karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
[personal profile] karohemd
After something like two years on the waiting list, I was finally lucky and got into the stage in which I could apply for tickets and I got some for the recording of episode 6 of the J series!
Figuring that demand would be high (they are giving out more tickets than seats), I took half the afternoon off and arranged to meet Blaze at Waterloo tube at 5. After some positional confusion (I waited at the South Bank tube exit, she was in Waterloo train station), we found each other and wandered over to London Studios where there was a huge queue already. Two queues in fact, one for QI and one for Alan Carr (it was slightly chaotic but we had joined the correct one after all). While we were waiting, the weather turned and it started to rain but thankfully didn't last long.
The queue finally started to move at around 6:40 (10 minutes later than scheduled) and we got in. They were in an obvious hurry, they just grabbed the ticket off me without checking how many we were or even if the printout I gave him was an actual, unique ticket and there was no airport style security check as in the BBC buildings, not even a bag check so up the stairs and into the studio we went. The auditorium is quite large and we were about halfway up and had a reasonable view. There were also loads of monitors that currently showed bits of trivia and during the recording the picture of the active camera (which was useful as sometimes the dolly arm was in the way).

The QI set
This is what the set looks like in ambient light

(This will be the spoiler free version. I'll be typing up a lot more but only publish that after the episode has aired.)
Proceedings started just after 7:30 with the floor manager giving a pep talk about when and when not to applaud etc. and then Stephen Fry came on, talked a bit, recorded the audience participation audioboo (can you guess what we were saying? I didn't even know the word but it begins with J), and introduced the presenter of the Swedish version which will be aired in September. He then introduced the panelists: the ubiquitous Alan Davies, Sue Perkins, Ross Noble and an Australian nobody knew (Julia something, Spanish sounding last name). There was some banter between them and then the recording proper started with the QI theme being played in and Stephen Fry starting his Goooooooooooooooooooooooooood evening thing, introducing the panelists and buzzer sounds, just as you see it on TV. The whole actual QI bit ran in one go without interruptions but for almost 90 minutes so a lot of it will end up on the cutting room floor. As I said there were no breaks but obviously bits where some of the panelists (especially Ross Noble and Alan Davies) would go off on a tangent or throw in some other remark that was highly entertaining but obviously not really suitable for the end product. They might even take out one or more of the questions entirely.
The whole thing went smoothly and there were no pickups at the end, either. It was really enjoyable and very funny, especially Ross Noble was on high form. The chemistry experiment was fun, too and nobody died. Details after the episode has aired. :o)

I'm very glad I made the journey (ticket was free, anyway), had a brilliant time and another little insight into how one of my favourite TV programmes is made.
Even more lucky, I managed to catch the 22:15 train and the last bus home so was home well before midnight.
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