plus side, if we got knocked out in the first round then we could still go out on our date. But imagine the atmosphere.
Would it be third time lucky for me? Or would the quiz show Gods fix it so that the worthless glory that I seek is denied me?
You’ll have to wait until the show is aired to find out, but you may be able to get a clue by checking the divorce courts to see if my name pops up (or not).
If I was going to triumph I was going to have to stamp on the dreams of Merrill and Jay from the Osmonds, who only got into show business fifty years ago because they hoped to win a small cuboid of perspex with Pointless written on it. They actually named the group after Richard Osman. Even though he wasn’t yet born.
The Turner Prize nominees have been revealed this week and I am very disappointed not to be included. The judges chose to overlook my self-playing snooker performance art in favour of a massive sculpture of a man’s buttocks. I thought this was an art competition, not an arse competition. As I turn 50 next year this was my last chance to win, so am now turning my attention to the Nobel Prize for Physics instead.