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Behind The Scenes: BBC Letterbox

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Aww man, where do I even begin?!

Yes, we may have flown all the way to Glasgow to play only one game of hangman... but I honestly don't care. We had THE BEST time!

Ross & Charlotte on set

The secret is out, the episode has aired and I can finally talk about one of the most exciting days (ever!) The experience may have been short and sweet, but one I will never forget.

Back in February 2018, the BBC flew me and my friend Charlotte (aka Cheese) to Glasgow, to be contestants on their new gameshow - Letterbox.

I've never been to Scotland before, so this in itself was an exciting prospect.

Our hotel - The Hilton Garden Inn
Our hotel - The Hilton Garden Inn

We arrived in Glasgow on the Wednesday evening. After checking into our hotel, we went for a little walk to explore the area and find somewhere to eat. We found this really cool, retro bar serving beers and burgers (Taphouse in Finnieston)

Taphouse beef burger and chips

By this point, nerves were kicking in as we anticipated what the next day would bring.

The BBC had organised transport to pick us up early the next morning, so we headed back to the hotel for a decent night's sleep. On our walk back, we stopped by the River Clyde for a cheeky selfie.

Ross & Charlotte by the River Clyde

Before we knew it, show day was here and we were whisked inside the BBC studios.

Although everything seems to go so fast on TV, there is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes.

As someone who has openly admitted that they want to work within the media one day, this was my favourite part of the whole experience. I loved seeing the studio from an inside point of view and chilling in the green room with all the other contestants.

We were even spoilt with free food and pampered by professionals in hair and makeup LOL.

Ross being pampered behind the scenes

I learnt a lot that day, as there are so many little details that aren't shown on TV. For example we had to take 3 different outfits with us, to test which worked best with the studio lighting. We also had to stop and re-take several scenes, after host Mel had a fit of giggles.

In terms of the actual game, the recording felt very quick. Mel was lovely and everyone on set was so accommodating - they even had a portable ramp to assist me onto the stage.

It's a shame we didn't have a better chance against contestants similar to our age, but hey ho!

Ross & Charlotte on set - trying to guess the hangman clue, with the hint "insect"

One of my funniest memories from the day was during a crossover between contestants, where I had to reverse backwards to a spot that was marked with tape on the floor. We had to film this several times, as at one point, I was inches from falling off the stage!

Maybe I should have done that just to get a bit more air time... haha.

Unfortunately Charlotte & I both lost our rounds, and before we knew it we were backstage watching the rest of the show.

I loved the whole experience and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Watching the next set of contestants backstage

As a whole, the trip was very spontaneous. We had our interview back in January, but it wasn't until a few days before the event that we actually knew what was happening.

As a bit of a control freak myself, it was a strange feeling having to sit back and let somebody else organise everything. I am a planner, especially when it involves going to new places with the uncertainty of access.

Full credit to the BBC for funding everything, from our flights, accommodation and travel. Everyone behind the scenes were so friendly and amazing, we were treated like real VIP's and I will never forget that.

Ross & Charlotte outside the BBC Studios

I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent me lovely messages over this last week. I thoroughly enjoyed my 5 minutes of fame and cannot wait for the next challenge!

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