At one point I was offered an impressive £18,000. I weighed it up, but I had a good feeling in my gut, so I rejected it

It was 2006, and I was out of work and broke, so I signed up to an email newsletter that listed all the programmes looking for gameshow contestants in the hope of making some cash. That’s when I saw a callout for a new programme called Deal Or No Deal, and thought I’d try my luck. It hadn’t aired, but it was a game of chance, and unlike most of the others didn’t require you to be particularly intelligent.

I was on set for three weeks. It was hectic: we filmed three shows a day, from late morning to late evening. Forming friendships so quickly was incredibly intense: each day was full of highs and lows in our little bubble, an experience only the other contestants could relate to. It was draining to be constantly switched on and smiling. Most days someone walked away with life-changing sums of money, so every night people partied hard. I was exhausted by the time my game came around.

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