Saturday, 4 February 2012

What's the Point?

Admittedly, I'm a sucker for a TV studio. This is probably because I am quite nosy and like to see what's going on. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to visit on or two studios and have seen life there from both sides of the camera. Oh yes, I've rubbed shoulders with the great and the good.I also met Gloria Hunniford. Away from the stars though, there are the usual studio 'types' to contend with. You will always find a semi-demented researcher with a clipboard stapled to her hands, juggling a coffee and getting your name wrong. There is usually an overly-jolly make-up woman who insists on telling you who she 'did' last week, thinkking that you'll be impressed by the mere mention of Judith Chalmers. Also on the roster is the floor manager, balancing the technical requirements of the studio with the 'loves' and 'darlings' taking part in the production. It's a fascinating and, often, bizarre world.

Armstrong & Osman making a Point
Last night I dragged myself off to BBC Television Centre to see a recording of the cosy tea-time quiz show, Pointless. True to form, the audience was kept waiting on a desperately cold Wood Lane until it was time to be herded in the direction of the BBC Shop. Fifteen minutes later we were rounded up again and shoved in the direction of Studio 4. Amongst the assorted grannies and student-types, there was the usual screeching about how tiny the set was. On came the warm-up guy, a nervous but likeable comic called Josh who kept reassuring us that he wasn't gay. Whatever. He was funny though even when he had to coach us in cheering and whooping like loonies for the contestants. Ah - the contestants!

No one had realised that this was a celebrity edition of Pointless. Necks were craned to get a glimpse of the glitterati. OK so it was Lionel Blair, Angela Rippon, Steve Pemberton, Colin and Justin (do they have surnames?), Konnie Huq, Anjellica Bell and some actor called Sam. Sorry but I have not a clue as to who he is. Presenter Alexander Armstrong entered to much applause but not quite as much as his sidekick Richard Osman. He is one heck of a tall man!

Anyway, a jolly old time was had by all. There were one or two re-takes due to fluffed lines and Angela Rippon continually moving out of shot or even walking off the set. What I really liked though was the manner in which Armstrong and Osman chatted with their guests between takes and even laughed along and aplauded warm-up Josh. I've been at other productions where the presenters smile and courtesy has disappeared as soon as the camera lights went off.

We'lll miss it when it's gone . . . perhaps
A fun old night then and of course, I didn't pay a penny for the ticket. I for one will be a bit sad when TV Centre closes for good. There is something special about the Concrete Donut in Wood Lane.