Top Tips: get on a TV game show

71 Responses

  1. JC says:

    I just finished spending nine hours confined to and crammed into a contestant holding building for the game show “America Says.” After an initial audition, background checks, and all sorts of nonsense over several months, 16 teams are called to the studio for taping day, but only 12 will actually get to play on camera. My team was not chosen. What a waste of time, money and energy! We left with $75 for our trouble. I came away realizing how poorly these game shows treat both contestants and lower level employees. Never again.

    • JC says:

      I forgot to mention that my team beat another team in two practice rounds, but that other team made the show even though we didn’t. The other team was “sassy,” which I think meant more to the producers than the ability to play the game. If you want to waste tremendous amounts of time and more than likely walk away disappointed, then yes, try out for a game show.

  2. Howard Freeman says:

    Hi, a casting director for a popular revival game show reached out to me to audition. I did the phone interview and got a Skype audition with the producer which I thought went very well. They said they’d let me know in about 3 weeks. It’s now been a month with no call. Is it ok to follow up with the casting director who reached out? Is that overstepping? The anticipation is killing me!

    • Di says:

      I think that’s fine if it’s now a month – if you need an excuse to get in touch you could always tell them you’re looking to book a holiday soon and didn’t want to book it if there’s a risk you could miss the filming!

  3. Kenny says:

    Were you on the episode of Dirty Rotten Cheater I was? I went out second but wasnt cheating. Mike ended up winning.

    • Kenny says:

      I should have looked at your picture. You must have been on a different show.

      You got any applications in at the moment?

      • Di says:

        Not at the moment! I would struggle to do lot of the filming dates that they have due to chldcare – and also my husband now does a lot of work for the BBC so I can’t apply for BBC shows any more! How about you Kenny?

  4. Alex Chen says:

    Hello Diane, I have applied for a gameshow and they called me back asking for a video application. I would just like to know how soon before the filming date do they let you know that you have been chosen to appear on the quiz show. Thanks

    • Di says:

      It really depends in the show Alex – I’ve had just a week’s notice before now, but usually it will be a few weeks. Good luck!

      • Alex Chen says:

        Thank you Dianne, I am due to appear on !mpossible in 3 weeks and I just want to ask what your best tips are to preparing to appear on the show. I am only 18 and I feel my age will come to a disadvantage compared to the other contestants who are older and will be more experienced. I feel like I will be one of the first few out!

        • Di says:

          Even if you don’t win, consider it great experience! To be honest you never know how things will go until you get there – the questions might be perfectly suited to you. If you’re struggling, laugh about it – you could even say ‘I wasn’t even born then!’. Just try to enjoy it – wishing you lots of luck!

          • Alex Chen says:

            Thank you, I did really, really well. It’s due to air next month so please watch it. I surprised myself and I had a brilliant time filming.

  5. Lisa says:

    I got shortlisted a week or so ago to be on a new tv game show and was told I’d hear by the 27th July as to whether I’d be asked to a recording or not. It’s now the 24th, is it safe to assume I’m unlucky this time?

    • Di says:

      Do you remember the recording dates of the show? At the audition you usually have to check these and say you’re available. If they’re within the next ten days then i don’t think you’re lucky this time!

  6. Mell says:

    I need to submit a video for a game show call back. What things should I mention. Kind of left it last minute too as due tomorrow.

    • Di says:

      It depends on the show – is it general knowledge, or more of a fun gameshow? Tailor the video to the type of show and presenter – a gameshow needs more laughter and enthusiasm, a GK quiz doesn’t want you to be chatting toooo much! Record in good light and practice a few times so there’s no ummms and errrrs! Good luck.

  7. Theresa says:

    Hi Di just did a Skype interview with a popular show in the US Do you have the general odds of the network choosing contestants? Or how many people make it to shows? Thanks for any info you can provide

    • Di says:

      For the last couple of auditions I’ve been to in the UK, they’ve told us how many people they’ve invited to audition and how many they need to appear the show – and it worked out that 1-2 people from every group of 10 people ended up getting onto the game show. But it really depends on the show – if there’s 15 contestants on each episode, and the series is 40 shows then your chance of getting on is much higher than a show where it’s just 2 people and 15 shows! Also – many more people apply for the well established shows, and far less for new shows – so look out for the new ones. You might feel nervous that you don’t know how the show works, but sometimes that can work in your favour!

