Sunday, 30 March 2014

A night out in the big smoke.

A couple of weeks ago both I and my wife were very lucky to sit in on the recording of News Quiz for BBC Radio 4. Its been an ambition of mine for a number of years to visit Old Broadcasting House and to watch a live radio recording in the Radio Theatre.

My host for the evening arranged a tour of the New Broadcasting house news floor, the Radio 4 Studios and most impressively the BBC canteen !

I was amazed how small the Radio 4 studios actually were. Gone of the days where you would have an engineer, Producer and Broadcaster sat in the same room.  But still in one studio there was still a record player and a reel to reel tape machine. Just in case any of the archives were not digitally stored.

The BBC news floor was impressive, many of the TV presenters milling around and a constant hub of activity. For that many people in a single location I was amazed how quiet it actually was.

After a prawn sandwich (my wife had salad – with Chips) we moved onto the Radio Theatre and sat in the front row for the recording of News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig of course was amazing. She started with a great story, and moved onto the recording of the show making it look easy and seamless, the panelists were on top form (Jeremy Hardy, David Mitchell, Elis James and Mark Steel)– and of course Kathy Clugston was superb in reading the news clips. it’s a shame that so much of the evening was edited out, but you have to compress 2 hours into 30 minutes, But the best jokes stayed in.

After the show we nipped back to the green room, and because on this occasion the panelists were cycling for Sport relief they all were pretty knackered, out of breath and in Jeremy Hardy’s case – drinking a cold beer. To be honest I was shattered watching them cycle during the recording.

I must add a special thank you to Jim and Kathy for inviting us as their guests and organising the whole evening. My wife and myself really enjoyed the evening out in London - It was so surreal that it almost seemed normal.