Harpenden woman's bid to buy home through gameshows
PUBLISHED: 18:53 14 April 2011
A FIRST time buyer from Harpenden is attempting to become Queen of the Gameshows in the hope it will help raise a deposit for her dream home.
Tabitha Langton Lockton, 33, is hoping to strike lucky and get cash together in order to buy a house in Harpenden by entering a string of competitions and applying to every gameshow she can think of.
But with over 600 competitions entered and two gameshow appearances under her belt, Tabitha has discovered a cult world of gameshow contestants where the entire process is taken very seriously indeed.
She said: “I seem to have entered another alien world and these people are very serious about these shows – many of them have appeared on several other shows – and they are highly competitive.
“In the green room, people are not themselves but are quite manipulative and deceptive as they try to work out how much of a threat you are.”
Tabitha, the manager of an art gallery in London, moved to Harpenden last July with her boyfriend and they instantly knew that the town was somewhere they wanted to settle down.
Just months after moving in to their rented property on Cravells Road their landlord said he wanted to sell it.
Unable to gather a deposit together in order to make an offer on the house, Tabitha and her partner had to find another rented property but it set them thinking about how they’d ever afford to buy in such an expensive area in the midst of a recession.
The decision to apply to be a gameshow contestant came to her one afternoon while watching Deal or No Deal. She realised that a win on almost any gameshow would give her the money they would need to put the deposit on a house.
She applied to The Chase, The Million Pound Drop, Pointless and pilot gameshows and it was at this point that she became acquainted with the oddities that pervade the industry.
“The questions on the application forms were very odd and the idea of the application process is that you stand out from the crowd and I must have because within a few days of sending it off, I got called for my first audition.
“For many of the shows, you have to take a friend but lots won’t come because they don’t want to be on TV but I have to admit, the thought of being on TV is at the back of my mind.
“I want to win – there seems very little alternative for me and my boyfriend if we want to purchase a house.
“He’s saved some money but I’ve not and can’t with my job.”
The audition, for a BBC pilot show Breakout hosted by Nick Hancock, went well and Tabitha actually went on to win but because it was a pilot, she was only able to take home 10 per cent of the overall prize.
She won £500 along with two other contestants and once it was split, she took home £166 towards her house deposit.
In June, Tabitha will be on Pointless but until it airs she can’t reveal whether she was successful and how much has been added to her house deposit fund.
In the meantime, she says she is dedicated to her quest to win her deposit and continues to enter any competition she comes across.
She’s also begun writing a blog for The Guardian, which recounts her amusing journey as a gameshow contestant.