Entertainment: The Chase contestant reveals exactly what happens when you go on the hit TV show

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A contestant who has appeared on the hit ITV show The Chase has revealed what happens when you take part. David St John from Birmingham appeared on the show back in 2012 and has spoken out about what happens behind the scenes.

The 73-year-old comedian holds the Guinness World Record for appearing on the most TV quiz shows. David has appeared in 34 different TV quiz shows but claimed that The Chase was one of his favourites.

Speaking to Birmingham Live, David explained everything that happened on the show, including the audition process, visiting the studios and meeting the popular host Bradley Walsh and chaser Anne Hegerty.

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Application process and the audition

David said he successfully applied for The Chase and was invited to the Radison Blue Hotel in Birmingham for the audition. He did a piece to camera where he introduced himself and talked about his interests.

The Chase contestants with host Bradley Walsh © ITV The Chase contestants with host Bradley Walsh

David says he then took part in a round of multiple choice questions before joining up with other auditionees to take part in a final round-type scenario where they had to buzz in to answer questions. Researchers then got in touch with him around two or three weeks after the audition to say he had been selected for the show.

Visiting the studios

ITV had booked David into a hotel just a few blocks away from the Thames-side Southbank TV studio complex. He had travelled down from the Cannock area of Birmingham the evening before filming and had enjoyed a meal before getting a good night's sleep.

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ITV paid for the accommodation and meal expenses. David had a selection of three outfits which he took to the studios. He was told to avoid small chequered patterns which can strobe with the lights in the studio.

He chose to wear black trousers and a dark plain shirt. David got picked up by a taxi the next morning around 8am for a short drive to the studios. He says he received a very friendly reception from the researchers and was shown into the green room to meet his three other team members.

David St John - a former contestant on hit ITV show The Chase reveals what it's like to be on the show © Birmingham Live David St John - a former contestant on hit ITV show The Chase reveals what it's like to be on the show

This included three women, whose jobs were a head teacher, physiotherapist and management training consultant. He said: "Everyone was really lovely and friendly but I sensed a few nerves from a couple of them. I never get nervous so I tried my best to keep them relaxed and to try and calm their nerves. Our team consisted of myself and three other ladies.

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"We received plenty of snacks, food like sandwiches and coffee to keep us going while we waited for our turn." David said there was another team being filmed first and they waited around two hours for their turn in the studios.

During this time the wardrobe department checked what they were wearing and added a small amount of make up with a brush to the men and applied make-up to the women. David said he never saw a Chaser before they went into the studios and had no idea who they would face.

He said they had a researcher with them at all times and this included a trip to the toilet. David said: "They just can't risk anyone having the opportunity to cheat like stumbling into a room and coming across the questions."

As the team makes their way to the studios David notices Pete Andre in the corridor on his way to an interview with ITV's This Morning. He says: "I jokingly ask him if he wanted to join our team. He laughed and admitted that ' I would be no good on a quiz show.'

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Meeting Bradley Walsh and Filming The Chase

David says the first time they meet Bradley Walsh is in the studios when they are seated behind the desk with his other team mates. He says Bradley gives them a quick prep talk telling them he was 'on their side' and wanted them to win the money.

David says: "Bradley was lovely and friendly and put everyone at ease." The production team give them their final instructions before filming begins.

The Governess Anne Hegerty aka "Frosty knickers" boldly strolled through the doors. The first two ladies were taken out by The Governess so the team had no money before David stepped up.

ITV's The Chase popular host, Bradley Walsh, with former contestant David St John, who has appeared in 34 quiz shows. He told Birmingham Live that The Chase was one of his favourites © Handout ITV's The Chase popular host, Bradley Walsh, with former contestant David St John, who has appeared in 34 quiz shows. He told Birmingham Live that The Chase was one of his favourites

David got seven questions right in the cash builder and a total of £7,000. David said: "She said hello to me and I replied 'well helloooo ding dong' which made her smile and we got a laugh around the studio. She was lots of fun.

"She offered me £30,000 to go one step closer to her and £1,000 to go one step closer to the winning line. I chose to stick with my £7,000."

After a sticky start and getting a question David got the rest of his questions right to make it to the final Chase. He was joined by the headteacher as she made it through The Chase with £3,000 so two of them would appear in the final playing for a total of £10,000.

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David and his fellow team member managed 16 steps in the final Chase but was caught by The Governess with a good number of seconds to spare. David says: "Bradley then came over to us for a final chat and said how much he enjoyed the laughs on top of the game.

"It had been a wonderful experience. I said goodbye to my team mates, producers and researchers and then made my way back to the hotel. It had been a wonderful experience."

David was to later meet Bradley Walsh in a pub in Manchester when he was invited to appear on Come on Down - The Game Show Story presented by Walsh in 2014.

Advice for people wanting to appear on The Chase

Asked for any top tips for those following in his footsteps, David says try to make yourself sound fun and interesting and be passionate about appearing on the Chase in the initial application. If invited to an audition he says to be "confident, try and relax and enjoy yourself."

Former The Chase contestant, David St John, from Birmingham has published a book about appearing on different game shows © Birmingham Live Former The Chase contestant, David St John, from Birmingham has published a book about appearing on different game shows

He added: "They want people who are comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. People naturally get nervous but if you can be confident and relaxed and just enjoy it with a smile on your face you will be fine.

"It is a fun experience and if you are lucky enough to be chosen to go on the show it will be an amazing I promise, win or lose." David is an author and has written Yours Quizically: Confessions of a TV Quiz addict which is available from Amazon.

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