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Inspector Sands13,595 posts since 25 Aug 2004
I remember it when it was in TC1 and it wasn't a permanent set. They'd take it down and rebuild for the next weekend just like any other set.

It was a more complicated than most other sets as it was in the round, but it was being done by an experienced scenic team and the set built that way so wouldn't have been a problem.

I don't remember watching much of the last series but on earlier ones the set wasn't always the same, was subtly different according to what was needed
buster1,752 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
I guess so, but would they really book out TC1 for all that time? I don't remember ever hearing it was out of bounds for other productions for that long.


It was TC4 during the trip around the house years. I agree it seems unlikely it was left standing for the whole time but I don’t think anyone has conclusively said that it was left up. As the Inspector said, this is what people do for a living and it probably wasn’t as complicated as it looks. The little car was presumably pulled along by an operator under the stage as it often stopped and started for the various bits of gunge, so as long as that all links up it should be fine. There are a couple of occasions where it gets stuck though as a result of falling debris.
The most complicated bit would be the lift near the start, which looked like a hydraulic lift under the floor, but again once you’ve turned it round and lined the car up with the track on the “ground” floor you should be good. Whether you’d get away with it all now I don’t know - risk assessments and all that. It is noticeable Noel often makes them put a seatbelt on, which might be an early nod to health and safety so thet can’t stand up, or just a primitive tool to stop them dodging the gunge...
Hatton Cross3,221 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Sets are struck a lot quicker than you think. When Strictly was in TC1, is was normal for another programme to be recorded in the studio less than 24 hours later. That wasn't a standing set for the full 10-12 week run (like it is now on half of the George Lucas Stage at Elstree)

I attended an edition of Who Dares Wins in TC1 on a Monday morning a few years ago (well, someone had to) and the previous night, the live results show for that 'How do you solve a problem like Maria' Sound of Music audition show hosted by Graham Norton had come live from it.
In less than 12 hours, the old set had been taken away, and the complex looking set for Who Dares wins (with two soundproof booths, and LED screen, and podiums around 6-8 feet off the floor), studio floor audience seating and a full lighting restrike had been put into place.

Ask most viewers, how long they thought it would take to move on set out and put a new set in, and they'd probably say about a day - not around 9 hours.
My user name might look like Hatton Cross, but it's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove.
Inspector Sands13,595 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Yes, I remember looking down from those observation galleries at TVC and seeing them scraping the paint off studio floors that oky a few hours earlier had a live TV programme coming from them.

Remember that TV sets are built for easy assembly, movement and storage

The only time a set like NHP would have been left up would have been of there was nothing else in there between shows. But even then it would be different next time and presumably there'd be an element of cleaning to do. With some episodes I imagine it was probably easier to strip out the set, hose everything down outside and rebuild
buster1,752 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
When I did a tour of TV Centre one Saturday we looked into TC6 which had The Saturday Show's set being dismantled. This was about 2pm so about an hour after The Saturday Show Extra had finished, and it was nearly all gone. Much less complicated set but you still had two levels.

This recently turned up online which is the day after Children In Need 1996, so the first time NHP and CIN had overlapped in TC1. You can see the left hand side of the set is truncated compared to how it would normally appear and there is no upstairs. In addition the Hot House which normally took place off the edge of the set on the left is on location, and the money cellar is presumably somewhere else entirely as you don't see the person enter or leave. So it doesn't take a genius to work out they'd been shifted to a smaller studio that the new large set didn't fit in.



The New York and Florida editions of the show sorted this issue out in March and November 1997. By the final run I imagine the round set could fit into a smaller studio without much if any alteration as nothing notable happened around CIN 1998, although they did replace the penultimate show in March 1999 with a Gotcha compilation, presumably due to Comic Relief.
JKDerry1,593 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
I remember many people had concerns at the new arrangement for Television Centre would make it harder for quick turnaround of productions, but all that speculation in 2017 has been thrown away now, as we see TC1 being used nearly every day for a different programme.

The Graham Norton Show, The Jonathan Ross Show, The Last Leg, The Great British Bake Off and The Big Narstie Show were all using TC1 in one week at one point, with a super fast turnaround of sets.

Even TC2 does a super quick turnaround for Lorraine into Loose Women, and on Wednesdays for Peston.
dosxuk4,179 posts since 22 Oct 2005
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The issues for "new" TVC were not turnaround, but storage and access for the sets, which is much reduced from the previous arrangements.

Turning round TC2 between sets that have been designed to be stored on site and turned round daily in a set amount of time would pose no problem. If it was, that would be a failure by the set designers rather the building designers.
noggin14,318 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The issues for "new" TVC were not turnaround, but storage and access for the sets, which is much reduced from the previous arrangements.


Yes - though to be fair in the latter days of the old TVC era, set storage was often off-site as the costs for storing set in the ring-road were proving to be prohibitive for some productions. It was often cheaper to transport sets to and from site for each studio block, and store them off-site more cost-effectively in the gaps.
thegeek4,869 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
I attended an edition of Who Dares Wins in TC1 on a Monday morning a few years ago (well, someone had to) and the previous night, the live results show for that 'How do you solve a problem like Maria' Sound of Music audition show hosted by Graham Norton had come live from it.
In less than 12 hours, the old set had been taken away, and the complex looking set for Who Dares wins (with two soundproof booths, and LED screen, and podiums around 6-8 feet off the floor), studio floor audience seating and a full lighting restrike had been put into place.

Ask most viewers, how long they thought it would take to move on set out and put a new set in, and they'd probably say about a day - not around 9 hours.
Another bit of the magic of television was the paint they use on the studio floor, which could be washed off and repainted in a matter of hours. Quite often on the way to an early shift I'd walk past TC1 after it had been used for something the previous evening, and it would be empty, and just waiting for the paint to dry before they reset for the next production.