FOR THE SECOND WEEK running Fermanagh was under the television spotlight.
No, this time it was not for the G8 Summit, but rather another prime time television quiz show.
Last Wednesday 26-year-old Gary Donaldson, from Enniskillen appeared on ITV show ‘The Chase’, but unfortunately left empty handed.
Gary, an avid quiz goer decided to apply after watching the show on television, with the added bonus of a cash prize a further incentive.
After filling out an online application form, Gary was then invited up to an audition in Belfast to try to make it on the show.
“I was with eight other people and it was basically an afternoon of talking about myself, answering quiz questions and trying to appear as enthusiastic and exciting as possible. I was then asked to stay behind afterwards and was informed that I was chosen to appear on the show.”
Gary filmed the show in London at the start of November and admits that nerves may have got the better of him.
“I wasn’t too nervous beforehand, but once I stepped onto the studio floor I did start to feel the pressure. At this point I don’t think I could have told them my name correctly nevermind answer tough quiz questions.”
Gary, who called himself a ‘risk taker’ on the show was faced with the unenviable task of facing up against quiz genius Mark Labbett and in the course of the questions with Gary and the other three contestants, he did not give a single incorrect answer.
“Mark was definitely the one Chaser I wanted to avoid, he was on unbelievable form. Not only did he get every question right, but he got the answer straight away which meant I only had five seconds to answer myself with the alarm blaring and lights flashing.
“It was definitely tougher than I thought it would be. It was pressure that I had never experienced before.”
After the agony of being eliminated on the show, Gary then faced the anxious wait for the show to be aired, which he admits he was ‘dreading’.
“I still haven’t watched it the whole way through. I tried to but found myself reaching for the mute button quite a lot. I only told my parents when it was on, but unfortunately my friends were quick to spot it when it was aired.”
And what did his friends think?
“I think they all enjoyed seeing me on the Chase, especially as I didn’t win any money! I’ve had a few texts saying they would have got all my questions right but as I keep telling them it is much much tougher in front of the cameras rather than at home on the sofa. I will never again slag strangers off that I see getting easy questions wrong on TV quiz shows!”
He added: “Although I didn’t win I had a great time and it was a fantastic experience and one that I would recommend anyone try. They aren’t looking for geniuses just people who are extroverted and won’t go shy in front of the camera.”
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