The need of television companies to generate copious amounts of cheap TV programmes has created two things, one is the endless stream of nothing celebrities, but the other, and maybe slightly more positive thing is opportunity. The opportunity for normal people to get some really interesting life experiences. And for me personally, it is the experience around the whole thing that appeals. So a few years ago I applied for my first show, and since then I have enjoyed some really great days out of it.
But before you ever go near a TV show you have to get into your head that they control everything. From the selection process to the final programme you are never in control, you surrender your rights to their need for creating great telly. No matter what you think, what you feel, what your agenda may be, you have to know that they decide what gets shown, what the point of the show is, what their goal is. Once you accept that fact then off you go.
Doing a TV show also has one other thing that you need to be prepared for, and that is the waiting around, everything takes an age and you need to understand that waiting around for some tiny detail is a part of the game.
At no time I have ever done a show for the chance of fame, I have no wish for my 15 minutes, I also have never watched my moments on TV, I normally wait for the feedback from others, and the main reason for that is not that I think I look old, fat and ugly on TV, but because that is not the reason for doing it. And yes there is still a few shows I would like to do, but will have to wait and see on that.
On the plus sides, you get to meet some very interesting people, some real characters, and in a lot of cases you get to do something you have never done before and are unlikely to ever do again. I have done two cooking shows, and yes I believe I can cook, but cooking under the circumstances of TV is very different, even cooking in a different environment changes the experience. So that is the main reason for me to venture into the world of TV, it is a challenge, an experience, and something you can look back on as something you have done that is a little different to your normal life.
· The Heist, Derren Browns Christmas special of 2006
· Football Factory, a show seen all over Asia about Japanese footballers in the UK
· Hotel Sex, a show repeated on so many cable channels, I wish I was on royalities
· MasterChef Goes large 2007. The best cooking day of my life!
· Britain’s Best Dish, where I learned that making it as you go along is not a great idea
· Fever Pitch, my film debut, and the greatest year of my life