An insight into the audition process by website founder and former webmaster, Nicholas Lam (1999-2010). His team were the first in the country to be auditioned for Season 7 in 1993 at Anglia's London offices.

Auditioning for Knightmare, 1993-94

by Nicholas Lam

At the end of some episodes throughout the 8 years of Knightmare, an address caption invited viewers interested in appearing on the programme to send in a stamped addressed envelope to Anglia Television. As application forms are not sent out until January of each year, you were sent a letter explaining what the current situation is, along with information on the Knightmare Adventurer's Club and Knightmare merchandise etc.

Teams had to be aged 11-16 to apply, and the dungeoneer can be either the team captain or one of the three advisors. The application form itself was two pages of double-sided A4, with space to attach passport-sized photographs of each team member, space for personal details, a section asking each parent/guardian to sign the form and a space for each team member to write a short bit about themselves. The team captain would have to write the most, and comment on the other team members.

Application forms had to be returned to Broadsword by the deadline (usually the end of February). Teams were then short-listed to be invited for an audition in their region, held during the Easter school holidays. Each year, approximately 3000 teams apply and 200 are auditioned, and only 20 or less were invited to standby to take part (whether all teams actually appear on the show depends on the progress of the previous teams throughout the quests).

So, for a team to get an audition was an achievement in itself.


A picture I took myself in 1999

Auditions were held all over the country, with the London ones being held at Anglia Television's Central London offices within the 'Communications' building in Leicester Square (on the 3rd Floor - see circle on picture!).

Other places for auditions included hotel conference areas, and the main Anglia TV HQ in Norwich itself.

The audition itself would last approximately 15 minutes, and would consist of a role-playing game directed by the creator and producer of Knightmare - Tim Child, followed by an opportunity to ask any questions. With the next team waiting outside, we were told not to say anything to them on our way out. A week later, all teams auditioned would be sent a letter informing them of the outcome.

Our Series 7 audition was on Tuesday 9th April 1993 at 9.30am, which we thought went quite well. We were the first team in the country that year to be auditioned, and even got to miss a morning off school to be there! (all other schools were on holiday except ours for some reason). We didn't find the role-play very difficult, and our teamwork was reasonable.

We were not invited to take part on the show, but it was an interesting experience, especially when the series started we recognised that the team waiting for an audition after us that day made it onto the show! We were pleased to have been auditioned anyway and to have met the producer.

A year later, we knew that it was going to be even more difficult as there are only 10 episodes. Only 120 teams would be auditioned with just 15 short-listed for the programme. But luckily, we were again invited to audition for Series 8 on Friday 8th April 1994 at 9.00am. We had replaced two of our team members with different people, but Tim recognised one of us (not me) and therefore made sure that we didn't get the same role-play game.

We didn't make it on the show this time round either. In fact, we felt that we did slightly worse than the previous year, but never mind.


Paul Boland was the team leader of the first Irish team to be auditioned for Knightmare. He wrote about his experience for the website.

To read about what it was like to appear on Knightmare, we have further testimonials from Ray Lockton (Series 5 Winners), and Richard Howse (Series 8, Team 1).

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