London GP Dr Amos Ogunkoya describes a day as a contestant on the BBC’s gameshow The Traitors, a psychological battle of wits where players must decide who they can trust.
As the show is based in Scotland, the sun rises at around 5.30am so I wake with the light. It’s an unbelievable place; the only problem is I can’t have a lie-in.
I get up and get ready for breakfast. It’s a nerve-wracking experience and like playing a live-action murder mystery.
But that’s why the show appealed to me. I’ve been a GP for a year and a half now, and I thought it would be an opportunity to see how much I can trust my judgement and stay calm under pressure.
All I can say is I’m glad I wasn’t chosen to play a Traitor; I don’t think I could have done it. The guilt would have eaten me up.
Thankfully, I’ve survived another night, so I make my way down to breakfast. One by one, the contestants walk through the door. But unlike every other morning, everyone makes it. This means that instead of murdering a Faithful, the Traitors must have attempted to recruit one of them.
People are now even more suspicious of each other than before, but there is no time to overthink. Presenter Claudia Winkleman arrives and tells us we will be taken to the nearby fields to complete our next mission, which is a chance to build the prize fund. The possible maximum is £120,000.
The mission is to roll barrels of whisky up a hill to a distillery, which is incredibly tough. This show challenges you physically as well as mentally.
After lunch, we have some time to ourselves. It’s a good opportunity to bond with other players, but you’re constantly feeling paranoid. This paranoia is having a huge impact on everyone’s mental health, especially those playing a Faithful as they don’t know who they can trust.
But I have found a great friend in Andrea, who is aged 73. This is another reason why I wanted to do the show, to meet people from all walks of life.
As a GP, you don’t know who will walk through your door, and you often have to connect with people who are different from you. In the game, this gives me an advantage, as people feel like they can trust me automatically. I believe that’s why one of the team, Alex, came to me for advice after the Traitors tried to recruit her.
Now for the most daunting part of the day: the Round Table. This is when we all meet and talk about who we suspect to be a Traitor. Things can get heated, and people turn on each other unexpectedly.
Tonight, people are pointing fingers at Rayan, who is sitting opposite me. He is finding it hard to defend himself against the accusations that he is a Traitor. I believe he is not, and I find it really difficult to watch.
Some are telling Rayan he isn’t convincing because he isn’t defending himself properly, but this is down to his introverted personality. And how is a Faithful supposed to act anyway?
This choice of Rayan shows how people often make decisions based on their unconscious biases, and this happens a lot during the Round Table. People convince themselves that someone is guilty when they’re not. But seeing everyone accuse Rayan is a turning point for me. People are taking this seriously – it’s like playing Monopoly, where people get upset when their mum makes them bankrupt.
Rayan can’t defend himself enough and he goes. Another Faithful is banished from the castle. And another of us will be murdered tonight.
After dinner, we all go up to our rooms. All except for the Traitors, who will put on their cloaks and climb to the tower to discuss who they will murder next. Meanwhile, I sleep the sleep of the 100% Faithful.
Profile: Dr Amos Ogunkoya
Roles: GP in Muswell Hill, north London
Hours worked: Eight sessions per week
What is The Traitors?
The Traitors is a BBC gameshow. Players compete in a series of missions to build a prize fund. However, some are Traitors, who conspire to eliminate the other players, known as Faithfuls. Traitors aim to stay undetected by the Faithfuls, and if one makes it to the end they could take all the money.
Watch The Traitors on BBC iPlayer.
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