Tuesday was a cool day, I was invited by Endemol to go behind the scenes at Pointless, and watch an episode of the show being recorded too. I did a teaser post on Tuesday night about it, and let you see behind the scenes of the ‘Pointless Column’, but I thought I’d guide you through the day. We assembled at the home of Pointless, Elstree Studios, and they’d invited a selection of press folks and bloggers, I was honoured to meet ‘Blogging Royalty’ – the lovely Mummy Barrow and nice to meet a fellow Essex dweller – Jay from The Student Blogger.
We were given a brew and told about what would be happening through the day, talking to the Endemol crew I had no IDEA just how many awesome shows they produce! After a bit of a chinwag, it was time to go behind the scenes at Pointless ! We walked to the stage that it was on, passing a lot of ‘Pointless’ signs.
It was then into the Stage itself, normally seeing a show set in real life, it actually seems very small, not so, with Pointless, the set is MASSIVE. I went to the back of the audience seating block and took this photo (notice all the screens aren’t on)
The screens then all sprung into life and, the set looked more like how you’d see it on the Telly..
Above the set are a vast array of lights..
And the cameras are blummin MASSIVE!
We sat and had a little Q+A session with one of the show’s producers, I was amazed they’d made over 600 episodes of Pointless, and it’s growing in popularity all the time. It started out as 30 episodes on BBC 2 and switched over to BBC1, with the ratings growing all the time. It was interesting to hear that Richard Osman actually worked in production, and took the ‘Pointless Friend’ role as a temporary thing while someone else was found. The chemistry between him and Alexander Armstrong (being old friends) worked so well he’s turned into a bit of a national treasure overnight!
The audience started filing in and we had to take our seats, thankfully we were right at the front!
The view was pretty much perfect!
We then met the ‘Warm Up’ guy, a funny chap who led us through what would happen during the recording, something that I didn’t know was the ‘Ooooooooooh’ sound as the score drops is actually LIVE each time. We had to do some ‘practice’ Oooooohing – the trick is you start as the score drops from 80, and you finish with applause, and if the score is ‘100’ or the answer is incorrect you have to make sorta ‘Groan’ noises. You feel a bit of a prat doing it to start with, but when the show is going, it’s not so bad.
It was time to start, Alexander Armstrong came out and said hello, then he introduced Richard Osman, and the contestants were led to their positions. After a few minutes the filming started, amazingly, it’s filmed pretty much ‘as-is’, obviously after 600 shows it’s a well oiled machine, and Alexander and Richard power through. Obviously there were a few slip ups and retakes, also the banter between the two presenters is BRILLIANT – they just fire back and forth as you see on screen, but there is a LOT more. It was very funny. The only thing that is a little different is there is a painful pause when you’re waiting for the score to show on the Pointless Tower. After each round Alexander records a few different variants of the round introduction, or quickly re-records lines to the contestants that might not have worked first time. He is INCREDIBLE to watch, the tone of his voice and position is exactly as it was the first time round.
When this is done, filming stops and the contestant podiums are set for the next round, the warm up guy also warned us that at the end of the next round they’d film the ‘audience reaction’ shots. There were a few of these, polite applause, excited applause, frustration, and a knowing nod to the person next to you. Who knows, my face might make the edit? My acting skills were awesome! 🙂
I’m not entirely sure when my episode will air ‘well into next year’ was what we were told, it was a great episode, and went right down to the wire at the end. When the filming had finished it was time for our little group to leave, the proper audience see two shows being recorded. We were REALLY lucky and all got given signed copies of the new Pointless Book ‘The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World’ by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman. A fab memento of the day. I was amazed at how quickly it was all over, the recording flew by – I really must thank all the lovely people at Endemol UK that took us behind the scenes at Pointless. It was superb!
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