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Cumbrian men star in ITV’s new show The Big Audition

Two men from Cumbria are set to star in the first episode of ITV’s new casting show, The Big Audition.

The Big Audition is a brand new factual entertainment series goes behind the scenes of the casting world.

We will witness real people being cast for real jobs, which have the potential to be life-changing. The casting panels will be searching to fill all sorts of roles and anyone can audition, from seasoned professionals to first-timers. This fixed rig programme will uncover the decision-making process of the panels and will transport us through each audition to reveal what really goes on in the casting studio.

Through intimate interviews, we’ll hear heart-warming, funny and touching backstories. There will be highs and lows along the way, but who will have what it takes to land the job of their dreams?

Episode 1

This brand new series uncovers the secret world of real auditions and each week three jobs are up for grabs. From West End lead to stunt double and everything in between, the series celebrates the highs and lows as real people give their all to impress the panel and land their dream job.

The Big Audition Studios opens its doors for the very first time with three very different jobs on offer: dog model, tv shopping presenter and King Henry VIII.

The waiting room is filled with barking, as a pack of pooches compete for a contract worth £12,000 and the chance to be the cover star of leading dog magazines Dogs Today and Dogs Monthly. The wannabe dog models include a Chihuahua with a wardrobe to die for, a Mexican hairless often mistaken for a hyena, a rescue dog with one eye and a sausage dog who can balance a jaw-dropping array of objects on his head.

TV shopping channel ‘Ideal World’ are looking for a new fitness presenter. A panel from the company are searching for someone engaging, unflappable and skilled at selling.

Performer / Fitness Instructor, Christian Nowak, from Seaton, Olympic bobsledder Toby, nervous Liverpudlian Holly and window cleaner Barry Titler from Penrith are amongst the hopefuls out to prove they’ve got what it takes.

Christian Nowak

Christian Nowak, 23, who goes by the stage name of ‘Christian Novak‘ worked as a fitness instructor for All Round Fitness in Workington and has a black belt in karate, on the 8th October he will be travelling down to Southampton to start rehearsals as a dancer for Cunard on their ship Queen Elizabeth, travelling around the world for 10 months.

Cunard Queen Elizabeth

Christian said: “It is amazing to be a part of a new ITV Series and it is such a great opportunity for me.

“It was lovely meeting so many amazing people with great personalities. I have auditioned for many of roles in my career, some successful and some not. You can never get downhearted about not getting a job as there is always another audition around the corner.

“This is why I am really excited about joining the cast on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth travelling around the world for 10 months. They have auditioned over in New York aswell as England. I am one of five male dancers so I am very lucky to have been chosen.

“I cannot reveal whether or not I was successful on The Big Audition. So you will have to tune in to episode 1 on Friday 5th October at 9pm to find out.”

Barry Titler AKA Average Joe In Cumbria

Window cleaner and vlogger Barry Titler, 43, moved to Penrith from Wigan in 2017, Barry regularly posts videos on his Facebook page Average Joe In Cumbria.

Barry said: “I heard about the show via a friend who had seen an ad online, I read up on it and decided to send them a 30 second video about myself and what I do.

“I was surprised to be called back a couple of days later to say that they were very interested in me. I was very pleased and proud of the fact that I made the shortlist to be put in front of the cameras.

“I think this has the potential to be a massive hit for ITV going forward and I am proud to be a part of it and on the very first episode.

“If I am being honest I would never have gone for this particular role in a million years but I thought I have nothing to lose by going for it and it could be a foot in the door for me in the professional TV world and some potential great exposure for myself.

“In the future I would love to be a TV presenter doing history, heritage and of course my new-found love and passion of fell walking in the Lake District.

“Granted I am not as pleasing on the eye as the likes of Julia Bradbury or Ben Fogle, but hey I have just as much passion and enthusiasm to do what they do and that is what I would love to do going forward, as well as maybe get a slot on air with my local BBC Radio Cumbria.

“I also do online radio presenting with my own little show from home besides doing the video blogs.

“I set up the Average Joe In Cumbria page last year after I moved to Penrith in May 2017 as I was literally just an average Joe in Cumbria.

“It was a great experience taking part in the show, as it really does open your eyes into how the people in the professional world of TV work.”

The final king-sized casting is for the prestigious role of playing Henry VIII at Hampton Court. Several of the potential Henrys arrive in full royal regalia, from the bling to the tights. But who will be crowned King? Will it be historical novelist Tony? Or perhaps bus driver James, who believes he’s destined to succeed because his route takes him past Hampton Court every day?

As each panel gathers to make their decision and with tension mounting in the waiting room, the decisions are finally revealed. Meet best dog, new TV talent and your King.

ITV’s Head of Entertainment, Siobhan Greene, said: “I have always loved auditions, but the chance to peel back the layers even further, and to do it in a fixed rig way, felt back to basics and I loved it from the moment I heard the pitch. I hope the audience at home will also lap up getting to see something they’ve only seen done on the big entertainment juggernauts, now done like this.”

Executive Producer for Twenty Twenty, Clair Breen, said: “We’re used to seeing huge shiny floor talent competitions but rarely do we get to see what happens in the everyday audition process, away from the TV studios and the glamour. From the serious to the ridiculous, auditions bring out the best, worst and most competitive in people, and our fixed rig cameras were there to capture it.”

Twenty Twenty Managing Director, Emma Willis, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing The Big Audition to ITV. This is what happens in the real world and it’s high stakes, surprising and compelling.”

The Big Audition is a Twenty Twenty (part of Warner Bros. International Television Production based in the UK) production for ITV, commissioned by ITV’s Head of Entertainment, Siobhan Greene and ITV Assistant Commissioner, Louise Major. Executive producer for Twenty Twenty is Clair Breen.

Episode 1 of The Big Audition airs on ITV at 9pm Friday 5 Oct 2018.

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