tv_old_redI got this email query recently from Steve:

“Me and the wife recently auditioned for the game show ‘Pointless’ and were sent a shortlist email 2 days after that audition. Unfortunately we never heard back from them, so about 3 weeks later I emailed one of the researchers who said we unfortunately not made the list to actually appear on the programme. 

“She did say that it was definitely worth auditioning again which we did last week. I’m getting a bit worried though as its now been exactly a week and we haven’t heard anything (no shortlist email 2 days later like before).

“I’m beginning to lose hope, even though the researcher said you will hear within 2 weeks it seems this show shortlists contestants within a couple of days (as was shown in our 1st audition process).

“Please can you offer us any hope? Has it been known for any shows to just ring you up and say you are on (without first sending the shortlist email)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

The short answer is that as with all TV shows, you can always receive a call from out of the blue if you applied. Even if you’re not first choice, circumstances can change and the production company may need to refer to their backup list of contestants.

tv_black-and-whiteAlso, it can be difficult to second-guess what the TV company is looking for at any given time. Producers are under pressure to fairly represent the ethnic, age, gender and regional make-up of the UK when casting for their shows.

This means that at the time of any given application your personal profile may be the wrong fit. At the time you apply, the network may be specifically looking for more women from the North of England. They may be for more Asian faces. You can miss out this way and it can be nothing to do with your ability.

Also, the ability of a contestant to project the right mood is usually far more important than their quizzing ability. Different shows will be looking for different characters. Bubbly is a good bet but some will also be looking for serious, wacky, intense, or even brutally normal.

What the producers are looking for depends on the show and the time. It’s always a good idea to simply ask the researchers what they’re looking for when you apply or when you turn up to an audition. They’ll often be happy to tell you exactly what type of contestant they are hoping to find and you can adjust your behaviour accordingly.

tv_retro_orangeThe other thing to remember is that if a show is very popular then you will have less chance of getting on. This is simply to do with supply and demand.

So, the hope is there: unless you’ve been specifically told you are not required, you can be called at any time. Keep applying for shows and you’re sure to be on screen sooner or later.


I later got another email from Steve saying:

"Just to let you know that we appeared on Pointless last month. We finally got the call.  I think my  persistent helped.

Again many thanks for your advice"