BEING short of something to say is not something you would associate with our regular contributor, Gayle Knight.
A busy mum who manages to find time to perform in local amateur dramatics, be part of Hyndburn Women's Forum and run her own PR business Mediatricks, Gayle usually has something to say about everything. But back in December she found herself lost for words.
Gayle, along with her mother-in-law Janet, was taking part in TV Scrabble, a show aired on Challenge TV. They were invited to appear on the show after auditioning in Manchester.
Gayle said: "The auditions were fun. All we had to do was play a few racks of Scrabble and talk about ourselves for a couple of minutes, not something that I struggle to do."
The show itself was filmed in Maidstone, Kent, which meant taking two nights away from home. Gayle explained: "The TV company put us up in the Maidstone Hilton and really took good care of us, it was a bit like a mini-holiday."
As regular readers know, Gayle is also a keen Countdown fan but has failed to get through the auditions stage, so why is Scrabble so different?
"I think it's because I'm stronger at numbers than letters and in Scrabble you have to quickly calculate the points of a word rather than just look for the longest one. For example, I could quickly calculate that 'weak' is worth more points than the longer 'argued'. Also, knowing the words QI, QAT, JO or ZO can come in handy. Some two-letter words are really high-scoring."
The presenter of TV Scrabble is Eamonn Holmes who helped make all the contestants feel at ease.
Gayle said: "I didn't really know who he was before the show. I'd seen him on TV a few times but I'm not a morning TV fan so I didn't realise quite how famous he was. But after meeting him on the set of TV Scrabble, I'm now a big fan. He was lovely to all of us and helped us relax."
Asked how she finds the time to do all the things she does, Gayle laughed: "I wonder myself sometimes but I've always had the philosophy that you should go out and try stuff. I'd hate to get to a point where I had regrets for not doing something. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose but at least I always know I've tried."
To find out if Gayle wins or loses, tune into Challenge TV at 10pm on Sunday 9 March.