Gerry Moran remembers the time he made it through to the televised segment of the popular TV gameshow, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
The limo arrived at eleven to take us from our hotel to the television centre in RTÉ. We place our gear in the boot: change of clothes, toilet accessories, especially deodorant (lots of deodorant). This, after all, was going to be one long day and one hectic night – the night one of us might well become a millionaire.
Then the six of us pile in. The mood in the limo is tense. We are total strangers and in seven hours time we’ll be vying with each other for a chance to win a million pounds.
At the RTÉ studios we join the other contestants; tea, coffee and biscuits are being served. Genevieve, a slim, friendly brunette greets me – she will be my chaperone, my ‘guardian angel’ for the duration. Whatever my needs she, Genevieve, will attend to them (within reason, of course).
I’m on my second coffee when Genevieve hands me a menu. I’m not long after a full Irish breakfast, I’m hyped up on caffeine and she wants me to order lunch! They’re spoiling us, for sure, but for sure four Valium would be preferable right now to the four-course meal on offer.
We then produce our passports and driving licenses, which we were asked to bring along (James Bond wouldn’t fake entry to this show), sign contracts and spend the next hour filling out forms: family details, hobbies, achievements, funny incidents and, of course, what you would do if you won a million pounds.
Be imaginative we’re told. Be creative. Be funny.