The quiet despair of the TV audition

If you write enough books, eventually someone will ask you to come and talk to them about appearing in a TV show. This has happened to me three times now. In none of the cases did I get offered the spot - but then I don't think any of the TV shows have been made either. It seems part of TV's creative process that they take lots of ideas as far as talking to people about appearing in them, then don't go any further.

I suppose I should moan that I've wasted a day and a trip to London each time, but it has been a fascinating experience. The most unnerving was one company that invited me in for a chat, but then videoed that chat to see how I came across. But the most hilarious was one for a Brainiac-like show where I was sent a script to learn in advance.

After a conversation with the potential producer, we went up onto the roof of the building and I had to deliver to a camera, often stuck inches away from my face, an enthusiastic explanation of the infamous Mentos/Cola reaction, waving around a pack of Mentos. If you've never seen it, this is what Mentos and Cola do:

(I didn't have to do the experiment itself, that was going to be cut in later.)

Now, there seem to be two kinds of TV science presenters. Very attractive people and loonies. As I couldn't possibly qualify for the first category, I must admit I did ham it up a bit, becoming remarkably excited about this reaction. To be fair, they did say 'not for this show, but we' d like to consider you for future programmes.' Unfortunately, I suspect this is a variant of 'don't call us, we'll call you.'...


  1. Bizarre and quite mad, especially the musical accompaniment!


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