The BBC Tour
This was my first time meeting the group after my friend of 5 years, Nikk, had suggested the project to me. I just went along for the day to see if I wanted to carry on with the project, and I was looking forward to it.
So I got on a bus to Deptford Bridge, where I met Nikk, and we walked along Brookmill road towards the Stephen Lawrence Centre. We met up with the others and for not only my benefit but for two other new people there, Mark told us about the project and also what we would be doing today. Then we left to go to the BBC Television Centre for our tour. We had to get a DLR to Bank and then get a tube to White City. When we arrived at the BBC Centre, we had to take off our bags, coats and belts (if we were wearing any) and go through a scanner. Then we were given visitor badges.
Before we went inside the Centre, we had a group photo in front of the TARDIS which is something from Doctor Who. We were told we wasn’t allowed to take photos or film anything inside unless they said we could and that even then there were limited places we were permitted to do any filming. First of all, they took us to the News department. Where we sat in a conference room, and the tour guide told us a story of how a man came in for a job interview and they mistook him for someone else. He ended up being on live TV as part of a competition interview thing and he was asked all these questions he knew nothing about. It ended up, even though he went through all of that, that he didn’t get the job. Next, the tour guide took us outside and spoke about the history of the buildings and how the Centre is shaped a bit like a question mark.
After here, the Tour guide took us to the Weather department. She showed us how the map behind the weather presenters, is actually a green or blue screen and it projects the map on there. That’s why the presenters aren’t allowed to wear green or blue otherwise they would be part of the map! Leighkesh volunteered to act as a presenter with a screen behind her and she had to tell us the weather.
When we were finished here, the tour guide took us to a studio where we saw “Mock the Week” being rehearsed. We could see all of the lights and cameras coming down from the ceiling. The tour guide explained to us how much it costs to use all of the equipment. She then took us to a smaller studio where we saw them setting up stage for the Alan Titchmarsh show. This is where the Tour guide explained to us that shows like Eastenders and Holby City are filmed in much bigger studios as they need room for all the different scenes. She also told us that in Eastenders, the different houses aren’t actually houses. We could see Dot (one of the characters) go in a house (a real one!) but when we see Dot actually inside her house, it’s just a scene that’s been set up at the studio and not a real house. Even the Queen Vic pub in Eastenders isn’t a real pub! It’s shocking at how real it looks on television though.
Our tour was pretty much over from then on, and we saw a lifesize Dalek in the souvenir shop so we had a group photo with him too! Then we made our way back to the tube station. Back home we went! :) Overall it was a very interesting day, as we learnt a lot of backstage secrets and found out how some of the equipment work. We had learnt a lot from today.
This is the train station we had to get off, “White City”
Our group photo in front of the TARDIS.
The BBC Television Centre.