TV Quickfire: TV funnyman Tom Allen on his new gameshow Tom Allen's Quizness
Comedian Tom Allen has landed himself his very own quiz show on Channel 4. We found out more from the TV funnyman...
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO HOST YOUR OWN QUIZ SHOW?
IT WAS a great opportunity to do the things I love best, which are chatting to members of the public and being a little bit strict. For me, television is about making people feel less alone. It's a chance to show people trying their best and just being themselves and having a bit of a laugh along the way. I think that's so important, and it's been so missed in the last 12 months.
HAVE YOU FOUND QUIZ SHOWS COMFORTING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
I found myself watching a lot of things like The Chase and being very inspired. Bradley Walsh has always been very generous to me whenever I've met him, and I think he's such a great example of a brilliant quiz host who manages to be human and kind and, at the same time, keeps it going in a way that sets it out as a series.
WHAT WAS THE FILMING PROCESS LIKE?
We had such a laugh making it; really amazing crew, everybody worked so hard, and the set looks amazing. "It sort of looks a bit like a cruise ship," I kept saying. The contestants go up some steps at the back when they leave, but it wasn't quite clear where they had to go and, at one point, people started going the wrong way and they'd have to walk back. I love all those things, where you see the behind-the-scenes of it, and see things going just a little bit wrong. It's all about human beings just being human beings; sometimes we're not perfect, and that's part of the delight.
TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THE QUIZZERS…
Sometimes, you'll get people who are so lovely but are just a bit shy about buzzing in, and so other people will be overtaking them, and you go, "Oh, I just really want them to get at least some points". Between the rounds, I'm like, "Come on you can do it", gee them up a little bit.
You want people at home to feel like they're watching something nice. I've never been a fan of things where people are made to feel a bit foolish or made to feel a bit silly. I like it when people seem to be having a nice time altogether; that's always my approach.
YOU RELEASED YOUR WONDERFULLY OPEN AND HONEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY, NO SHAME, LAST YEAR...
I wanted to talk about feelings and experiences I've had and, no matter how foolish I felt at the time, I thought, "Well, if I talk about them, then they lose their power, they lose their sting". And I hope that anybody else who might have been through something similar would feel the same.
I tried to write as specifically as possible about how things aren't always tied up with a bow. Even things like coming out – those were big moments for me in my memory, and they did have a pay-off, in a sense, but it wasn't like, "Oh, and then everything was fine after that".
WITH LOCKDOWN EASING, ARE YOU EXCITED TO PERFORM STAND-UP AGAIN?
I'm very excited! I hope there will be a sense of real celebration in the way that we go and see live arts and go and do stuff. What I've always loved about stand-up is the fact that it's an event that happens in that space, at that time, and we all laugh and celebrate and are together.
:: Tom Allen's Quizness starts on Channel 4 on Friday May 14.