Life

TV Quickfire: Ben Shephard on celebrating 10 years of Tipping Point

As Tipping Point celebrates its 10th birthday, host Ben Shephard reflects on the show, his career and life as a father of two...

Tipping Point host Ben Shephard
Danielle de Wolfe

DID YOU EXPECT TIPPING POINT TO LAST FOR 10 YEARS?

If you had asked me back when it started, I would have said that's completely bonkers. How could you do anything for 10 years? I've done amazing shows that didn't come back after one series, let alone one that's made it through to 12 series. So, I will never take for granted the opportunity that I was given all that time ago to host this magical, amazing show that people still seem to be loving 10 years down the line.

CAN YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOU WERE DOING A DECADE AGO?

It was 2012 when we started this. 2012 was such a joyous year because of the Olympics – we filmed this and then I went off and had the best job of my life, which was being in the Olympic stadium every single night. That year is such an incredibly iconic year for everybody and was so joyful for me professionally. It has flown by.

HAS THE SHOW'S SUCCESS SURPRISED YOU?

It's woven into the fabric of people's lives. I've had so many messages from people – over lockdown particularly, and I think it's suddenly then that you realise how important something like Tipping Point is to people. My parents, we couldn't get to see them, they were on their own, and their bit of joy during the day was watching Tipping Point and cheering the contestants on. Moments like that, you just can't underestimate how powerful that is for us.

THERE'S A NOSTALGIC ELEMENT TO IT TOO, ISN'T THERE?

The lucky thing for us with our machine is that people know and love a penny falls machine. Not only have we all got a history of playing one as a kid at the end of a pier somewhere, but we've created one that's three metres by three metres and gives out tens of thousands of pounds – rather than two pence coins and a dodgy Rolex watch.

DO YOU EVER LOOK BACK ON EARLY EPISODES AND NOTICE A TRANSFORMATION IN YOURSELF?

Someone said to me the other day, 'you look so much better now you're not dyeing your hair' but I never have! What they're trying to say is 'it's a bit more grey', right? I make it very clear to both my children regularly: my excessively fast ageing is down to them and the stress that they have caused me… When I look back, I can see myself, but then when I compare it to what I look like now, I can see my dad. Not just how I look, but my behaviour as well. I'm becoming more and more like my dad – the one thing I swore I would ever do as a teenager.

SPEAKING OF HAIR, ANY TERRIBLE FAUX PAS IN THE PHOTO ALBUMS?

When I first started television, I did have a lovely hairdresser who used to insist that she wanted to frost my tips – highlight the ends of my hair. Dawson's Creek was quite big at the time and I think Joshua Jackson from Dawson's Creek had frosted tips. So, I did at one point, but I got so much grief when I went to rugby on the Saturday, it never happened again.

:: Tipping Point returns to ITV today

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