24 April 2009

The Now Show, 23 April 2009

The umpteenth (i.e. 26th) series of The Now Show ended this week and I was in the audience for the recording; the second show that I had seen this series.

The logistics were much as before, though a school meeting meant travelling to Oxford Circus on the train from Kingston rather than the tube from Richmond, and after dinner in Pizza Express we found ourselves around 40th in the queue for the show and were then well placed in the waiting room for front row seats, which we got.

We prefer to sit right of centre as that is where most of the action is.

Hugh Dennis is roughly in the middle of the stage with Steve Punt to the right and Mitch Benn goes further right still when he plays his three songs and does his various character voices.

Left from Hugh you have Jon Holmes and Laura Shavin who speak a lot less.

No Marcus Brigstocke this week but he was ably replaced by Lloyd Langford who was very funny on and off script.

Anybody who has head The Now Show knows what to expect and they duly delivered. We had topical jokes on the budget and some of this series' running jokes, e.g. kids being amazed by the bleeding obvious.

Also as usual, the live show is around 50 minutes and this gets edited down to 30 for broadcast. I think that the BBC is missing a trick here and I would love to see the full show being podcast. Material World used the lack of time constraints to have a longer podcast recently and I see no reason why The Now Show should not do the same.

One of the loudest cheers of the evening went to Laura Shavin who had to read out a long and complicated Chemistry question from an old exam.

This gives me a good excuse, not that I really need one, to include a close-up of Laura (having failed to do so two weeks ago).

She was some distance away and obviously I could not use a flash during the recording but I am pleased with the camera's ability to sense the light, zoom digitally and allow for my shaking.

There was no audience question this week, instead we were offered the chance to display our audio talents to the world.

Only one person rose to the challenge seriously and you may hear him gargle "Rule Britannia" for about a second when the show is broadcast. In order to do this, he had to sign a page long contract to give the BBC full rights to use the recording of his gargling! Jon Holmes read the full contract in amazement and then Steve Punt pointed out that Jon's contract had all the same clauses in it!

The rest of settled for submitting amusing but impracticable entries and three (of four) of ours were read out so we will be listening to the broadcast version to see if any made it through the editing process. The claimed talents were to do an very quick summary of Alistair Darling's budget ("We're doomed!"), play the Welsh Harp to concert standards (sadly not brought with us) and to be a Wookie who can do Mitch Benn impressions. The last one made Mitch Benn laugh anyway.

The evening ended nicely with a quick word with Mitch Benn and his wife following my chance encounter with Mitch earlier this week.

I have also had chance encounters with Steve Punt (John Lewis in Kingston) and Hugh Dennis (outside Television Centre when I was queueing for Two Pints ...) so either I am a lucky guy or it is all down to effective stalking!

1 comment:

  1. Gargling "Rule Britannia"? Is that to illustrate Britannia sinking? Doom and gloom, recession and suchlike? Eleven years ago I was in Sydney, in the audience of their Whose Line. Sadly our friends did not manage to set the VCR properly, so I never saw myself on Aussie TV, but I learned about how much they swear! There must have been a lot of bleeping when it was transmitted.

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