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Richard Howse, the first dungeoneer of Series 8, talks about his experience at the Knightmare auditions and how things went in the studio.

Team: Richard, Angela, Rebecca and Rowena from Bracknell

[May 1994]

I was invited on as a last resort person to make a trio of three girls into a foursome. Great, I thought. I'd always watched Knightmare and enjoyed right through to my present age at the time of 15, the border age for contestants wanting to be on the show. We had filled out or application forms and had been invited down to Leicester Square in London for an audition. We arrived by train and signed in at the rented hotel - at least I think it was a hotel!!!

We had an introduction with Tim Child and one of his production staff. Tim seemed pleased with us as a group, and all we needed to do was get through the audition. Like all moments of its type, we were on the edge of our seats, the four of us...

The scenario: (as much as I can remember anyway)!

It is the deep night and you are stood at the top of a hill, down to the east is a great river, whose opposite bank is lost in the dark mists of the night. On this side of the river is a small but empty jetty. To your north, down the side of the hill there is a cave...

We chose to head north and enter the cave, inside which we found a table. (One of the famed Knightmare item tables - I guess, you see this was all verbal and the game had to be pictured in our heads). The cave had several items: Gold bar, knife, horn, a grappling hook with rope, and pie (nothing else springs to mind)!

It was the team's debating/argument moment... The same kind that later on meant our downfall. Anyway, it was all oohs and arrrs trying to decide what one item we should take with us. Just the one item. And I voiced my opinion and told the others we should take the horn. They were still in decision mode so I had to force the issue, suggesting that the only item, that was of use would be the horn - because

  1. It was a horn and could be used as such.
  2. It could be passed off as expensive or ancient in exchange for something else instead of the gold.

Fortunately my team listened to me.

We left the cave and found ourselves at the deserted jetty, no boat, nobody, no sign of land on the other side and everyone else growling at me for not choosing the grappling hook we could have used to cross to the other side of the river (which, incidentally, we could not see anyway).


Our only option was to use the horn, and on sounding it we waited... A lone figure in a boat appeared out of the gloom, and we crossed with it to the other side of the river, using the horn (pretending it to be some expensive relic - as I had suggested) we gave it to the boat man as payment for helping us across the river.

And that was it, we had crossed the river, completed our goal and passed the test. Tim was pleased with us and we were on our way to Knightmare.

We felt great!

Next Page: Part II: The Recording

The Recording, by Richard Howse

[February 2001]

It was great!

We had trouble getting on in the first place, as Angel (the one who was going to be the dungeoneer) dropped out a week before going because she was getting bullied at school about it, a shame but that is life.

Anyway, we tried to get someone else to take her place, and on contacting the Knightmare crew we were told that the team had to consist of those who took the audition - Uh oh!

The Knightmare team woman we were in contact with told us that we couldn't go and it all turned into a bad dream (avoiding the nightmare cliché).

Rebecca and Rowena were both screaming down the phone at the woman to let us go, and we eventually 'persuaded' them to let us go. It was great to see them go psycho!

With failing at the first level - quite embarrassing really!

Tim had given us the rules of the dungeon which clearly stated "Aggression breeds aggression - steer clear of weapons!"

So, being fools we thought - "KEEP AWAY FROM WEAPONS!!!"

And hence forth we ventured into the dungeon... After spending about 1/2 an hour filming me descending into the dungeon and repeatedly banging my head on the portcullis that was a foot shorter than me - DOH! DOH! DOH!

The first table had amongst other things a green dagger. We spent about 1/2 an hour arguing about it - well I say we - I mean Rebecca and Rowena were at it hammer and tongs (all cut from the final edit) about taking the knife, and in the end we didn't because of what we had been told.


Stiletta Time

Later in that same blue room, I was stood over a chest brimming with jewels and finery... And an Amazon warrior leapt out, her blade at my throat, and only her bosoms seeable from beneath my helmet.

She wanted to know what I was doing. And I said: "Just admiring your chest" - Cut from the final edit!

[See Joanne Heywood's recollection of events.]

A discussion ensued about getting her to go with us, but she wouldn't as she was looking for her missing green dagger.

Arrrgghhhhh - talk about sinking hearts! Gutted severely. We had to progress the next day on to meeting Motley the Jester.

The whole crew had known from the day before that we had already failed, that was the worse part - that they had given us the info that had led to our swift downfall.

Motley did not stay long at the end of the first level as the sound of a dragon descended - Oh s***!

My microphone was cut off as the fireball ensued - and like a 'plum' I stood there - quite surreal really - listening to other people discussing your demise!

I was stood there shouting into the microphone asking what was going on - hearing the licking flames and the voice of the dragon talking about frickasied human tasting lovely!

In the end I wasn't fussed about losing - I was sad that it had to end, and slightly angry that we had fooled ourselves into following the guidelines we had been given, but I let go easier than the others, especially Rebecca and Rowena (who argued in the taxi home).

The crew wouldn't let us re-film because:

  1. It didn't matter about the rules.
  2. I guess it was really our own decisions to make.
  3. The next team were already waiting to go.
  4. The first team in a series can't win (or so I continue to tell myself).

A shame, but what an experience.

In the end it's not about winning - I take pride in the photos we got, which is why it's on my website. I must admit though that I missed the rest of the series, seeing that the second team beat the dungeon! Grrrrrr!

[Not quite accurate. See the full Teams page to see how they got on!]

It twisted the knife a little more, especially as it gave the kids at school something else to moan at us about. Oh well! I could live with that, after all I got up and went and did it, I did something special they would never do, and no one can take that away.

I had always promised myself that I would write to Tim once I had left school and plead with him to let me act on the show as that is the career I want to follow, but things happen, and I'm taking things easy with small parts.

[An archive cast of Richard's page is available at WebArchive]

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