15 minutes of fame – how to boost your chances of getting on and winning TV game shows

Jordon Cox

By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox

We all can shout out the answers on the couch at home, but being in the studio doing it for real is very different. Take it from me – I’ve been on a TV game show recently as well as auditioned for others, and it’s not easy.

What is easier than you’d think though, is getting ON a TV game show or quiz show in the first place, if you ‘Play Your Cards Right’ and are a bit of an ‘Egghead’ when it comes to mastering your application. If you’re a ‘Telly Addict’, then being on one of your favourite shows is probably a goal in itself, quite apart from the prizes at stake. So here are a few tips to make that goal a reality.

Update Tue 7 Feb 2017: It’s been over a year since I wrote this blog, but I’ve updated it with new tips and new game shows that you can apply for below. Happy auditioning!

Try for lesser-known shows

Fancy your chances on The Chase, The Crystal Maze or Catchphrase? Sadly, so do a lot of people. While it’s not impossible to get on, you’ve a better chance with lesser-known shows (check out my list of shows to go for below). Often you see a new game show looking for contestants. If people haven’t seen it before, there may not be many applications, even though there can be lots of prizes. So it’s worth taking a chance.

It’s a numbers game too. If a show’s looking for lots of contestants, 15 to 1 or 1 VS 100, you have a better chance. Even if you don’t end up playing for prizes, it’s a chance to dip your toe in the game show waters.

Prepare your answers

To apply for most game shows you need to fill out an application form which can take some time. Yet many application forms ask the same questions, so it’s worth keeping your answers written down somewhere so you can do a simple copy and paste. Common questions include ‘what are your hobbies’, ‘what do you do for a living’ and ‘what would you do if you won any money’.

Really sell yourself

Popular shows get thousands of application forms, so you need to make yours stand out. So don’t just give one-word answers to the questions – the more personality you can show through your writing, even when it comes to something simple such as your hobbies, the better.

Similarly, if there is an option to add a video of yourself, do it – it’s the easiest way to stand out. Producers want the best and most interesting people to make the show worth watching. If you look through your application or video and YOU wouldn’t pick yourself, then things need spicing up.

When it comes to auditions, enthusiasm’s key

After you’ve slogged through the application form, the next step – if you’re lucky enough to be picked – is the phone interview or face-to-face audition. The words ‘interview’ and ‘audition’ might scare you but there is nothing to worry about.

Be as bubbly and upbeat as you can and use the potential to win cash and prizes as your driving force to show them how much you want it. If you are memorable for any reason, you will be in with a good chance of getting on the show.

Shows to apply for

New shows: These are the shows you’re most likely to get on (I’ve updated this list for 2017). As they haven’t been aired yet, less people will apply, giving you better odds of being picked.

Letterbox: Looking for pairs of contestants to crack a series of passwords in an attempt to take home a cash prize. Filmed in London.

Cheap, Cheap, Cheap: Noel Edmonds is looking for teams of two that have an eye for a bargain – for the chance to win up to £25,000. We expect some MSE-ers to apply for this!

Cannonball: Looking for contestants for a water-based challenge show – filmed in the Mediterranean (so free holiday)! If you can swim and are willing to throw yourself in at the deep end for a prize, this could be for you.

Go for it: Could you impress the nation with your skill or party tricks? Take on the challenge for the chance to win cash prizes. Filmed in London.

Culinary Genius: Looking for amateur cooks to take part in Gordon Ramsay’s new competitive cooking show, for the chance to win a cash prize. Filmed in London.

David Dickinson’s Name Your Price: Looking for teams of two that love game shows and have a passion for antiques and collectibles to win prizes.

More popular shows: These shows have had at least one season before or are quite popular. Your chances here are reduced – but it’s still worth applying.

The Crystal Maze: Looking for teams of five to take on the crystal dome and collect as many golden tokens as possible to win prizes – and of course, your very own crystal. Filmed in Bristol.

!mpossible: In this quiz show, there are right answers, wrong answers and impossible answers. Could you distinguish them to win £10,000? Filmed in London.

Eggheads: Do you have what it takes to beat the Eggheads and win £1,000s? Looking for teams of six to take on the toughest quiz brains. Filmed in Glasgow.

Mastermind: Sit in the famous black chair and answer some of the toughest questions on TV for your chance to the win the Mastermind trophy. Filmed in Manchester.

Countdown: Conquer 15 rounds of numbers and letters to be crowned Countdown Champion. Take home a Countdown goodie bag. Auditions nationwide.

Come Dine With Me: Amateur chefs are needed for the chance to take home £1,000. Both couples and lone contestants welcome to apply. Filmed nationwide.

15 to 1: Can you become ‘the one’ by beating your opponents to take home £40,000 as the grand champion? Auditions nationwide.

Tipping Point: Have you got what it takes to beat the oversized coin machine? Ben Sheppard is looking for contestants to win up to £10,000. Filmed in London.

The Chase: Can you outrun a chaser and take home £1,000s? Test your wits against The Beast, The Governess, The Dark Destroyer, The Sinnerman or The Vixen. Filmed in London.

And most of all, have fun…

If you get picked as a contestant, the most important part of the whole experience is to have fun. You will hopefully have an amazing time with a friendly crew and meet a celebrity host (cheeky selfie moment…) – if you win any prizes, that’s just the cherry on top. Game shows and quiz shows with massive cash prizes have the potential to change your life but try not to get too focused on that. Stay calm and do your best.

And finally, if being in front of the camera isn’t your thing, be sure to check out how to get free audience tickets for TV shows.

Have you ever appeared on a TV game show or auditioned for one? Have you ever won big? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below, on twitter @MSE_Deals or on Facebook.