A Night at ITV: Being in a Studio Audience

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).

A Night at ITV - Being in a Studio Audience

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.

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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!

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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.

Have you ever been in a studio audience before? If so, what did you see? If not, would you ever want to? Let me know!

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21 thoughts on “A Night at ITV: Being in a Studio Audience

  1. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to ITV and got to be part of a recording. I’ve been to quite a couple of TV recordings myself, mainly because I used to work at the TV station in my hometown. I’ve probably been to more TV show shoots than actual live recordings though … however, I agree with your tips! Also, if I might add, it’s probably best if you wear mellow colours and nothing that’s too heavily patterned. Clothes with patterns can mess with the TV image, so people might place you in rows farther back if there is danger of it being distracting :/

    • Oh that’s really cool, what was it like working in a TV station? Good point – we were actually told not to wear too much black as it goes. I understand your reasons behind heavily pattered clothes though!

      • I was only an intern, so my tasks weren’t too heavy. I mostly read scripts or books and then reviewed if they were likely going to work on TV. Or I summarised episodes for websites or sales pitches. Mainly I did a lot of copying and organising, or if nothing else was to do, I watched shows and movies that were currently in production and gave feedback on the editing.
        Yeah, too much black isn’t good either, but that mainly depends on the set up of the studio. 🙂

  2. I’ve been to a recording of Loose Women at the ITV studios before and it was so interesting to see behind the scenes! Totally agree with your tips, I was dying for the toilet half way through and had to wait and run for it at the end! & definitely get there early if you don’t have priority, we were third and fourth in the queue and only 5 were allowed in after the priority queue! X

    • It is interesting to see how the whole thing is shot and then put together for the TV! Oh my god I can’t believe how much they over compensate the tickets – it’s a shame that so many people miss out xx

      • It really is – and I know! I thought that people were exaggerating when they said get there early, but sooooo many people were turned away after waiting so long aswell! x

  3. Damn. A magic-driven Britain’s Got Talent sounds incredibly fun! I’ve only passed by various television/movie filming sets en route to other things (not to the extent that I’m some random mundane walking by in the actual recording) but it’s definitely on the long-term bucket list.

  4. I’ve been in a studio audience a few times, once during the first series of The Voice before it was as popular, my friend dragged me to London to be in the audience as she was a huge Jessie J fan, honestly it felt like absolute torture, we weren’t aloud to take in any snacks or anything at all actually. They did give out water and kit-kats but we were in there for around 7 hours. I had a better experience in the X Factor audience and my absolute favourite was being in the audience for The National Television Awards a few years ago, we were seated right next to the cast of Eastenders and it was great talking to them during the breaks, we even ended up getting an invite back to the after party, I found I was less bored at that due to the fact it was live, so things weren’t done over and over again to get the perfect shot like the ones I had been to before!

    http://www.livinginagoldenafternoon.net/

  5. Only when I was younger. I was in the audience for a kids show at Granada Studios in Manchester. Sounds like you had a great evening there Jenny, have you got any more audiences appearances planned? x
    Amy at Amy & More

  6. When I was a teenager my family and I went to California for a family holiday/vacation and while there we went to NBC studios to see the taping of a game show called “Sale of The Century”…this was in 1985 and it was one of the coolest experiences.

  7. Just stumbled across this blog. That’s super cool glad you enjoyed it. I was lucky enough to go with my BF to the filming of a French TV variety show called “Le plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde” in Paris, France IDK about 4 or 5 years ago now. The set is designed like a cabaret venue where you sit in groups around plush tables looking towards the entertainment. All types of acts are on including magic. I don’t speak much French so I didn’t really understand a lot of the dialogue but the acts are very visual.

    The one I remember the most was a sawing the lady in half act. It was a huge terrifying thing on which the lady was strapped to with a piece of timber under her middle. Nothing covered her up at all as this big shrieking circular electric saw fascinatingly and shockingly appeared to go right through her hips.

    You could see sawdust pluming out from the timber beneath her ! I thought uh ohh its all gone horribly wrong? so totally did my head in when she eventually got off this contraption all fine and OK but with the timber neatly sliced in two. How does that even work ?? Amazing magic and amazing experience of watching all the things that go on that you never see in a completed show on screen.

    • Haha wow that sounds like a great night! My boyfriend is a magician, so unfortunately things like that don’t shock me anymore (as I know mostly how everything is done) but even seeing the show I did it’s still SUCH a great experience seeing it live on stage!

  8. Wow so your bf is a magician ? you must write about that, I love magic. I always wanted to be a magician’s assistant when I was younger but think Id be far to shy to go on stage myself.

    We haven’t ever seen the finished show that went out on TV, although I think we could have got it in the UK through Sky. Yes it was extra fascinating being there, seeing all the technical bits and how they film it all etc.

    • Yeah he is — he’s worked with Dynamo and on a bunch of TV shows. Made magic props for shows and now demonstrates Magic for a company in Hamleys toy store in London! He’s fantastic and although I know how most things are done now I still love watching it. It’s an amazing craft. Oh gosh I’d be far too shy for a magicians assistant! They’re all so glamorous and I sure as hell wouldn’t look good in those little outfits!!! Haha 😂

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