BBC’s Test The Nation

TORQ-clad Al Stuart flew the corporate flag recently on BBC’s ‘Test The Nation.’ Here’s what he had to say…

Surf the net and you never know where it will take you. Last Sunday, thanks to an internet cycling message board, I found myself at the world famous Pinewood studios. The BBC were filming their “Test the Nation” quiz show which would be transmitted live that evening.

The theme for this show was “Know your Planet”. The six teams competing reflected this topic: Explorers, Politicians (Boo), School run Mums, Builders, Weathermen and women and finally that fine group of people… The Cyclists!

The production team had asked us to wear full lycra, and being a good ad man I thought it would be a good plug for TORQ. While riding to the studio I joined up with some other cyclists who asked me if I was headed to Pinewood. They were, how shall I put this, the Rohan trouser wearing weirdy beardy activist types! I became slightly worried that I may be the only fool to turn up in full lycra!!

After a bit off form signing we started the day by filming the cycling group riding through the gates to the studio. Over and over and over again. From all sorts of different angles including a helicopter shot? A late lunch/early dinner follows, which gives us all a chance to chat to the other riders (many in lycra, phew! ) I decided to treat myself to a glass of wine, just to settle my pre TV show nerves!

After countless rehearsals, where we had to clap and cheer and wave to the camera like complete idiots the show went live at 8pm. I must say I admire the professionalism of the presenters Anne Robinson and Phillip Scofield. Not least their ability to look cool in a studio which had a temperature of a turkish bath (glad I was only wearing lycra). I wont bore you with all the questions, I scored a respectable 50 points, which is I believe a pretty good score. The Explorers won and the cyclists were third. My daughter Lauren taped the whole show, so I had the dubious chance to see myself.

Much to my amazement I was on screen on quite a few occasions, finishing off with a rather unfortunate close up, which Lauren found hilarious! Quite a few friends recognised me on the show, not for my distinctive profile but for my flippin’ black and orange Torq kit.ah, the power of marketing!!!