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Have you been in a TV audience?

(March 2021)

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JA
james-2001
Wouldn't be suprised if it was screened alongside the filming of another episode. Would seem a lot of effort to get the cast and crew in just to perform that opening scene and a disapointment for the audience to only see that one scene actually performed and the rest on a screen.

I know in the 70s there's an episode of Dad's Army which was nearly all on location apart from one brief scene, and that's what they did.
JA
james-2001
I know Susan Belbin, the producer of One Foot, specifically arranged the sets so it looked like a real house - with, as you say, walls that could be moved - so they could start a scene in the kitchen and it could carry on into the living room and it would look totally natural, as opposed to other sitcoms where you couldn't do that because the two sets would be completely separate.

In Richard Webber's book it talks about how, because of that, it also used more cameras than you would usually have for a sitcom, so they be could placed all over the set. In the book it talks about how, in the episode set in the boarding house, Susan Belbin couldn't direct it as her mother was seriously ill, so Sydney Lotterby stood in, and he was amazed to find they were using nine sets (on two levels) and nine cameras, which was the most he'd ever seen used for a studio sitcom.


I think One Foot in the Grave is great in general for its attention to detail, not just in how they arranged the sets as mentioned here, but the scripting too. There's literally no such thing as a throwaway line on the show, everything that's said has some significance. Even something that seems like a throwaway line or minor event comes back later in the episode, often in a big way, I think it's genius writing.
WH
Whataday Founding member
It was an impressive design and occasionally walls would be rolled in and out during a take when a character moved from one room to the other.
JO
Jonwo
Bruce Forsyth always said on Play Your Card Right about the audience for that episode being better than last week’s audience which was amusing because most of the time it was the same audience.

I wonder how a gameshow can take 4 hours to record, I get it for sitcoms and panel shows and for complicated shows like The Cube but not for something like The Chase.
GL
Gluben
The ones I can remember were:

• An episode of The Graham Norton Show in 2009. I only went because David Tennant was a guest as it was his last year of Doctor Who, but Johnny Vegas was also a good guest as was Alison Moyet who sang live there too.

• The One Ronnie in 2010. It was an okay recording, but Ronnie actually fell down some steps at one point which was quite worrying. Mainly seemed like a Lucas and Walliams produced show at the time, but there were some good sketches alongside some rubbish ones which never aired. I wrote a review here: http://www.chortle.co.uk/correspondents/2010/12/13/12371/a_good_night_from_him%3F

• Technically not the same thing but was in the “audience” for a split second in a scene for series 1 of Psychoville. I remembered it being filmed in an old theatre at Elephant and Castle and it was very hot, so much so that someone fainted while standing up before we went in. Probably my worse experience.

• Several episodes of QI. Thanks to good fortune, I did manage to see names like Emma Thompson and Barry Humphries, and also got into the green room after one of the shows and got some pictures with Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Dara Ó Briain and producer John Lloyd. I did actually get a phone call from Lloyd completely out of the blue when at work about something and did go and see a one man show of him. I think I still have his old mobile number but he’s no doubt both changed it and forgotten me since...
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
Jonwo posted:
Bruce Forsyth always said on Play Your Card Right about the audience for that episode being better than last week’s audience which was amusing because most of the time it was the same audience.


Those were all block recorded, so its perhaps hardly surprising it was the same audience (although you often had the other running joke, so much better than last year's audience at the start of a series). Bruce said years later they could knock the gameshows out pretty quickly and it would only take two weeks a series, but while it was good steady work (and we all loved him), I believe he later regretted being pigeon-holed as it were.

Quote:
I wonder how a gameshow can take 4 hours to record, I get it for sitcoms and panel shows and for complicated shows like The Cube but not for something like The Chase.


