By Odhrán Harbinson 8O
In summer 2016 I took part in a kid’s TV game show for Sky One entitled “The Big Spell.” My Primary seven teacher, Mrs Gallagher, gave me the opportunity to apply for it, although there were lots of stages to go through before I got as far as the T.V. studios!
First I had to fill in an online application form about myself and my interests. A few weeks later I got a phone call from one of the producers asking me to do a telephone interview. At this stage she warned me that there were over two thousand applicants which would be gradually whittled down to twenty T.V. competitors so to be honest I wasn’t very hopeful of going through. An email arrived next asking for my mum and me to do a skype interview with the production team. This was really nerve-wracking as they gave me a very tough spelling test during the skype call and this then led to them asking me to create a sixty second video to “sell” myself as a potential contestant. Around two weeks later I got another phone call from the team inviting me to a face to face interview in Dublin. This was actually a fun experience as I got to play some of the games that would come up during the show.
In the first week of July my mum got a phone call to say that I had been accepted as one of the twenty contestants. I was so excited, yet a bit nervous and apprehensive, as I would have to be away in London for up to two weeks depending on how far I progressed in the competition. It was an amazing experience from start to finish. I met some of the nicest, most fun people and the production crew at Sky were brilliant. I got to see how a T.V. show is made and I got to meet Sue Perkins, Moira Stewart and Joe Lycett who was hilarious. Every day we went to the studios and had to complete team challenges such as Speed Spell, Letter-by-letter, Spelling Bee, Spell-Check, Word Duel and a definitions game.
In each episode, two children were eliminated until only six people were left for the final day. There was a lot of tension and drama but the excitement and competitive elements were what I liked most about it. I would definitely say it was one of the best experiences of my life and something that I will never forget. I can’t say how I did or who the eventual winner was, you’ll just have to watch the programme every Sunday night if you want to find out!!