Meet the Lancashire man who has appeared in over 50 TV shows but not won a single penny!

A man from Lancashire claims to be the unluckiest person on TV as although he has appeared in over 50 shows, he has never won a single penny.
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45-year-old Edward Oldfield, who lives in Kirkham with his wife of ten years and their two children aged 13 and 11, has appeared in over 50 TV shows over the past ten years and been watched by a total of three billion viewers in 150 countries. 

However he claims to be the unluckiest person on TV as despite his many endeavours, Edward has only ever come away with a prescription of fake pills, a mug, an Elephant costume and a blue tick follower on Instagram courtesy of the late Caroline Flack.

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Take a look below to find out more about his extraordinary television career and read his tips on how to make it..

Edward Oldfield from Kirkham claims to be the unluckiest man on TV. Edward Oldfield from Kirkham claims to be the unluckiest man on TV.
Edward Oldfield from Kirkham claims to be the unluckiest man on TV.

How did it all begin?

According to Edward, the first show he did was when he had “a midlife crisis age 35 and all aspirations of career prospects, superannuation, dignity and a conventional life went out of the window with an application to Come Dine with Me.”

The episode first aired on September 16 2013 and was voted the funniest episode of all time by readers of the Radio Times Magazine. It was also the only time narrator Dave Lamb swore on TV and had to be bleeped out.  

At the time Edward owned Esquires Coffee Shop in Lancaster and was not expecting a career in TV; he says he had merely applied for the show after seeing an advert and thinking it would be good for business.

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Explaining how Come Dine with Me sparked a television career, Edward said: “I thought it would be fun, the sort of the thing you do once and then move on from but the reaction to it was very positive, people thought I was funny and just like how I was in real life and then what sort of happens is you get put on a list if you’re good. It’s quite an incestuous industry in the sense that you keep bumping into the same casting team, the same producers, the same floor managers, the same camera crew, and your name gets passed around. So following Come Down with Me, I’d get the odd email every so often saying ‘do you want to do this, do you want to do that’ and at the time, I was focused on the business and the kids so I ignored them, but then one for Tipping Point came through and I thought well I've nothing to lose, it's a bit of fun, and I could possibly win some money out of it!”

Edward on the set of Richard Ayoade's Channel 4 show Gadget ManEdward on the set of Richard Ayoade's Channel 4 show Gadget Man
Edward on the set of Richard Ayoade's Channel 4 show Gadget Man

A quick run through of what happened next

After appearing on Tipping Point in November 2014, through word of mouth his career took off, and he went on shows like Channel 4’s Gadget Man alongside Richard Ayoade, Two Tribes with Richard Osman, ITV’s Pick Me with Stephen Mulhern, BBC2’s Who’s the Boss, and Sky 1’s Duck Quacks Don’t Echo (SKY 1) with Lee Mack which “made me realise that any sense had gone when I was filmed voluntarily electrocuting myself- proving that some people really will do anything for laughs”, Edward commented.

Later shows include Channel 4’s Celebrity Call Centre, The Question Jury, Embarrassing Bodies and Mo Gilligan’s All Star Happy Hour House Band; ITV’s Winning Combination with Omid Djalili; as well as BBC1’s For What It’s Worth, in which he says he offended Fern Britain, and Can’t Touch This with Zoe Ball and Ashley Banjo, in which he fell 30 feet from a pogo stick style structure.

Most recently, he appeared with his son on an episode of Dickinsons’ Real Deal (ITV) in 2022, filmed The 1% Show (ITV) with Lee Mack in February 2023, and throughout 2023 featured in four episodes of Channel 4’s Steff’s Packed Lunch with Steff McGovern - his mum even joining him for one episode!

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Alongside close friend and TV chef Bill Scott, who died in 2018, Edward also appeared in Guess This House (ITV) with Saira Khan, Secret’s of the Restaurant Trade (Channel 4) with Simon Rimmer, ITV’s Judge Rinder and in 2020 made a pilot of an online cookery show which was put on hiatus due to Covid.

Edward and his mum with presenter Steph McGovern.Edward and his mum with presenter Steph McGovern.
Edward and his mum with presenter Steph McGovern.

What have been his biggest TV appearances?

The former Kirkham Grammar pupil auditioned for ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent as a stand-up comedian in 2016, then again in 2017 with Edward commenting: “Neither time was I buzzed by Simon, but on the second occasion Amanda pressed Simon’s buzzer contrary to the TV edit! Stephen Mulhern informed me that the judges don’t always get it right and at the end of the day it is Simon’s show, so I took solace in that he had never buzzed me and I kept on the roller coaster that is TV.”  

