Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mr & Mrs (White)

My birthday yesterday will be remembered for a number of reasons. But whilst the family stuff, presents and all-round kindness were terrific, one particular envelope stood out amongst all others.

No-one gets as many cards these days as they used to - or perhaps it's just me - but I was fortunate to find a few on our doormat. However, the envelope I'm talking about didn't have a card in it.  Instead, it contained a letter, the consequence of which both Vanessa and I are still trying to take in.

So, I'll get straight to the point. We're going on Mr & Mrs.      

It is a programme I grew up with and, as a youngster, declared that I would appear on.  But two obstacles stood in my way. The first was that I didn't have a wife.  This has since been rectified.  Then, when I was sorting that bit out, they went and cancelled the show.

Yes, whilst All Star Mr & Mrs continues to appear on our screens, the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the original version - featuring mere commoners such as us Whites - has long-since disappeared. In fact, the last show went out in 1999, six years before I crawled up the aisle (I knew popping into the hotel bar that morning was a bad idea).

But ITV has finally had a rethink and, this September, it will reappear for a six-week run.  If ratings are good, a longer series will probably be commissioned.

There has been next to no publicity about this.  Even the identity of the presenter or presenters is yet to be confirmed, although Phillip Schofield - who hosts the All Star show - is thought likely to do it.  But the pre-production stage is very much under way, part of which includes the recruitment of contestants.

Apparently there have been adverts in magazines somewhere, all of which passed me by.  But a friend of mine who works for ITV Yorkshire and who was aware of my long-held ambition to appear on the show tipped me off and sent me the forms in October last year.  We filled them in and, just after Christmas, we were called to Manchester for a screen test.  We weren't allowed to tell anyone then - otherwise I might have mentioned it (ahem) - and we heard nothing since.

Until yesterday morning, that is.  We've now been asked to return to Manchester for two days in July when all six episodes will be filmed back to back.  I still can't quite believe it but, sure, you only live once.

Now I'd better go and ask Vanessa all those questions I've been meaning to pose for years.  These include "what's your favourite colour, what's your middle name and what are you doing with me anyway?"