National Lottery 1996
Along with a my Sean and his girlfriend, we left Liverpool on our way to London the day before the Lottery. We were to stay in a friends house, leaving us plenty of time to get to the BBC the next day.
Sean is an engineer and had constructed for me a replica of the hand that comes out of the clouds on the old Lottery adverts, but with a difference. This one had a piece of elastic attached to it, so I could place it over my ''bonus balls'', and when I squeezed the thumb, the end of the finger flashed on and off with a glowing light!
On our way to London I mentioned to Sean that the World Snooker Championship was in the quarter final stage at Sheffield and as it was only half an hour out of our way, persuaded him to divert to there en-route. When we got to the Crucible Theatre we parked up in the car park. Sean and his girl stayed in the car as I went to 'case the joint'. As I walked through the foyer, I noticed that it was full of penguins (dinner suit brigade) and made my way to the direction of play.
I headed up a flight of stairs and at the top was asked for my ticket by two security guards, one of whom was about 95 years old and the other looked as though he had just left school with a diploma in DURRR. When I told them that I didn't have a ticket and was just enquiring how the game was going I was met with funny looks (or maybe that's how they always looked). As they told me, I realised that it was only a few yards to the door where the game was being played live on TV. I then left, to more funny looks, and knowing it was going to be a piece of cake getting past Steptoe and Son, headed back to the car. Once there I told Sean that it wouldn't be a problem and that I would be back in five minutes. I then took all my clothes off and ran through the car park, through the foyer of la-de-da and up the stairs. As I was halfway up I looked up to see four or five 'beefy' security guards stood next to Steptoe and Son with a look of ''oh yeah!'' written across their faces. In that moment I knew I had been rumbled on my first visit but as I had started, I was damn well going to try and finish the job!
When I got to the top, four of them grabbed me by the arms and legs and proceeded to haul me out as I shouted ''JUST LET ME STORM THEM WILL YER!'' and threw me out of a side door saying ''AND DON'T COME BACK!''.
I tried to push past them one more time, but had no chance, so went back to the car put my clothes back on and we continued our journey to London.
We stayed the night at the friends house and headed to the BBC at around 17:30. Sean wrote the words ''DROP MY BALLS'' on my back, in the car, and then we headed for the queue, with my ''IT COULD BE YOU'' hand stuck under my arm. Once inside, we were shown to our seats with Sean on one side of me and his girl, on the aisle seat, the other side. They were to be my cover as I took my clothes off during the show.
I had contemplated jumping out on Bob Monkhouse at the beginning of the show as he ran down the stairs next to us, but decided to stick to my original idea of giving it to Mystic Meg as she was about to foretell someone's future, except her own.
I had timed my runs at home, up and down the stairs, to see if I could get to
her in the time it took from her introduction,
to the doors opening at her Mystic table. The duration was 3.5 seconds, and I had it to a tee. As the show was going on, I was slowly slipping my trousers off from under my coat, which was placed across my legs. Once this was done, the next part was the hardest test! Getting my ''HAND'' from under my arm and placing it over my ''ball machine''! I achieved this after a few jerky movements and then I was ready to go! As the adrenalin was pumping, the moment came, 'AND NOW ITS TIME FOR MYSTIC MEG''. When I heard this I jumped up, Sean's girl moved her legs out of the way, and I ran down the stairs, pulling my t-shirt off as I ran. As I got to the stage, I noticed that my ''HAND'' had moved to one side, displaying my 'working gear', but before I could fix it, a security guard came out of nowhere and grabbed me and bundled me out to the back of the audience.
My timing had been spot on and, to give them their due, Bob and Meg didn't flinch. As I was stood at the back, still in some sort of Vietnamese neck lock, there were six people, who had won around £9 million between them, waiting to go live on stage. As they looked at me, with no clothes on and a penis extension that looked like a fist, I asked them if they could lend me any money towards my fines! They didn't answer but shook my 'hand' as they went past.
Next thing, the floor manager came over and said ''are you Mark Roberts?'' As I was wondering how he knew my name (this was in the early days of my career), he told me that somebody had phoned up and warned them that I was going to do a streak during the show! I had told a few people and word must of spread, but I never thought that anybody would blow my cover!
Luckily he saw the funny side of it and just threw me out.
After failing to get on stage the first time, it made me more determined to do it again (to his day I still haven't found out who tipped off the BBC, probably a Supergrass).
The second time I went, a few weeks later, I was with three more friends and
again were sat by the stairs (must of been for regular customers). As the
evening drew on, I took my trousers off underneath my coat that was placed
across my legs, but after having done this, looked down to see a mountain of a
security guard sat at the bottom of the stairs! As I had tried to get on a few
weeks earlier, this was obviously an extra security measure to stop anyone else
from trying to get on the stage. I thought to myself that unless he moved there
would be no chance to get around him (unless I was on a motorbike doing the
'wall of death').
As the show drew to a close, the guard hadn't moved and my mates were getting a bit restless waiting for me to make a move and were egging me on. But it was pointless, as there was no way I could get past Godzilla, and aborted the mission.
Little did I realise that the hardest part of the night was to try and get my clothes back on without anybody realising! I hadn't planned on this -never have- but got my friends to stand around me as people were leaving, and dressed myself.
We were the last out, which was a first, as I'm usually the first out with a police escort.
We made our way home, all very disappointed.