A Few Notes on a Recording of Pointless, 4th January 2012, Evening Recording Session
Today I went to the recording for the BRAND NEW series of Pointless. (Despite the fact the last series is still runnning. Don’t fret about it too much.) The last quiz show recording I was at was an episode of Golden Balls back in 2008, so I thought I’d give some similarly unfocussed and misinformed opinions, only even worse because I’m very bloody tired.
- VITAL STATISTICS: BBC TV Centre. TC8. 7 cameras, from what I could count (with the obligatory ridiculously cute camera girl). Doors open: 18:00, called to studio 18:15, recording started 18:45, all finished 20:45. THIS IS ACCEPTABLE VERGING ON GOOD FOR A 45 MINUTE SHOW.
- About 200 people in the audience. It’s around this time that I make my usual point that TV Centre is by far the best place for audience recordings I’ve experienced (at least from the audience’s point of view), with a lovely warm foyer to sit in – not standing in a building, in a damp marquee, or IN THE RAIN. If TV Centre is going to be closed, can other studios figure out a way of doing this properly?
- The men’s toilet in the foyer has the quotation “I’ve started so I’ll finish” on a plaque the wall. How childish.
- Oddly, the studio felt smaller than on the telly, but the BIG COUNTY DOWN THING looked bigger. I’m confused.
- Our warm-up was Andy, and he immediately scored points over the guy at the Golden Balls recording by not being a homophobic little shit. He was worryingly like Spike from Hi-de-Hi! – he should have come on in his funny number costume, or something.
- Blah blah record some laughs at the start blah blah helps in the edit blah blah feel slightly uncomfortable about it blah blah I know it’s standard practice blah.
- Oh, and we were told to only start reacting to the BIG COUNTY DOWN THINGY once it reached 80, or we’d die by the time it got to the bottom. I found the whole reaction thing awkward in the extreme, which means I’m essentially USELESS FOR THEIR PURPOSES.
- This evening session was, incidentally, the first recording of the show since last May/June – with the afternoon session today being taken up with rehearsals. Dare I suggest Armstrong – whilst being throughly likeable – showed a bit of rust? Some of the endearingly awkward banter was slightly too awkward at times. (Nice to see both he and Osman made a point of talking to each team before recording started, though.)
- This was also the first Pointless to be shot in HD – something which Armstrong and Osman gleefully brought up at every opportunity. There are also NEW VARILITES. Look impressed. To be honest, I’m surprised the show took this long to go HD, daytime telly or no.
- Graphics are the same as before, though. I think they’re very dull indeed, with none of the panache of, say, Deal or No Deal. Not befitting of the show, and makes it look cheaper than it should do. BAH, I say.
- EXCLUSIVE: Osman is now wearing trousers this series. As he says, it should make Armstrong’s job easier.
- Oh, we were were told not to react to the trophy when it was mentioned, as apparently it sounded “sarcastic” on air. Ho!
- At one point Armstrong brought up this advert, repeatedly pointing out the milk moustache, and responded to the inevitable audience reaction with “That’s all I’m saying.” “Pixie Lott, there”, was Osman’s reply. Fairly certain this little section will not make it to broadcast. (There was also probably one too many serial killer jokes for daytime television.)
- OK, this is the bit you’ve been waiting for – a change to the Head to Head round. It’s still a best of three, but the types of questions have been JAZZED UP. First up, a picture question – in this case, name the musical from the picture. Second was “complete the facts”, this time about a person – very similar to the names and answers round. Thirdly, missing words – in this case, complete the quotation. All with the usual Pointless twist of trying to pick correct, but the least common answers, of course. Would need to see it again to judge properly, but first impressions are that it definitely livens up the game.
- Final is the same as before. The fact I couldn’t even think of one answer to the question posed here proves that I’m a bloody idiot.
No idea when this is going to air. I would really like to see another recorded, which is the best you can hope for really. I just wish more primetime quiz shows could be as entertaining as an afternoon show like Pointless manages to be.
I’M TIRED NIGHT NIGHT.