  8. Kim C says:

    Hi I have recently completed two game show applications and really worked hard on both, I even added a video to one of the applications – my question is does it help to submit more than one application for the same show or is this a waste of time?

    • Di says:

      Do you mean applying for the same show but with a year or two between applications? It’s always worth another try, just add something different to the application form this time round- as you say, a video adds something extra!

      • Kim C says:

        I was thinking does it help to do more than one application for the same show during the same application period to increase chance of getting p[icked or is this a waste of time?

  9. Alex says:

    Hi Di,

    Thanks for the tips, I have used them to apply for my first ever game show! We shall see if I am chosen for an audition….

    I know some of them say that you have to mention if you are going to be on another show, or you have to give exclusivity to that show. But, does that stop you from applying to other shows? I mean surely you are going to sending as many applications for different shows as you can, in the hope you get one? Your not going to just complete one application and that’s it?

    • Di says:

      No! Apply to and audition for as many shows as you like: it’s only the TV Broadcast that they’re concerned about, so you won’t be seen on screen twice in a short space of time!

  10. BSR says:

    Hi, about four years ago I got to the final audition of one of the quiz shows (I won’t mention which in case the production team keep an eye on your blog….). Although most of my fellow “auditionees” (is there such a word?) thought I was certain to be picked I did not get through. I did not get any feedback from the production team and others I have talked to since thought it may have been because I have a good job and live in a relatively affluent area. The thing I did notice was that all others at the audition had a sob story for the question “what would you do if you won?”. I was first to speak and be questioned so my answer that “I would like to take my family to Malaysia to visit where my wife was brought up” (her dad was part of the British embassy there) was trumped by answers such as “my parent could never afford a car so I want to buy them one to say thank you for bringing me up so well” or “I would like to give back to the charity which helped me…”.

    I also noticed that admitting I work in the City of London was not a fantastic thing given I was surrounded by a charity worker, fireman, care assistant amongst others.

    But if the above did influence things why ask me to the audition in the first place? I won 5 of the 6 rounds of general knowledge quizzes we did during the audition.

    I have just reapplied for the same show just for the hell of it but I guess the chances of getting on are nil (I assume that a simple data base check by the producers will kill any chance) but I also have asked for a chance on any other show.

    Is it best to hide good things and make up some sob story to get the sympathy vote? Do the production teams on other shows give feedback? I have lost 7 stone in weight since my previous audition, perhaps the need to use a wide-angle camera lens cannot be held against me any longer…..

    • To be honest, I don’t think sob stories help in ANY form of competition – researchers, marketeers, social media managers and the like are looking for uplifting, positive stories to share in most cases! I always thought because my hobby is winning competitions, I would never be picked for a TV gameshow – but that’s not the case. They need to show a diversity of contestants too – people from all walks of life. As your bad experience was four years ago I would try to forget all about it and start afresh – and if all else fails, you do actually have a great story of your own to share – you’ve lost 7 stone in 4 years! That’s a great achievement – and I bet you could joke about it too! Good luck!

      • BSR says:

        Hi, thanks for your feedback, much appreciated. Well…. I got a call and I’m invited to an audition next week! (your luck has rubbed off on me).

        I won’t mention which show just in case it scuppers my chances but it is based on general knowledge. Do you have any tips for (a) handling nerves and (b) cramming in knowledge into a moderately sized brain? I have four days to learn the entire Encyclopedia Britannica which I might suggest is rather improbable. The problem I have is not that I lack some knowledge but that it seems to run and hide in the inaccessible recesses of my brain when I am under pressure! It is so easy when at home watching TV but when it really matters Mr Memory takes a holiday (can be embarrassing when people rely on my at a quiz night).

        Thank you in advance for any further tips you can give.

        • Di says:

          Yes! Do you have a smartphone? Download a quiz app that has a timer, so you’re pressured to answer quickly. That way you can learn stuff and also get used to a timer!

  11. Laurie Beattie says:

    Thanks for this Di! I have just decided to branch out and try to get on a game show – inspired by you telling us you were off to film one! I love watching them and playing along at home, so hopefully I will be lucky enough to get chosen!! (p.s I know what you mean about the Diane thing, I get called Laura ALL the time)

  12. Luke Taylor says:

    Hi there. Great article! Just wondering, do game show producers look at the social media accounts of those applying? I’m very anti-EU and obviously the BBC and other mainstream channels are funded by the EU so they probably wouldn’t approve of my views. Would they reject me purely because of my social media posts? Thanks

    • Interesting question! I was cast in a new gameshow recently, then the producer googled me, found this exact blog post and promptly dumped me from the show – so they must be having a look. The same as a prospective employer, perhaps! It gives them an alternative (more natural?) view of your personality. In my case – if I’m on TV with my unusual name, viewers might search for it and be annoyed to see a competition winner winning more cash. Makes sense really!

