Mathew and Ben go into make up before the first show starts its recording. We hear that, if Mathew wins, then he will play Steve in the second show. If Ben wins, and thereby becomes a retiring champion, Bonnie will play Steve in the second show, then I play the winner in the third, followed by Jane for Thursday’s show. If Ben does not win, the order is Steve plays Mathew, then Jane the winner of that game, then me, then Bonnie.
With the possible scenario of Ben becoming a retiring champion, and there needing to be two new contestants for the second show – the one that ended up airing April 10 – there is a sixth contestant for the week, who lives around the corner, on stand by. It is standard procedure to have at least one on standby who can attend at a moments’ notice in the event of a contestant shortfall.
As Ben and Mathew take their seats, us remaining contestants make up the rather small audience. It is basically us, the warm up guy and a number of crew. Bonnie, with the possibility of playing the second show, goes off to make up. When she returns, I find find myself comparing solutions with her during the first game.
The first game ends – Mathew wins, Ben loses so does not become a retiring champion, but still was there for six nights nevertheless. This is the show that aired Monday April 9. Although we were not told the air date yet for the shows being recorded, the reference to Easter at the end of the show gave it away that the show would air Easter Monday, 2012. Bonnie and I then realise than there is the chance we could be playing each other in a later show so stop comparing notes.
It took close to an hour to record the first show. Of notable interest is the number of takes David Astle needs to get through his word stories that play after the ad break after the first round. He’s say his lines, then stuff up, then swear… and repeat. When Lily is displaying the word solutions, each of the words you see on the show are placed and recorded sometimes a few minutes apart.
Richard Morecroft himself makes blunders. Check out the Letters & Numbers blooper real here.
Scottish born Steve takes out Mathew on Tuesdays’ show. The audience for both the Tuesday and Wednesday show was made up of grade 5 and 6 students from a local primary school. They are entertained in between takes by the warm up guy, and have the chance to answer letters & numbers solutions. They also had the opportunity to ask Lily, David and Richard questions.
Ever wondered what happens to the paper Lily writes her solutions on? Well, they are signed by Lily and given to schools as souvenirs. The sheets come in large rolls, and apparently are quite expensive. Lily, by the way, sits down whenever she is not on camera.
On Wednesday’s show, Jane takes on Steve. During this show, I get taken to make up, and have a good chat about TV with the make up lady. We both share our thoughts on channel Nine in particular. The subject of Nine came up when we were talking about game shows and bad formats – namely Hot Seat.
I end up catching the end of Wednesday’s show, to see Jane wins.
So there it is – it’s me versus Jane for the Thursday show – with an air date of April 12, 2012.
We go off to a lunch break. After each show is recorded, the contestants who have finished are sent off home straight away. With just two shows to go for the day, it is myself, Bonnie and Jane remaining. Bonnie, who came from country Victoria, has her partner with her for support.
At the ABC canteen, we are entitled to a free meal. Jane says she is quite nervous, despite already recording one show. I wished her luck in our show and said she had nothing to worry about. After eating, Jane disappears, while I go back to out holding room and practice more Letters & Numbers from the books. I get told I should be relaxing, rather than trying to do more.
At this stage, with minutes to go before my show, I feel a small degree of nerves. Fact is, if you can;t do it now, you never will be able to, and no amount of practicing form the book at the last minute will help!
Next part – Part 6 – Andrew B on Letters and Numbers. Up tonight, after the show airs.
Next – Part 6. Andrew B on Letters and Letters.