Back in the good old Bristol sixth-form days, my media studies class went on a glamorous trip to London. We paid a visit to the now-closed Museum Of The Moving Image, then had some spare time to roam around the city before heading to a television studio to watch some Mr & Mrs-esque show being recorded, presented by Dale Winton*
Now, my media studies class were a bit of a rebellious bunch, and during the 'spare time' element of the day, everyone (apart from me and my clan of fellow geeks who ended up in Sega World or somewhere like that) got smashed in the pub and was pretty pissed by the time we got to the recording studio, to the extent that one guy even ended up gatecrashing the studio next door where a Clive James show was being recorded and being removed from the building.
It was a fun trip, and although seeing a programme being recorded was an enjoyable novelty, the show itself wasn't exactly enthralling. But I'm happy to report that since then my TV recording experiences have improved vastly with no drunken teenagers in sight. I've been to see 'TV Burp', 'QI', 'The Big Fat Quiz of the Year' and 'Bremner Bird & Fortune', and last night I was lucky enough to watch 'Have I Got News For You'.
We had amazing seats - right at the front next to Ian Hislop - as a result of priority tickets and my well-honed queue skills. Unlike some shows, this one is a really good one to be in the audience for, as it's recorded as-live and they simply edit it down for broadcast the following day. It was all over and done with in a laughter-filled couple of hours and I was home in time to watch THAT episode of 'Question Time'. The guest presenter David Mitchell was his usual quick-witted self, and the guests were top-notch. You can watch the episode in question here.
One observation from before the recording began was that Paul Merton is obviously quite fussy about ensuring he has the same chair every week. Before I took the above photo there was a little sticker on his chair with 'Paul' written on it, so they can obviously distinguish between his chairs and the others when they dress the set.
But one of my highlights of the evening took place before the recording of the show had even begun. We were shivering away at the front of the queue, when a frazzled researcher / runner from the Graham Norton Show came bursting out of the studio building and breathlessly asked the waiting mob 'are you fans of Michael Buble?'. The silence that greeted her as she asked the same question to the queue of current affairs fans was deafening - and hilarious. Goodness knows why she was so desperate to find Michael Buble fans; I can only presume that he was one of Graham's guests last night, and I very much hope that the poor girl managed to find at least one Buble fan somewhere on the Southbank for whatever purpose she had in mind.
*I cannot find a single online reference to this programme - not even on Dale Winton's Wikipedia or IMDB listing. But basically it was a Saturday night show which involved someone trying to work our who was the genuine partner / spouse of another contestant, with lots of bluffing etc. And Dale had an annoying catchphrase which involved a chaise longue...any ideas anyone??