Only needs a computer to keel over and die/misbehave or another technical hitch and what needs to be 47 minutes of programming easily becomes 90 minutes of hanging around on top.
TE
tesandco Founding member
I saw a few episodes of Countdown recorded at Leeds in 2006, coming along as part of the 'groupies' for one of the contestants on episode 4209 (though we saw 4208 as well due to the block filming). Our guy didn't win, but then he was up against someone who'd already won 3 shows in a row (and subsequently went on to win another 4) so it was pretty stiff competition.

One of the first things they did during the warm up was to apologise for all the empty seats and ensure people were still filling ones so it would look full onscreen during any audience shots. We were told filming on My Parents Are Aliens had completed not long before, and the decision had been taken to move Countdown's filming into the larger now vacated studio. But they hadn't been able to get enough people at short notice to fill up the now available extra seats. It was also interesting to see them throw to the audience to answer the conundrum in real time - then at the end, re-film just the conundrum answering sequence with the audience member now swapped to a seat nearer the front to give a better angle on screen.

This was the era with Lynam and Vorderman at the helm, which also gave quite the insight into the differences between the two hosts. Carol was lovely, and seemed to love interacting with members of the audience, chatting with the dears, and signing autographs. And at one point also squeeing endlessly over one of the production staff who'd been off on maternity leave, but had popped in for the day with her young baby. Des on the other hand came in, sat looking bored in any gaps, and left at the end without having much to do with anyone throughout. It wasn't a huge surprise when not long after he announced he was leaving after that series.
SW
Steve Williams
Only needs a computer to keel over and die/misbehave or another technical hitch and what needs to be 47 minutes of programming easily becomes 90 minutes of hanging around on top.


Brian Conley always said his big break was when he was the warm-up for the pilot episode of Catchphrase, because it was a complete technical disaster and it went on for hours, so Conley really earned his money and they were so impressed by how he handled it that he got lots of other work off the back of it. And of course there's that famous episode of Wheel of Fortune when a contestant spun the wheel the wrong way and broke it, and it couldn't be easily fixed so after some fiddling around, they had to abandon the recording and send everyone home.
JK
JKDerry
Wouldn't be suprised if it was screened alongside the filming of another episode. Would seem a lot of effort to get the cast and crew in just to perform that opening scene and a disapointment for the audience to only see that one scene actually performed and the rest on a screen.

I know in the 70s there's an episode of Dad's Army which was nearly all on location apart from one brief scene, and that's what they did.

Dad's Army episode was "We Know Our Onions" from Series 6, and it was recorded on its own on 15th June 1973, with the studio audience basically invited to watch it, and react, with very little studio filming required, as 95% was filmed already in Norfolk back in the spring of 1973.
JK
JKDerry
Jim Davidson said of recording Big Break back in the 1990s, they recorded 36 shows in a year. They filmed three shows a day in 12 days flat. The Christmas special was always filmed in the middle of June.
LL
London Lite Founding member
French gameshows are basically like factories, they can record up to eight shows a day as they're commissioned all year round, although they don't produce 365 editions per year as they have breaks for summer sports events such as the French Open and the Tour de France.

Nagui, who's Air Productions (owned by Banijay) produce two of France 2's daily game show formats seem to use the same audience since the pandemic, presumably to stop adding extra people into the mix for filming.

Other Banijay productions on France 2 and 3 seem to use the same audience as well.
JO
Johnr
In terms of something like Millionaire it is a very stop start recording, in particular straight after FFF they have to mic the contestant up then adjust the hotseat height and check the contestant is comfortable, then Jeremy has to record reading out the answers and the fastest contestant (who is now conveniently micced up Wink)

There is obviously a lot more 'waffle' recorded than you see on TV so they always have something to use in case a show is running short (and can be easily not included if it isn't!), then they usually get the warm up back out in between contestants whilst they reset everything

Add in the pickups, getting the entire audience in and seated then warmed up (and back out at the end of course!) and it is suddenly easier to appreciate how a 45 minute TV show can in reality be a 4 hour recording! I suspect things run much quicker at the moment without the audiences although there may be reduced crew to balance that out I guess

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