Londonderry’s games queen takes on The Chase

Hazel Philson with a memento from her Deal or No Deal days. INLS2215-124KM
Hazel Philson with a memento from her Deal or No Deal days. INLS2215-124KM

Three years ago Hazel Philson won £24,600 on the Channel Four gameshow Deal or No Deal.

On Monday night next, June 8, she will make another appearance on the small screen, this time on ‘The Chase’.

Tight-lipped due to her contract with the programme makers, Hazel is unable to reveal how she did on the show.

“I have been and done the show already, but cannot tell you anything about it, so you are just going to have to watch it and see what happens on Monday night,” she said.

“It was recorded last July in Elstree TV and film Studios, at Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. I went for an audition in April last year in Belfast and they told me there and then that I would be on the programme.

“Four weeks after that I got a telephone call to say they wanted me over in June, so over I went and it was all done in the one day. I went over the night before and they picked me up in a posh taxi and I went to the studio the next morning .

“I met Bradley Walsh, who was very nice. He is a very witty gentleman. I cannot tell you the result, but I have to tell you, it was very, very scary whenever you are going for it. It was not like Deal or No Deal where you only had one question, there were lots of questions and I just thought to myself ‘Oh dear! What have I done?’

“I had this down on my bucket list. I have only ever applied for two tv quiz shows and I got on both of them. I cannot say how I did this time, but I will say I did not disgrace myself.”

Asked what she thought of the show, Hazel said: “It was actually very interesting. I was very enjoyable and the Chaser I wanted I got. The team was very good too.

“The individual round was petrifying though. Your mind can play awful games on you and go blank when they are firing one question after another at you. I did no preparation for the show. I just thought I would take a chance. Maybe working in a library and answering random, funny questions all my working life gives you some of the answers, but it certainly doesn’t give you them all.”

The programme had originally been due for screening in December, but it was put back.

“I was hoping that it would be on in December, as my mother wanted to see it. ITV control the schedule and it is only being screened now. Unfortunately my mum died before she could get to watch it.”

Plagued by people who know her as to when it will be aired, Hazel said members of the WI had also been quizzing her about when they could see Hazel on the show.

Comparing the two shows, Hazel recalled that she was even given a £100 reward from ‘The banker’ for her witty banter with Noel.

“There was a lot of good natured banter on both shows.”