We’re Ready for Our Close-Up

We’ve been in the UK for about three weeks and managed to get hooked on three TV shows:
?    Strictly Come Dancing – the original _Dancing with the Stars_
?    Any random BBC documentary
?    The Wright Stuff

Now, we discovered The Wright Stuff pretty early on in our trip while getting ready for the day in Wells.  Yes, folks, we were watching morning programming and actually liked it.  Horrors!

The Wright Stuff is a national talk show with rotating guest panelists discussing current topics pulled straight from the morning papers with audience participation in the form of e-mails and tweets as well as the more traditional call-ins.  The topics are interesting, the discussion is usually lively and smart, and the host and guests are fun and entertaining.  We didn’t catch the show everyday but would switch on if we happened to be in our room between 9:15 and 10:45.

Thinking about our trip to London, I jokingly mentioned trying to get tickets to the show while in town.  Little did I know that Charity would go through with it and wrote to the show producers.

And goodness gracious, they actually enthusiastically replied!

Fast forward to yesterday, and it is the first really early morning we’ve had in ages.  The studio is in a mall about an hour by subway from our hotel, so we purposely avoided any night activities on Tuesday so that we could drag ourselves from bed before the crack of dawn.  We arrived to the mall at the appointed time and met the audience manager at Starbucks for paperwork and free coffee/tea.

Save for us, all the audience members seemed to be regulars to the show.  And what a motley crew they were– pensioners, oddballs, would-be starlets, celebrity chasers, and one rather tall transgendered woman wearing an interesting ensemble of fabulously long skirt, pantyhose, Keen’s closed-toed sandals, and wilderness survival t-shirt.  Sweet.  Definitely different from the three-hour wait we had when going to The Daily Show.  In fact, they seemed to have trouble with no-shows.

Since this is a live show, on the occasions when they do not have enough callers, e-mails, or tweets about certain topics, they question audience members for their opinions.  Of course, this is setup beforehand as part of the paperwork process.  We were to read the day’s topics and let the audience manager, Eric, know if we had anything to say about it.  Charity made it very clear from her first contact that she had no interest in participating.  So of course, Eric decided he was going to use her for topic #3, Manchester airport’s use of body scanners in the security area.  Hahaha!  He assured her that it would be a last resort sort of thing, but that didn’t stop her from sweating bullets and aiming the same at the back of his head when returning from commercial break to that topic.  I felt really bad for her, but made sure to give her a pep talk beforehand so she wouldn’t break down on the spot.

Luckily for her, opinions are like… well… `okole— everyone’s got one.  They had enough callers and tweets, so Charity was saved the pressure of speaking on British national television.  Whew.

The show was very well done, certainly running like a well-oiled machine.  Watching live was very close to watching on television.  Actually, I think the TV audience gets to see more since they discourage the studio audience from looking at the monitors in case the live shot switches to the handicam guy and everyone gets an awesome view of the boogers up your nose as you gawk up at the monitor.  There are a lot of cutaways to content you don’t see in studio (i.e. photos or videos of the subject matter).

Whenever they post our episode on YouTube, I’ll be sure to put up a clip.

2 thoughts on “We’re Ready for Our Close-Up

  1. Pingback: Night at the Thee-Ah-Taaah | Eclectic Compass

  2. Pingback: Night at the Thee-Ah-Taaah | Eclectic Compass

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