Many years ago, there was a TV channel called .tv. It closed down in late 2001, but for a couple of years before that, I was a regular guest on a show called Chips With Everything.
The show was a question and answer format, hosted by Kate Russell with two ‘guest experts’ whose job was to offer solutions to computer problems sent in by the viewers. Given the amount we were paid for each appearance, the time we had, and the need to make TV that appealed to more than just the person whose query we were dealing with, the answers were often quite generic, but people seem to have enjoyed it.
In fact, I still very occasionally get recognised from it, which is pretty remarkable for something that’s not been on air for so many years. When the channel was still going, it was sometimes quite weird, being in a bar and thinking “that person must fancy me, they’re eying me up” only to have them come over and gush about the program, or ask about computer problems, which is of course the last thing on my mind, when I’m out for the evening.
I recall one occasion in John Lewis where the assistant serving me was going on at such length about the show that it actually felt quite embarrassing; there was a queue of people waiting to be served, and I’m sure some of them were thinking “well, I don’t know who he is, but he’s obviously something on the telly.”
Having had my little taste of TV fame – some friends used to jokingly refer to me as “television’s Nigel Whitfield” – I can only imagine the impact that being really famous must have on your life, and I’d dread that sort of thing daily.
But I digress. It would, largely for reasons of vanity of course, be interesting to see some of those old shows again. There are a few clips from Chips With Everything on YouTube, like this, this and this, but none of those are from editions where I was a guest.
So, if anyone out there reading this happens to have a recording on which I feature, do get in touch – I never saw a broadcast when it was on, not having satellite at the time, and I think I’d quite like to now.