As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and restrictions come more into play, many Canadians have had to find new ways to occupy their time.
A large family from a small town north of Brockville, Ont., has done just that.
They took the unconventional route and appeared on a national game show.
What started as an idea to cope with the pandemic, five members of the Nichols family produced an audition video — and it ended up being the catalyst that got the group of siblings on the game show Family Feud Canada.
“So in our boredom, we decided to go ahead and put a video in … never even dreaming that we would be picked to actually go on the show,” says Michelle Jordan, sitting with four of her siblings — who appeared on the show — around her kitchen table.
The Nichols family consists of 13 siblings, ranging in age from 51 to 73 years old — all born in the small Village of Toledo, northwest of Brockville.
A close-knit family, separated in the early days of the pandemic, they gathered for the first time in July.
“We travel together. We tent together … camp. We do everything together,” says sister Barbara Irish. “Everybody thinks we are abnormal!
“Because we just love our family.”
But love doesn’t necessarily win out, when you are talking about getting on television.
As part of their audition video, big brother Charles Nichols speaks to his sisters through a speaker phone.
“I’ve brought all my siblings together … to pick the cream of the crop for this mission,” says Nichols.
Their mission, they say, was to infiltrate and gain the attention of the show producers.
The group of five would disguise themselves as Charlie’s Angels.
“Because we are enthusiastic,” says Jordan. Her sister, Susan Perkins, added: “And a little crazy!”
The group laughed out loud together.
Just what the TV producers were looking for, they say.
So in October the five Nichol siblings made their way to Toronto to tape the show, which required negative COVID-19 tests required.
“Once we got there, we didn’t move,” said Irish laughing. “We didn’t go anywhere.”
“But it was exciting,” Perkins added.
Their episode will be aired in February 2021, and how they did, is a secret until then.