The Newsroom

BBC News Virtual Studio

Behind the scenes (January 2021)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
RN
Rolling News
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.



Enjoy.
RD
Roger Darthwell
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I've found this rather fascinating behind the scenes video of the virtual set for BBC News, used 1993-1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghw1q2GP9o0

Enjoy.

Love that video, thank you for sharing! And I know it's a controversial opinion, but I think that the 1993-1999 BBC News set and theme music was the best the BBC ever had
AL
AaronLancs
Anyone know what the technical name for the studio was? If anything.
GO
gordonthegopher
Anyone know what the technical name for the studio was? If anything.

I think it was called N1
AL
AaronLancs
Anyone know what the technical name for the studio was? If anything.

I think it was called N1

Yep, confirmed after just watching the video after asking the question. Just want to know, when did N6 come into being and what was the first thing that came from there?
SP
Steve in Pudsey
N1 and N2 (and for a time N3) were the news studios in the TV Centre spur.

Once the new news centre opened in Stage 6 they became available for general use as TC10 and TC11. (I believe N3 was knocked through to extend one of the other two studios).

The blue set up moved to N6 for a time before a new set was introduced.
NG
noggin Founding member
N1 and N2 (and for a time N3) were the news studios in the TV Centre spur.

Once the new news centre opened in Stage 6 they became available for general use as TC10 and TC11. (I believe N3 was knocked through to extend one of the other two studios).


No - I'm pretty certain N3 wasn't used to extend TC10 or TC11 - they remained the same as N1 and N2 in studio floor terms. (There was very little work done to N1 and N2 to convert them to TC10 and TC11 - it was a low cost conversion in both cases.)

N2 had been extended much earlier in its life to incorporate a previously shared scene dock area, which meant that after this, scene access for N1 was via the N2 studio floor - so any set in N2 had to accommodate this.
Steve in Pudsey and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
NE
Newsroom
I'm positive this has been answered before but I can't find it anywhere so will ask. Which studio did BBC World house during the virtual era?

Or better still, does anyone know what came from what studios when N1, N2 and N3 were in use? Thanks
DE
deejay
The TV Studio History website has a detailed section on the news studios and their later life as TC10/11. It cites a date of 1998 for closure by news and transfer to BBC Resources.

I remember N1 being used for BBC World and N2 being used for all domestic output and I think N2 was the only one with the full cut glass look VR set (though there may have been some green screen and/or cutout elements of N1 for World - I expect other contributors can confirm). Domestic news also used TC2 for some news programmes when I started in 1996, Newsround and Newsnight came from TC2, I seem to remember Breakfast News coming from N2 but may be wrong on that. I think Breakfast with Frost and On The Record were also TC2.

I think N9 was the first new news studio to open (N9 was in Stage V of the building) and was initially the home of News 24. N6 and N8 opened a bit later (there was not an N7 because news had vacated TC2 by this time and were using TC7 instead for main block productions). Eventually the usual allocation was N6 for domestic (National) bulletins, N8 for News 24 and N9 for World. That changed again later when N9 was mothballed, save for specials like local elections and disaster recovery.
JK
JKDerry
The TV Studio History website has a detailed section on the news studios and their later life as TC10/11. It cites a date of 1998 for closure by news and transfer to BBC Resources.

I remember N1 being used for BBC World and N2 being used for all domestic output and I think N2 was the only one with the full cut glass look VR set (though there may have been some green screen and/or cutout elements of N1 for World - I expect other contributors can confirm). Domestic news also used TC2 for some news programmes when I started in 1996, Newsround and Newsnight came from TC2, I seem to remember Breakfast News coming from N2 but may be wrong on that. I think Breakfast with Frost and On The Record were also TC2.

I think N9 was the first new news studio to open (N9 was in Stage V of the building) and was initially the home of News 24. N6 and N8 opened a bit later (there was not an N7 because news had vacated TC2 by this time and were using TC7 instead for main block productions). Eventually the usual allocation was N6 for domestic (National) bulletins, N8 for News 24 and N9 for World. That changed again later when N9 was mothballed, save for specials like local elections and disaster recovery.

TC7 was used by BBC News a lot, especially from 1997, when BBC Breakfast News and Newsnight moved into the studio, sharing the same basic set from 1997 - 2000. Working Lunch was also produced from TC7.
HC
Hatton Cross
I liked the bit about looking forward to the future - and of course, the next reboot of BBC National News the BBC went back to the opposite of the VR era, with a real on set furniture, a much warmer on screen look, and a real backdrop (on a pre-recorded loop, but still)

That was interesting as the un-VR'ed studio was much larger than I thought, and I always assumed the direct backdrop behind the presenter was all in the computers mind - but still curious as to why with such a large desk, they still computerised the lighting on the front of it? There was space to light it with real lamps and bulbs, exactly in the same look as the computer generated one did.
DT
DTV
According to my notes:
By the early-90s the Six O'Clock News came from N1, the One O'Clock News and Newsround came from N2 and Daytime Summaries and the Nine O'Clock News came from the newsroom set but using N2's gallery. TC2 was home to Breakfast News, Newsnight, On the Record and Breakfast with Frost.

In April 1993, all national news bulletins and Breakfast News moved into N2 (which had two sets - the main national news set and the Business Breakfast set). Newsround moved to TC2.

In October 1993, BBC WSTV News moved into N1 (from a small studio on the 7th floor). N1 had a set based on - but not identical to - the set in N2.

Somewhen in 1997, TC2 programmes moved to TC7 - Breakfast News moved out of N2 in June and came from the same set as Newsnight so I would assume (but am willing to be corrected) that the move took place around then.

Studio N9 (in Stage 5 and formerly part of the Post-Production department) was opened in November 1997 as News 24's studio. News 24 moved to N8 in the newly-opened Stage 6 by early-September 1998. BBC World vacated N1 a month later to move into a refreshed N9. We haven't been able to pinpoint the date exactly, but national news moved to N6 (studio in Stage 5, gallery in Stage 6) around this time.

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