  13. Js says:

    How long does it usually take for them to contact you once you’ve sent your application in?

    • I’ve sometimes been called on the same day I emailed my application form – it depends on how soon your local auditions are! Check the closing date for applications and see how soon it is – if it’s still a couple of months of there may not be auditions so soon.

  14. Steven says:

    Hi I missed my audition for a show….I was on the way and got stuck in traffic just outside leeds…I rung the producers and they said email them and should get put on Nottingham auditions… far not heard anything back….has this happened to anyone else? Did you get to a audition? Please help…

  15. Joolsie says:

    Hi Di I’ve read your information with excitement and have the urge to apply to be on a game show now! In fact I can’t wait!
    The one id love to be on is Tipping Point – I think Ben Sheppard is a brilliant compere and his enthusiasm is contagious…..
    Only problem I have is that I can’t actually find an up to date application form – I can find 2012 or 2014 but nothing for now. Have you any pointers?
    Thank you so much for any help and will let you know how I get on!

  16. Rob Harriman says:

    Hi, i love game shows also, tried Deal 10 years ago no joy even though i was told i did well, at the moment i am shortlisted for the Chase, and in 2012 was delighted to play In It to win it, had 2 days in Manchester met the lovely Dale Winton and won a life changing 25k yippppeeee, on youtube 26th Jan 2013 because when you record it delay on the date it goes out.

    Be relaxed at Audition it really is the best way, good luck Rob Milton Keynes

    • Wow, well done on IITWI Rob! I’ve auditioned several times but not got shortlisted. Hope you get on The Chase!

      • Rob Harriman says:


        Thanks it was unreal, good luck to you also, in 2012 i was ITV Pride Britain Finalist it was all happening, this can be seen online, keep up the good tips helping people to get on shows.



      • Debjyoti Ghosh says:

        Till now I have entered in like 50 or more giveaways. I enter through reddit website. Till now not once did I win a single thing, not even the useless of them. I complete all the tasks on time. Am I so wretched that it will never happen for me. Can you please suggest what would get me some chance at least

  17. Andy says:

    Hi Di, I just found your post and thought I’d comment as I got a call from The Chase today for an audition next week. So tomorrow morning I’ll be booking a day off work. Any other advice for a tv comp newbie?

    • Good luck Andy! Most of the tips I have are summarised in this post – just try to relax and enjoy yourself. Listen to the others doing their intros (if you can) and make sure yours is more interesting! And don’t answer questions too quickly! Let me know how you get on!

    • chester says:

      Hey, I was in the same boat. I’ve only ever gotten an audition for 1 gameshow and it was a chase. Word of warning, don’t use a sob story for what you’d use the money for. Everyone who did didnt get on, my thoughts were that it is so unlikely you’ll win on the chase that they don’t want to seem evil for not letting you win. I said I wanted to get engaged and I got through.

      Also make sure you chat with other contestants, make jokes, and don’t feel nervous about joking with the people doing the audition. It’s exactly what they’re looking for, if you can make them laugh a couple of times then you’re much more likely to get through.

      Lastly, they do quizzes whilst there. Don’t panic about getting them right. One guy who was really smart got through for us, then me (who did bad on the quiz but really well on the multiple choice), and then someone who scored mid-low on everything but the team minute round. If you do bad or good you could get on, they’d just put you with different other people to make the show fun to watch. It’s all about whether they think the audience will like you

  18. Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE says:

    Great advice Di,
    I got into TV game shows in the late 1980’s when I was a young mum at home, there was an early morning show called Key Notes and filmed in Bristol not far from my home in Bath. I thought it looked fun and I had some music knowledge as I had sung in my fathers dance band in the 70’s. Not knowing what to do as there was no internet then I wrote to the Bristol Studios and received an application form, got an audition and got on! I met a Bristol guy called Robin there and we became friends, we went on to do Strike it Lucky together.
    Robin and I must have been on a list somewhere as out of the blue I received a call from a production company asking if we would take part in a new game show, we agreed and it turned out to be Super Market Sweep. I got the bug, won some lovely prizes and enjoyed a couple of days away each time (it felt like a holiday for me as I had 6 small children!) my next show was Big Break.

