The cat got let out the bag last week when I received a volley of emails and texts saying I had been spotted on BBC 1’s The One Show. I scratched my head and tried to remember talking to the presenters (I wouldn’t have forgotten chatting to Alex, would I?) then decided I must have a doppelganger until I realised the presenters had been talking to Alan Titchmarsh, famous person and household name who is hosting a brand new quiz show to do with antiques.
I was amazed to discover they used a clip of the show – Masterpiece that featured yours truly pulling faces at the camera and looking like a total buffoon. I had hoped to fly under the radar with this show and now it’s out I’ll have to face the ridicule when you all see my woeful appearance.
I was invited to do Masterpiece after I was on Decimate. Apparently I was just what they needed for the show (no good at quizzes and bonkers, I guess) but I needed a team mate. When I first read the email I thought “no chance” I know nothing about antiques then a chance conversation with my very lovely neighbour, Emma happened and she divulged she had always wanted to be on Bargain Hunt or similar and I said, “As it happens, I have been invited to do a new antiques quiz show and I need a partner who has some idea of what they’re talking about since I don’t.”
We applied and within a day found ourselves in front of the producers for a Skype interview and got selected although the team refused to tell us who would be hosting the new show, what it was called and were it would be filmed. I love a mystery, so over the next three days, Ema and I tried to work out who would be hosting. Texts flew between us. “Fern Britton?’ “No. She’s doing a BBC antiques show.” “Dale Winton?” “Hope not!” “Ant and Dec?” “Eek!” and so on. We finally high-fived each other when we discovered it was to be Alan Titchmarsh as he was top of our list of “hosts we would most feel comfortable with”.
A week before we were due to be filmed we had a flurry of instructions and found out the filming was in a stately home down in the south of England. Of course, I spent a profitable day Googling everywhere but discovered there were more stately homes than I realised! Last October we were sent down south by train to Lewes and put up in a hotel overnight with all the other teams that were to appear on the show. The following day we were ferried out in black vans to the Firle Place where Masterpiece was filmed.
It was a totally mental day with three shows being filmed simultaneously and cameras, technicians, contestants, crew and miles and miles of cable all over the stately home. You can imagine the chaos.
It was also however, a brilliant day. We had such a laugh and I made some fantastic new friends who are going to be on the show. Having spent all day from 7am to 10pm we had oodles of time to find out about each other and play games of Jenga while we waited to do our bits to camera. It was a top experience and one that helped me write my next book which will be due out in September.
Can I tell you the result of the show? No! Ha!
Masterpiece starts on the 15th Feb 3pm ITV but I don’t know which episode I’ll be on. Watch out for close ups of my flipping wrinkles, lots of shocked faces, me being a total numpty and the classic car section. Oh, and by the way … Alan Titchmarsh was a fantastic host!
Next stop … Hollywood …