Think you could be the next Mastermind? TV castings with cash and prizes to be won

Jordon Cox

By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox

Want to be the next star of The Chase, take home the Mastermind bowl or cook up a storm on Come Dine with Me? Here are the tips and the casting calls you’ll need…

Being on a TV game show is a great experience and the chance of winning big prizes or cash is the icing on the cake. So if you’re brave enough to test your knowledge (or physical ability) in front of the nation, read on for my pick of the casting calls currently up for grabs. I’ve applied for a few myself – so we could even be competing against each other if we get through!

Popular TV game shows you can apply to be a contestant on

As long as you’re not camera-shy, you can achieve nationwide fame – and sometimes walk away with £1,000s in prizes – by appearing as a contestant on some of the country’s best-loved TV game shows.

Here are the biggies taking applications at the moment:

The Chase – Do you have what it takes to beat the chaser? Face off against ‘The Beast’, ‘The Governess’, ‘The Dark Destroyer’, ‘The Sinnerman’ or ‘The Vixen’ in a head-to-head general knowledge quiz to potentially win £1,000s.

Tipping Point – Can you beat the machine and take home £10,000? Ben Shepherd is looking for contestants to test their brains and their luck.

Come Dine With Me – Hold a dinner party for complete strangers and the highest-scoring host bags £1,000 in cash… and a grilling from narrator Dave Lamb.

Mastermind – Fancy sitting in that famous black chair and taking home the Mastermind bowl? I think you know what my specialist subject would be…

EggheadsCan your team of six take on some of the toughest quiz brains? You could win £1,000s for beating them.

Bargain HuntThink you can spot hidden treasure and make a profit on it at auction? Teams of two are needed to scout bargains with an antiques expert. Any profit, you pocket!

Rebound – If you love quizzes, word puzzles, picture games and have decent general knowledge, you could win a big cash prize.

Countdown – Fancy being a Countdown champion? Find hidden words and solve a few maths problems to take home that famous tea pot. It has to be worth something, right?

New shows… your shortcut to stardom?

You can boost your chances of being picked as a contestant by focusing on new shows that’ve never been aired. Typically, they won’t get as many applicants – mainly because nobody knows what to expect.

There are often big cash prizes to be won though, so if you fancy diving into the unknown, here are some new shows currently in need of contestants:

Think Tank – A brand new show hosted by Bill Turnbull. Compete to win a cash prize as you answer questions with help from a cross-section of the Great British public.

Go For It – Could you impress the nation with a unique skill or party trick? You can use it to compete in challenges and bag a cash prize.

Debatable – Looking for contestants to face tricky questions with celebrities debating the answers live in the studio with you. Cash prizes to be won.

Spotless – Looking for pairs of contestants to take on physical challenges where your performance will be judged using new technology. One wrong move could cost you £1,000s.

Cash Trapped – Hosted by The Chase’s Bradley Walsh. Go head-to-head in a battle of brains in order to escape with the largest amount of cash.

No title yetCould you talk, debate & deliberate your way to a hefty cash prize? Looking for people who love a quiz and would relish persuading others that they know best.

TV gameshow inspiration

If you need more motivation than just cash and prizes, I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a lot of fun. The first TV show I ever applied for (not long after I turned 18), I got on and won £1,000 cash for a day’s work. It was on an ITV show called Pick Me hosted by Stephen Mulhern, that was broadcast last November.

It was a brand new series that was looking for hundreds of contestants – who were all in an audience dressed up in funny clothes trying to get picked to play for prizes. We filmed three episodes on the day and I was picked at the start of the second episode – and it took me the whole show (down to the final round) to scoop the £1,000 prize – phew!

Sending off application forms and having telephone interviews aren’t that scary – because you are just talking about yourself. If you get picked to appear the experience is amazing. You are looked after by all the crew with food and drinks – and if you live far away from the venue, you get hotel and trains paid for. Basically, it’s a fun day out to possibly win some great prizes – and even make a few friends along the way.

If you want more inspiration, I asked on the MSE Forum to hear from MoneySavers who’ve appeared on a TV game show. And it turns out forumite Chrisx2 is a game show veteran:

“I developed the game show bug back in 2003, kicking off with The Weakest Link. I got picked on mercilessly by Anne, but hey-ho… it’s her job! During the following years I appeared on In it to Win It, Who wants to be a Millionaire, Saturday Night Takeaway and PokerFace to name the most popular ones.

“I love everything about it, getting picked up from home, the make-up, VIP treatment and best of all the prizes. My wins are totalling £50,000 plus the odd holiday. Most memorable was a trip to Las Vegas thanks to Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway! My advice… don’t sit and ponder. DO IT!”

Back when I first joined MSE, I wrote a blog with tips on Boosting your chances of appearing on TV game shows – so be sure to have a look to improve your chances.

Have you ever applied for a TV game show? Have you ever won cash or prizes? I’d love to know your stories in the comments below, on Twitter @Jordon_Cox or on Facebook.