Monday, 17 August 2009

A Night At The BBC

On Sunday we travelled up to London to the home of the good old BBC. I'd registered on their website for audience tickets to watch shows being recorded and had been allocated 4 for the recording of the 5th episode in a new situation comedy, Miranda, staring Miranda Hart.

We had a great evening. The show itself had us all in stitches,although I suspect that this was more to do with watching it live, with accompanying mistakes and ad libs. I suspect the finished article won't seem quite so funny - but then not many sit-coms do in their first series.

It was fascinating watching how the show is put together. It's obvious that actors have to rehearse their lines , but only when you watch a recording does it become apparent quite how many are involved behind the scenes, and how much they must have rehearsed to ensure that everyone is in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. This doesn't apply just to those making the programme but even the radio controlled team ensuring the audience don't end up anwhere they shouldn't. It also came as a shock how small an area the sets take up - what you see on screen is pretty much all there is, not an inch of space is wasted.

There are many gaps in recordings as are things are moved around and scenes are reviewed and reshot. The whole evening is "held together" by warm-up man - sorry, Audience Liaison - Ray Peacock. He had the unenviable task of acting as an ad-libbing, audience-involving, stand-up comedian with the added hassle of being told to stop immediately, even if mid-joke, when the others were ready to shoot again. He coped admirably and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of this guy in front of the cameras sooner rather than later.

And a tip if you ever get the chance to attend a recording, get there early! Like scheduled airlines they give out more tickets than there are seats and it's first come first served.

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