A dungeoneer reveals all: we interview Barry Thorne, dungeoneer from the [second] winning team in Series 7
What were your first impressions of the dungeon?
Well, I couldn't see much! The good thing about Knightmare is that there's lots of variety due to the diversity of characters and the computer graphics. You need lots of skill to do the floor puzzles. My favourite part was talking to people, though.
Do you feel that your advisors did a good job? Have you got any complaints?
(Pause) Let me see... They didn't communicate information correctly, they told me to keep walking when I'd already hit the wall, and I'm sure they had aspirations to kill me on the job! Apart from that, though, they did a fairly good job. They knew what they were talking about most of the time, and they saved my life a few times.
Did you expect to win all along, or do you feel that Lady Luck was with you?
I do feel that luck was with us a little, but that didn't mean that we could be complacent; we had to concentrate the whole time. I don't think it's possible to win without luck. We just wanted to have a good time, really... I thought it would be great to ride a dragon, not many people can say they've done that! Derek wanted to cast a spell or two.
What's it like being frozen in time for an entire week, presumably while life goes on around you?
(Laughs) Erm, well! It depends where you're frozen. You have lots of time to meditate. I was halfway through the meaning of life when the game restarted!
What was the worst part of the game for you?
Oh, when we were running out of food (on level three), definitely.
What would you do to improve results if you were Lord Fear?
I think he needs to try harder. He definitely needs to be quicker. There were some very difficult parts of our adventure, however, like the spiked room which was very difficult. We were quite upset actually because we never got to meet him in the flesh. I wanted to have a slanging match with him, I think I would have won. Lord Fear also definitely needs to tighten up his security - I mean, it seems as though just about everybody knows about secret ways into the third level.
Did you enjoy your time in the Dungeons?
Yes of course. I just want to say that Knightmare's unique; I mean nearly all the other children's TV programmes are absolute rubbish. We wouldn't have bothered to apply for anything else. I think the reason so many people watch it is because they know that it would be fun to play; they're thinking, "God, I wish I could do that."
What did you find the most difficult?
The floor puzzles, especially because we'd been practising the hexagon causeways from the series before for a whole week before the show. Then we realised everything was different. I think the new ones were great, but it's a shame so many teams go out on them. With some teams they deserve it and you're thinking "oh, thank God they're going to go out on this". But sometimes you get very good teams who've done everything else right, but can't do the puzzles.
Does Sly Hands really smell?
Oh yes, of drink, rats and sewage amongst other things!
What did you think about the team before you who won being all girls?
I don't think it's that important, any team can win, but they were especially weird, so...
Do you have any advice for future Dungeoneers?
Have fun! You're going to look stupid on TV anyway, so forget about it and just have fun.
He also sent in a letter, for good measure.
Well, what can I say? Knightmare was terrific, and waiting for our programmes to arrive was agonising, watching them was a lot of fun, almost as much as making them, although I must add that a great deal of watching (on my part) was from behind a sofa cushion.
Incidentally, additional thanks to Majida, her view that I was a bit of a 'smart bottom' went down very well with friends and family. Henceforth that is what I am known as to everyone who is in the know. The cast of a play. I even considered putting 'smart bottom' in the programme where my name should be. Thanks, Majida.
Following reactions from friends, I have some tips for future dungeoneers: (Here we go! - Ed.).
- Give your team a chance to speak (ok, ok, I concede that I did talk quite a lot)
- don't try to chat up somebody with a crossbow (this I deny)
- don't try to do stupid walks (my physics teacher thought "half step, fast forward" was hilarious)
- and never forgive your younger brother if he tells you to walk right into the path of an oncoming buzzsaw blade. (Well done, that man - Ed.)
Ok, I survived, so I might let him off.
Well, all that's left is to say a huge thank you to everybody involved and congratulations on creating a series of first class entertainment. I look forward to the next one.
People ask us what we'll do next. Well, we considered putting Derek on Blind Date but he's not too keen on the idea. I don't suppose Lord Fear or Treguard will need a 16 year old assistant next series?
Not a chance! - Ed.