It was cringey, it was hilarious, and definitely a good story, so let me start from the beginning…
A few weeks ago I saw applications were open for the Crystal Maze.
For those unaware, it’s a game show where groups of friends run (for no reason) round a labyrinth and solve challenges to win more time in the Crystal Dome. Inside the Dome, contestants try to catch as many gold tickets as possible in order to win the prize.
Naturally, I applied for myself and on behalf of 5 friends. I listed their characteristics, boiling them down to stereotypes, and even exaggerated our party tricks. The producers would read that I can hold my breath for 3 minutes, play the ukulele, etc.
It was hilarious to fill in. The next day, I went to work and forgot about it. Until the phone rang, and the producer asked if I could talk. So, I grabbed a meeting room and got stuck in. She asked about everybody in the group, and I kept it simple. Steve likes to run; you’ll know it’s Dave because he’ll run past you. Octavia works at McDonald’s and loves it so much she went to work there. The producer said she’s be in touch.
Well, I blew that. So, I carried on the work week, until Ron rang me. He said Channel 5 had called him, asking if he would answer basic medical questions. The network had taken it upon themselves to ring all the team members. Sheeeeet.
So, I ran round contacting all my friends to explain that I’d signed them up to everyone’s favourite game show. I persuaded them all to answer the medical exam and come to the audition. In Manchester.
The night before the trip, for which we’d have to take 2 cars, I gathered everyone at the local Wetherspoons. See, they were all my friends, but not all of them knew each other. So I decided that Charlene would pretend to be my girlfriend, and Octavia would play Steve’s boss (not just colleagues), and that we all hung out in McDonald’s. You know, to make us seem more like childhood pals.
In Media City, Manchester, the producers invited us in. I was mic-ed up as the team leader, and introduced the group to the camera. Charlene did a quick puzzle with wooden bricks, I fit shapes together (smashed it), and we all probably failed the world’s hardest written test.
Then the producer whipped out a paper and exclaimed that she had held my application form of lies. Sheeeeet #2. She asked Ron to beatbox for us, as that was his signature move (apparently). Luckily, he had performance anxiety. Could I hold my breath for 3 minutes? I just ate a big lunch. Could we play the ukulele? If only they had one to hand!
That was a fun audition. We didn’t get onto the show, but it was awesome to get to the final application stage. Sadly, no Richard Ayoade. That’s (almost) how it’s done!