Thursday, 5 November 2015
Being on TV.
Back in May I got on a plane and headed off to Italy to take part in a TV show... yes an actual show on actual television that people saw. It all happened when my sister, in a fit of reckless abandonment, printed off and bought home application forms for a new show on ITV called Hello Campers - I draw your attention to the above logo.
The day after we sent off the paper work we got a phone call asking us to go to the ITV studios for an interview in London. Neither of us had ever done anything like this before so were walking into the Big Smoke utterly blind.
I'm being completely honest with you when I say we didn't expect to be chosen - we felt that in the interview we were much quieter than the others and most of the characters in the room definitely out shone us. Among our friends and family me and my older sister are somewhat odd and out there but in the big, wide world we're frankly, well, uninteresting .... or at least that's what we thought.
We actually got picked and of course accepted the chance to jet off to a campsite to spend 5 days in front of cameras!
The idea behind the show was to have 5 couples camp together for a week and do daily activities where you can score points and the couple with the most at the end win £1000. Spoiler alert here - we didn't win! If you've seen Coach Trip it's actually the same production team and has a similar feel, just minus the vote off!
We really did love every minute, we met people and did things we never imagined we would, Italy was gorgeous and although we didn't have any spare time to do our own thing and be proper tourists we saw it in a very different way to anything we could have planned ourselves.
When thinking about this post I decided that rather than simply regale you with what I got up to I would try to enlighten you as to what it's like to be part of a TV production.
First off is you will be asked to repeat things. A lot. Anytime something funny was said in general conversation but wasn't caught properly on camera it would be repeated, it sort of became a running joke when we had to fain entertainment the second or third time of hearing something to over dramatise every reaction.
Along with the repetitiveness is constant stopping and starting. Footage is collected at every opportunity, getting out of the bus, walking into the venue of that days activity, meeting the expert who would be teaching and judging and so the list goes on. Between these, camera and sound have to move into the best positions and we are left where we are until asked to continue.
All these things lead to days that are full of waiting, constantly walking around, being asked questions and it all taking quite a lot of time. Filming started every day at about 7.30am and ended at around midnight but a few nights we ran until 2am. Although exhausting everyday was so interesting you didn't notice while there.... crashed for about a week once back mind you.
The only negative points I could think of were not having a chance to really get to know the other people involved on more than a superficial level (this has since been amended), washing up at 1 in the morning, the slightly lack luster bathroom conditions and lack of free time! Over all though it is by far one of the most incredible things I've ever done and I would do it again in a heartbeat - or perhaps a similar week but without the whole thing being aired to the entire country.
By far the best part of this week has to be the group we met there, it was strange being in social situations where you can only talk one at a time and often the conversation topics are chosen by producers, but it's human nature to support and group together when thrust into the unknown. Although at times some situations felt a little contrived we made genuine and hopefully life long connections with the other contestants. We are spread all over the country but have managed to have a reunion already which was a weekend of music, drinks, hot tub, games and thankfully no cameras or crew just natural, free flowing friendship.