Tuesday, 3 August 2010

What are the odds?

We are filming on a cold January morning in Oxford. The plan is for me to stop people on the street and try to guess their mother's first name. The idea being to see if I had any signs of hidden psychic abilities before I start my attempt to learn to become psychic! We'd film, say, three or four different attempts and see me getting it wildly wrong time and time again. At least that was the plan.

The first person I approach is a young woman whose name, I quickly discover, is Helen. Not through psychic means; she tells me. I briefly explain what we're doing, and ask her if she would mind helping us for a couple of minutes. Hesitantly, she agrees.

As she's thinking of her mum's name, I close my eyes to see if anything comes to mind. Nothing. So, instead I try gazing off into the middle distance, and I notice a sign at the entrance to the college behind her. "Balliol College."

"Does your mum's name have a B in it?" I ask

"Er, yes..." she replies

"Does it begin with B?" I ask again.

"Er... yeah..." I think I'm more impressed than she is. She eyes me up suspiciously.

I just go for the first female name I can think of beginning with B, "Barbara?"


I'm completely flummoxed. Helen walks away as I'm left open-mouthed. She no doubt thinks it's some kind of trick. But there's no trick. It was just a lucky guess. Or was it? Could I have tapped into some hidden psychic ability?? Just in case, later in the day I buy a lottery ticket for this weekend's Lotto draw... well if I'm on a roll I don't want it to go to waste!

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