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Paul Boland describes how he came to visit the set of Knightmare on two occasions as a VIP guest after having successfully auditioned for the show.

Paul Boland's Story

I was team leader of the first team from Ireland to successfully audition for Knightmare and to be offered a place on the show. Unfortunately, my Mum fell ill and we missed the phone call telling us to come over for the show. However, to make up for this, I was invited over to the Knightmare studios every year as a VIP untill the show ended.

1993 (Series 7)

The first year I went over, when we arrived at the studios, everyone was having lunch so we were invited up to the cafeteria to join them. As we walked into the cafeteria, there, standing in line to get something to eat, was Hugo "Treguard" Myatt himself. I couldn't move I was so excited. I eventually got something to eat and we (my Dad, my sister Julie, my friend Nigel, and myself), sat down at a table across from where the shows stars were all sitting. I could see Mark "Lord Fear" Knight and a few others. My sister asked me to open a package of tomato sauce for her but I couldn't because my hands were shaking from the excitement!

After lunch, we were taken on a tour of the studios. We started off with the dressing rooms and it was here that we met a lot of the shows stars. Hugo Myatt met us and photos were taken. We met Greystagg and photos were taken. Then we met Clifford Norgate (Hordriss). He was not in costume yet and it was such a great experience. Again, photos were taken. Then we met Tim and Susan Child. Then we were taken down to see all the costumes and computer equipment that are used on Knightmare. And then we were taken into the studio itself.

We started in Knightmare Castles antechamber where Treguard and co reside. Then we were shown the props used, such as the Helmet of Justice, the knapsack and a number of items that the current team were carrying with them. We were then taken around to the two blue rooms where the Dungeoneer has all his adventures. Next stop was behind the blue rooms where more props were stored but the passage way around there was a little cluttered with props. I remember, we had to walk between Lord Fears Pool of Essence and a large television camera that was positioned next to it. I didn't want to hit off that camera so as I walked between the two items, I bent forward so as not to hit it. But trouble started!! I had leaned over too much and I felt myself falling forward towards Lord Fears Pool of Essence. I quickly put on hand onto the centre of the pool (which is blue so that they can project faces and images onto it), and as I used it to stop myself, I suddenly realised it was made of paper! I quickly took my hand off it and forced myself to stand up! To this day, all I can think of is what would have happened if my hand had of gone through the centre of it!

In behind the blue rooms, we saw the boat that features in a number of areas in the dungeon. We also saw Smirkenorff and a number of axes which hung on the wall. Then we walked through the Dwarf Tunnels. It was getting near time for filming to commence so we were taken into the waiting room where we met the current team - a team of girls whose Dungeoneer was called Julie. After wishing them luck, we were taken back into the studio and given seating, looking straight into the antechamber so we could catch all the action.

Mark Knight was in the next scene to be filmed. It was the room where the Dungeoneer was to claim the sword and Lord Fear would appear to confront her. Above the exit to the room was an icon with "Arken" written on it. As the scene was being set up, Lord Fear practised his lines and as he did, the Arken shield rolled down and covered him. Mark Knight's attitude totally changed and we got to see a side of him that we don't get to see from watching the show. With the Arken shield back up at it's position over the door, Mark started calling it as if it was a dog.

"Come here Arken, here Arken…" he would say. Then when the Arken shield rolled over him again, he suddenly said, "Who put that bottle cap over me!?! Get this bottle cap off me!" We were all in the stitches of laughter in our seats.

Eventually it was time for the team to come in. They took their places and the Dungeoneer was guided (because she was wearing the helmet), to the blue room. And then it started. The Dungeoneer entered the room and there was the sword. Suddenly Lord Fear appeared. The team needed to use the Arken shield to hold him so they could escape with the sword. They tried calling out "Arken" and other stuff as Lord Fear raised his hands to blast them. Were they going to get killed at the climax of their quest? Treguard told them that it was a spell and suddenly they knew what to do and they cast the Arken spell. It covered Lord Fear and they grabbed the sword and left the room.

With that scene over and done with, the team retired to the waiting room. Mark Knight came around to the antechamber and after asking for permission, I went over to where the three of them (Treguard, Lord Fear and Majida) sat and I got some autographs and a photo shot which would become my favourite photo of the lot. The next scene was set up and that was with Greystagg. The team were brought back in and after summoning Greystagg and getting the means to return to Knightmare Castle, a cheer erupted in the studio. The girls had won!! They looked around, they didn't realise that they had succeeded and when it dawned on them, smiles filled their faces.

Sadly, it was at this time that we had to leave but on the way out, we met Hordriss in his full costume and makeup and a photo and autograph were got. We were given a lift back to the train station and headed home.

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