    I then had a career so I could not take part in shows until 14 years later in 2006 I was picked with my children to do Millionaire Manor as part of the lottery show, I had entered us and had not told my grown up children!! but the day after applying I got a call from the production company, they liked the sound of my family and wanted to ring everyone, I had to quickly telephone my kids, who phew! were pleased to enter and we were selected after our audition with Endemol. So to everyone out there GO FOR IT, Di is right it is great fun, you stay in wonderful hotels, have your make up expertly done and remember without you they DON’T have a show. GOOD LUCK, Loraine from Bath.

  19. Debbie Peacock says:

    Hi Di! About 15 years ago I did Wheel of Fortune and Wipeout and then didn’t apply for anything until last year, and now I have applied for DOND, The Chase, Benchmark, The Edge, I have been lucky enough to get an audition for every one!…. Got to silver stage of DOND, shortlisted for The Chase, Benchmark and The Edge, I was called today from the Edge and they wanted to check my availability for next Wednesday, discussed transport and everything and I was all but on but the lady needed to confirm it, sadly when she rang back she hadn’t been able to work it for me and I ‘clashed’ with another contestant re area we’re from or something. I’m surprised how gutted I felt to be honest, do you think I should give up or have you any advice?
    Thanks, Debbie.

    • It sounds like you’ve done amazingly well Debbie – I would DEFINITELY continue to apply. I’m sure the production team behind the Edge will definitely want you for another show in future!

      • Debbie Peacock says:

        Thanks Di, that makes me feel better about yesterday-I wasn’t sure whether production teams would hang on to people’s details for future reference, I’m glad you think so! I shan’t give up just yet then!!
        Thanks x

  20. Katie Perkins says:

    Hi i’ve just been asked for an audition next week, it’s more of a physical game show like total wipepout, they want a party trick and to wear something memorable, do you have any suggestions ? Katie

    • Ha ha! I like the sound of this. Party trick sounds like they want something physical – I’ve never been asked myself but I can make an origami crane in a minute, maybe something quirky like that would do? As for memorable – have you got a fancy dress hire place locally? Or a comedy t-shirt? Full football strip with socks? Good luck!

  21. Keshihead says:

    Those of you who are on the fence about applying for a show, GO FOR IT! So far, I’ve been on Memory Bank and won £700, I was on Breakaway in 2012 and came ONE QUESTION off winning £7k, and most recently I did Countdown last year but was beaten 104-37, ouch! I recently did an audition for a show called The Hive for BBC4 and got shortlisted, but since there were only 24 players (8 teams of 3) I didn’t make it to the actual show, BUT I impressed the guy holding the auditions, so if they get another series, he might ask me to be on it!

  22. Carroll Marsh says:

    Thanks for all this valuable advise Di!!Fingers crossed now X

  23. Angela Perry Dean says:

    hmmmm I am now going to apply!!!! I really hope I get picked………..

  24. David Wright says:

    Thanks for the tips will give it a go

  25. James Kearney says:

    I’ve got an audition for Tipping point tomorrow and this has come very handy. Thanx Diana 😉

  26. Natalie cooper says:

    All these tips have given me the push I needed to apply for a game show. Thanks Di.

  27. Sue Dyke says:

    Thought you were great Di.I’ve been on The Weakest Link,Perfect Recall,Tipping Point & The Chase.Was lucky enough to win £25,000 on The Chase,

  28. Elizabeth Gurney says:

    I’ve never even considered going on a game show before (although I’m pretty good at quizzes!) But reading this post was very inspiring and useful. The tips are fantastic and it made me think ‘hmm maybe….’ 🙂 Thanks for the confidence boost to just go for it x

  29. nicola stott says:

    Great write up! My neighbour has been on most quiz shows and has just been on a pilot in London. Keeps offering to help me apply but it scares me! I want someone to ask me to go with them so I’m not the one responsible HA! He’s done really well with the wins also

  30. sandra henderson says:

    Fab tips!I was also picked to “come on down” we went on a trip from work and i came home with a digital radio,£1000 and a motorbike.I just missed out on the showcase though by about £100!It was great fun and the start of my wins.

  31. Brilliant tips Di – it’s no wonder you’re such a success and it’s only a question of time before you’re a superstar! X

  32. Stevie says:

    I think would of liked to have a go on Fifteen to One.The original one with William G Stewart.

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