A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I got tickets to be in the studio audience for a filming of a new show for ITV. Neither of us had ever done this before so were weren’t too sure what to expect but we were excited nonetheless! The show being recorded was,The Next Great Magician’ ‘ – a Britain’s Got Talent type show but just for magicians, presented by Stephen Mulhern and Rochelle Humes (who, may I add, is from my hometown). It was a fantastic night and I really wanted to talk about the experience and leave a few tips for anyone who’s thinking of doing the same! (I apologise for the lack of photos in this post but we weren’t allowed to take photos of the studio or the set, obviously).
Despite the filming not starting till way gone 7, we had to get there pretty early, so we set out and caught a train at around 4 to Waterloo and had a 10 minute walk from there to the ITV Studios. We got our bags checked and into the queue where we waited for around an hour. Thankfully, because my boyfriend’s boss was partly involved in the show, he managed to get us priority tickets so our queue was considerably shorter than the other one and we were guaranteed to get in. The companies always over-book these events to avoid any empty seats but obviously unfortunately, that inevitably means some people will be left disappointed.
Because of our priority tickets, we were called inside the main reception of ITV after around an hour (where it was considerably warmer and not raining!) and given our wristbands. After another half an hour wait, we were finally shown to the actual studio and to our seats – which were amazing and we had a brilliant view. The studio itself was a lot smaller than I was expecting – they look a lot bigger on TV! But the set looked fantastic and definitely set the scene for a magic themed show. We had a comedian named Stuart who entertained everyone before, during takes and set ups who was very funny.
The show itself was brilliant and there were some amazing magic acts. 5 people were performing in this ‘heat’ and then the winner of our show was revealed at the end who will go on to compete against the other winners of the others heats in the final. Comedy magic, mind-reading, close-up and illusions, there was a bit of everything for everyone. My favourite were two “techno” themed illusions performed by a magician named Jamie Allan. They were so visually impressive and I can’t wait to see them again when it’s aired on TV!
It was a long night and a lot of waiting around between takes or whilst they re-shot bits and pieces the presenters messed up but despite that, it wasn’t boring in the slightest. It was eye-opening to see how these shows are filmed and how polished it all looks once it’s all edited together and put on our TV’s. You also get to see a more ‘real’ side to the presenters who for most of the evening were just being themselves. I’d definitely recommend trying to nab tickets to see a recording of a show, particularly a night-time one as the atmosphere is awesome! Plus, did I mention that the tickets are all free?
Things to remember when going to a show’s recording:
- Wear comfortable shoes. I don’t care what famous people you’re hoping to meet, there’s an awful lot of standing up and waiting around and the studio will likely be quite a walk from the station. So choose comfort.
- Take snacks and water. It’s going to be a long evening and chances are you will get hungry and thirsty during the show.
- Pee before it starts. The queue for the loo will be long and once recording has started, it’ll be very difficult to go to the toilet and you risk having to wait until a break in recording before you can be let back in.
- Don’t make concrete plans for afterwards. These things run over, more often than not so you don’t really know what time anything is going to happen.