He also reached an international audience when he featured in the Heineken Worlds Apart ad campaign online, which pitted three pairs of people with opposing views against each other for an afternoon to demonstrate the adage “we have more in common than what divides us”.

Edward, who as a climate change sceptic was pitted against a climate change activist, said: “I remember filming the advert and thinking that this was a complete waste of time but I got paid for it quite handsomely and it went on to be an absolute phenomenon. That was something that I was hardly interested in but then you'll do programmes that you think could be very successful and they flop.”

What was his most interesting show?

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Edward says his most interesting show was The Surgery with Caroline Flack which saw him feature as foreman of a jury, deciding if members of the public could have plastic surgery paid for by Channel 4 to help improve their lives. It garnered huge public interest during filming, being compared by actress Jameela Jamil to the Netflix series Black Mirror, and debated by politicians in parliament.

Edward said:  “What on the face looked like a repugnant idea turned out to be the most heart-warming and inspirational show I know. In a social media world fixated with how we look, interesting cases included individuals who wanted loose skin removing due to losing extreme weight, protruding ears and misshapen intimate body parts leading to anxieties about seeking a partner.  All the cases I judged were everyday people who were hiding insecurities and actually cosmetic surgery was able to make a difference to not only their lives, but that of their families as well since the insecurities were affecting what they would do day to day… We were able to help them, but also make viewers in similar positions realise that they were not alone.”

Edward with the late presenter Caroline Flack, who says stayed in contact with him after they stopped filming together.Edward with the late presenter Caroline Flack, who says stayed in contact with him after they stopped filming together.
Edward with the late presenter Caroline Flack, who says stayed in contact with him after they stopped filming together.

Has he made any money?

Although Edward has not won a monetary prize, that doesn’t mean he always goes away penniless as some TV appearances come with a fee.

The most he has ever been paid was £50,000 to appear on Paddy McGuinne’s Channel 4 daytime game show ‘Benchmark’ in 2015.

Has Edward been recognised by people?

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Whilst filming Ninja Warrior UK in 2019 Edward said he was recognised twice: first by presenter Ben Shephard, who he must have made an impression on whilst filming Tipping Point five years prior, and then by a member of the audience.

Explaining the second occurrence, Edward said: “My attempt on Ninja Warrior was run in a tranche with two Radio 1 presenters and a contestant from Love Island.  As we were briefed at the side of the course, a member of the public asked for me to be photographed with his son. I explained that the other three people I was with were the celebrities, to which he replied ‘I don’t recognise them, but I do recognise you’.”

When asked if people around Lancashire recognise him, Edward answered: “No, I do get recognised but it tends to be more when you're somewhere random, like a theme park or a shop somewhere outside of the region, but not on my local street.

“Although I remember I was in the queue for my local poundshop once and someone I knew saw me and I said ‘Oh, do you see me on Pointless last night’ and they said no but somebody else in the queue about three down went ‘I did!’”

Edward's two sons, 13-year-old Jack (left) and 11-year-old Charles (right) have been on TV with him.Edward's two sons, 13-year-old Jack (left) and 11-year-old Charles (right) have been on TV with him.
Edward's two sons, 13-year-old Jack (left) and 11-year-old Charles (right) have been on TV with him.

What are his top tips for appearing on TV? 

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Edward outlined three top tips for those wanting to appear on television:

  1. Be persistent: “Don’t get disheartened if you don’t hear back, there’s a lot of competition.”

  2. Enjoy yourself: “Don't do it for the money, do it for the fun of it and if you win some money then it's a bonus!”

  3. Always add a video to your application if you can: “It is a surefire way to get deselected if you don’t do a video, they want to see your personality and remember smile, smile smile, nobody wants to see a grumpy person on television.”

Does he have any future TV goals?

Edward said he still wants to go on BBC1’s Bargain Hunt as he was in an exclusivity clause with Channel 4 at the time he was offered to go on it, and Gogglebox “because at the end of the day, I know the inner workings of television, having been on all these varied television programmes… I think I’m probably one of the most undiscovered TV critics out there that probably knows a thing or two about how to critique TV”, he commented.

Overall, Edward added: “I have had an entertaining 10 years of filming different and varied shows and who knows where the next 10 years will lead. The aim is to match Frank Spencer, who was famous for being a failure but one that made money out of being a failure so in that sense I am half way there in being a failure at least… One thing reassures me, however, that whilst I will be lucky to get 10 people at my funeral, people will be reminded of me for years to come courtesy of repeats on Challenge, Dave and Quest!  I may be gone, but never forgotten.”

To hear more of Edward's showbiz gossip, watch the video above or featuring in this story here.

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