I Went On "Pointless" And I Was Shit
It was a non-televised version. (Scoop: They have three different flavours of crisps in the green room.)
Hello. I went and participated in a special episode of Pointless that won't be televised ever.
Why won't it be televised? Because the people taking part were journalists.
And the production company behind the show invited journalists to play so they would write articles about what it's really like to be a contestant on Pointless.
Articles such as this.
Pointless is filmed in Elstree, in far north London. I went with my colleague Hayley.
The event was intended to mark the 1,000th episode of the show this week, but since many episodes are filmed in advance, it took place last July.
In case you forgot what happened in July, it was the month when we got a new British prime minister. It was also the morning after someone split their dress while being interviewed live on Big Brother's Bit on the Side.
When we arrived we went into a giant white tent that was adjacent to the studio.
There we were briefed on what was to take place. We would be in teams of two. Some journos from other titles would team up. Vice would be paired with Metro.
The person from Vice admitted they never watched Pointless.
As preparation for studio filming can take ages, we had to stay in that room for about half an hour, engaging in polite chat about topics such as the woman who split her dress on Big Brother the previous night.
I didn't have the confidence to speak to many of the people I would be competing with, so I started taking random pictures on my phone.
So, just for you, here are the varieties of crisps that were on offer that day.
There were three varieties of crisps at Pointless.
Hayley guessed that the crisps were cheese and onion, black pepper, and plain.
There was no info given on the crisp flavours.
I even asked a PR for Pointless about this.
I then started taking photos of the coffee machine.
And I ate nearly all the crisps alone.
Here are the four different types of drinks you can have at the Pointless studio.
I don't understand the positioning of cappuccino next to espresso.
What bad machine design.
Then in more dramatic news, I spilt my drink all over the floor.
And then took a photo of it.
Here is the photo. I don't know why I did this.
Hayley told me later on that she spilt her drink twice. She said: "The carpet must have been a fucking STATE when we left."
I also admired the fact that there was the official Pointless board game in the corner of the green room, in case someone thought, "Oh, I know how to pass the time. I'll play some Pointless."
We then had to pick a ball out of a bag, which determined what order we would be appearing in the studio.
We were third.
Look at everyone so thrilled about the order we are in.
I don't think they cared.
When I entered the room I decided to take a photo of the seating arrangements.
At the time I thought it was going to be fascinating for readers.
Nice to see that those chairs don't just exist in schools.
The back support on them is poor to average.
With the presenters not on the stage yet, I decided to whip out my phone and take a photo of what Richard Osman can see from his desk.
Here's an exclusive sneak peek of his laptop, with it switched off.
That's weird, I thought. It hasn't been switched on.
The reflection of me in this photo makes me look like a dick, I know.
I assumed that Richard Osman would come over and flick it on when the episode started, as the presenters were still in their dressing rooms.
Little did I know that the laptop is never switched on.
It was a prop.
I had a small journalistic scoop, but I totally didn't realise it at the time.
This devastating news was broken by The Sun five months later.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Yes, Mum and Dad. This really, really, really is my job.
At least I got some sort of scoop: the pen on his desk?
The pen belongs to Richard Osman.
Here is the proof.
I was going to delete the tweet because I forgot the I in "it", because I am a journalist and we get judged on our words.
Then Osman and Alexander Armstrong came out. And we started the quiz.
Here's the first round.
The only word that I could think of was "beak".
I instantly realised that we weren't going to win Pointless.
At one point during the competition I wrote this note in my iPhone and showed it to Hayley standing next to me.
It pretty much sums everything up:
I complained to Hayley about how I still had some crisps in my teeth.
The time was up so I gave an answer that matched my hopes for this round: "Bleak."
"Let's see how many of our 100 people said 'bleak,'" said Armstrong.
It was a correct answer.
If it hadn't been a correct answer, I would have quit journalism.
The number on the screen started to fall.
It hit 31.
"Yeah, bleak, well done, yeah. It said under here, 'Scott Bryan's employment prospects,'" said Osman.
Then came the second round.
My mind went blank and all I could think of was the c-word.
Then with confidence, we said "Turkmenistan".
"Is it a place?" whispered Hayley to me.
"I don't know," I responded.
My reasoning was that I have been on long-haul flights where I saw Turkmenistan on the map when our plane was passing above it.
It happened again months later when I was on a flight on holiday and had finished watching Ab Fab: The Movie.
I was quite drunk. I gave the film four stars.
In my mind.
Anyway, we we got the correct answer.
So we then left the competition.
And spoiler alert...
(Well, I can't say spoiler alert, really, because there aren't really any spoilers considering that this wasn't actually an episode of Pointless and it will never air.)
Vice won. In a team with Metro.
The contestant who didn't know what the rules were to Pointless won.
So anyway, let's move on and talk about the wonderful crisps again.
Which one of these would you try? Email me at email@example.com.
On my way back into London I decided to pop into Pret.
"What's that?" asked the man behind the counter while serving me coffee, looking at my chest.
I looked down at my chest.
Oh, fuck's sake.
I was still wearing my Pointless name badge.
I had been wearing it the entire way into London on the train.
"Oh, I was on Pointless," I said quickly, making it seem as if it wasn't a big deal because I was embarrassed by the whole thing.
"Will it be televised?"
He then handed me my 99p white filter.
"Well, have a good day, Scott," said the Pret man.
That's weird, I thought. How did he know my name?
Fifteen minutes later I got it.
My name badge.
It had my name on it.