The Sky Sports team were at The Mem yesterday as hit football quiz show Take It Like A Fan rolled up with the money and questions to send some brave Gasheads home a fair whack better off! Hosted by the inimitable John Fendley and the lovely Bianca Westwood, the cameras were in position and ready to capture the successes and failures of a few Rovers fans lucky enough to take part.
Having applied for the show on Thursday evening, I had all but given up hope of being asked on when I got home from Sixth Form on Friday afternoon. That was until I got a phone-call at around 5 o'clock which explained that I was wanted for the show and needed to get to the stadium for 11.30! It left me with no time to get all that nervous about the prospect but it certainly made for good conversation when up the pub last night! Perfect preparation for my TV debut, I'm sure you'll agree! I was chuffed to hear my friend had also been asked on the show and we arranged to meet outside the club shop in the morning in order to predict what round we'd get given.
|Me and Fenners|
The time in between being asked on and getting there flew by and before I knew it I was inside the ground and being introduced to everyone. They were all a good laugh and made the whole experience particularly enjoyable, which was nice considering the 4 of us taking part had never been on TV before, let alone represented Rovers fans to a national audience across the land! Whilst Fenners and Bianca were filming links to the opening of the show, I was called down to shoot my own introduction to my round, which was a new card game called 'Where On Earth?'. It was completely surreal. I had to walk along the Blackthorn End before leaning on one of the metal bars and looking out towards the South Stand. It only took a few different takes to get things perfected and then it was my time to set up out on the pitch. To say I was bricking it at this point would be fair, especially as I was doing it in front of the others taking part!
We were shooting down by the corner flag to the left of the Blackthorn and the game I was about to play was explained to me. In truth the aim of the round wasn't too difficult, but when you're being filmed for Sky Sports, things seem that little bit more complicated. There was a pack of cards and on each card was a footballer, all I had to do was guess their nationality. For each one I got right I won £10 - not too bad at all! I was set up with a microphone and Fenners ran through what he was going to say. That was it, we were ready to roll.
|Me and Bianca|
I can remember thinking that I wouldn't do 'double or quits', I'd rather take any money I do win home instead of gambling and falling flat on my face on national TV. That was my last thought before the cameras were filming and the game began. I rattled through as many players as I could and although I got a few wrong, I knew I'd done quite well. I was told I got 12 right meaning £120 was mine. That would have been more than good enough for me, but I was then asked the inevitable 'do you want to double your money?'. When you have the eyes of everybody on you and the impending fear of 'bottling it', I felt I had little choice but to go for it... so I did! The card was then shown and there was QPR's Akos Buzsaky looking directly at me. Everybody else seemed completely stumped by it and I found out afterwards that most of them would have guessed he was from Poland. Nobody knew what I was going to say but after taking a few seconds to think it through I went with my first instinct. 'Hungary!'.
|My 'Double or Quits' winning card!|
Fenners looked down at his card with the answer on before looking up and cheering - I'd got it right! It was a huge relief, not only cos I'd won some money, but because I hadn't made myself look like a mug on TV. I was handed the money and genuinely couldn't believe what had just happened! Bianca and Fenners then congratulated me again off air before I returned back to everybody who was watching. The general consensus was that I'd played a blinder and I was happy to settle for that. I could now relax and watch everybody else squirm under the pressure thrust upon us! One of the crew then asked me if I wanted to keep the cards that had won me the money and I thought it would be a good memory of the show.
The filming process then continued for everybody else and I was able to watch on and see how everybody did. The guy doing 'Home or Away' took back £150 but didn't gamble - still a great sum, whilst my friend who was taking part in the 'Possession Game' won the first part before converting his penalty at half-time. It's safe to say that all in all, it was a very good day. We'd all taken home some cash and had a great time meeting the team, particularly Fenners and Bianca. To top it all off, Rovers won 1-0 against AFC Wimbledon courtesy of a stunner from Muzzy Carayol! Pretty perfect day really.
Thanks to Fenners, Bianca and the rest of the team.
(P.S Consider my TV career well and truly started!)