Back in 2017, I entered the first series of LEGOMASTERS on Channel 4. I entered with my good friend Nate Dias, and we went on to win the show!Looking back at the experience, it was a big challenge, but really enjoyable and fun, and certainly an experience that I will never forget.
Application and Auditions
I originally saw the competition advertised on Social Media and through my LUG (Lego User Group, Northern Brickworks) we had previously done a collaborative build for a LEGO fan event so decided to apply and had to fill in an application form and submit photos of previous things we had designed and built. We then had a series of telephone and Skype interviews, before we were invited to the auditions. I believe 2000 people applied, 100 were invited to the auditions and after two weekends of building challenges, the final 8 teams were chosen. The production company wanted to find good LEGO builders, but were also looking for teams with good teamwork, and a strong friendship.
The main show then focused around 4 rounds, with a huge variety of building challenges, from builds which you could plan for, to complete surprises that you just had to make up on the spot. All the filming was done at weekends or in school holidays, and as me and Nate were both teachers this suited us perfectly. By the end, to make just 4 hours of TV, we had done 32 days of filming!
All the builds were done in the “Build Room” a TV studio, set up with 8 workstations, and around 1 million LEGO Bricks! The shortest build was 15 minutes, the longest was 10 days! But for all of the builds we were filmed, and interviewed continuously! It was very odd at first but we soon got used to being under the spotlight, and in front of the camera. There was a lot of pressure, with strict time limits etc, but we went in with the approach of just having fun, each round we expected to be sent home! So it was a bonus when we didn’t’ as we could stay and have more fun playing with LEGO!
The Final and Billund
For the final, when just two teams were left in the competition, we were moved to a different TV studio, and were given 10 days to construct an epic creation of our own choice. We build a large construction that told a personal story, of the work/play balance in our lives. We have a full size LEGO sculpture of an adult, sitting at a desk, getting stressed with his work, then behind him, his inner child had escaped and was having fun playing and being creative with more LEGO bricks. We were really proud of this build, and it was an honour to be able to display it in the Design Museum in London as part of the final, and then in The LEGO House in Billund, as part of the prize. It would have been so nice to keep the build, but unfortunately to our dismay, it was destroyed after just a few weeks, and broken down in to individual bricks ready for series 2!
Memories and lessons learned
Looking back at the whole experience which was over 2 years ago now, I still have very fond memories. It was great fun, meeting new people, from contestants, judges and the crew and building new friendships. It was a big challenge to take on and ultimately helped me to build my confidence and self belief. At the start, I really wouldn’t have believed that we could win, but it just goes to show that if you take things one step at a time, you never know what you can achieve.
Here is a link to see some photos of the builds we created for the show