That sounds so grand doesn't it!!! I'm only in the audience, but should be an exciting experience. I was sent an email last night from Fran at the BBC with the schedule for today and where we needed to be and when etc.
I was very lucky indeed to be allowed to have half a day off work when I have just had two weeks off, so huge thanks to my colleagues, especially to Emily. I finished work at lunchtime and went home to have lunch and get ready. I then headed for Minsmere RSPB, arriving at 5.50pm. I made a coffee and a sandwich for my tea and then had a 20 minute snooze. At 6.45pm I made my way to the Discovery Centre, as requested for 7pm. There were fifty people altogether in the audience for the evening. We all had to sign a form with telephone number and address and were given a health and safety talk. We were also told that if we were asked to stand somewhere, we needed to stay there and not move around. I also had to go back to my car and change my top, as I was not allowed to advertise my website – bother!!!
At 7.40pm we were ushered to the Production Marquee, which held tables and chairs for everyone to sit at and teas and coffees were on offer. I chatted to a very nice couple who said they had been tipped off by a member of staff that the first seven people that get led in, get positioned behind Laura, the web producer (with laptop) who interacts with Chris throughout the show. After that, people get lined up at the back behind the sofas etc. So the three of us planned to be in the first seven! At 8pm Springwatch started and we watched this until 8.40pm. A lady in a wheelchair and friends with her got led out before everyone else. 5 minutes later we were asked to follow Fran, Production Co-ordinator to the Studio. The couple I had been chatting to and I were at the front of the walk out. It was so exciting!
We were all asked to wait in silence, just outside the studio. Then, the floor manager requested the first four people only and we were ushered inside the studio to join and stand with the lady in a wheelchair and her two friends, which was to the extreme right of the picture board and in a place where they rarely film the guests – the couple I was with, were very disappointed and to be honest I was too, but that's the way the cookie crumbles! The next seven people were ushered to stand with and behind Laura the web manager, which is exactly where we thought we would be, oh well! We could see Chris, Michaela and Martin just outside on the veranda being filmed for the last 10 minutes of Springwatch, it was brilliant to watch! Also very interesting to watch the camera men at work – I had no idea that they carry those huge cameras as they are filming, they must be incredibly strong! The camera crew were racing around in a frenzy for a few moments, but sorted whatever they needed to sort and all was calm again. At 8pm as Springwatch finished, Chris Packham then walked to stand just in front of our little group and turned to say hello to us and then apologised that he had his back to us, which I thought was very nice of him – then we were all prompted to clap as Unsprung began and Chris introduced the show.
Both the guests were very interesting, Trevor Dines from 'Plantlife International' revealed the results of their vote for the nation's favourite wild flower which was Bluebells – I liked Trevor's enthusiasm alot. The second guest was Brett Westwood, Author, Broadcaster and Naturalist (He regularly presents episodes of BBC Radio 4's series The Living World and Nature). The Floor Manager moved the couple I was standing with and myself to stand next to the picture board, which you can see us standing by a couple of times briefly on the show. It all ended far too quickly and before we knew it, we were all clapping at the end of the show! We all then walked back in the dark to our cars.
It was a brilliant experience and I was most fascinated by the camera crew at work. Chris Packham seemed really nice and it was good to catch a glimpse of Michaela earlier, who is someone I have never met before – also for the hot blooded males out there, Michaela is much prettier in the flesh than on the screen. The drive back didn't seem too bad and I got home at 11.35pm. I wish I had asked someone to record the show for me now, but it is on iplayer for 29 days.
Tomorrow night's Unsprung should be good – David Lindo is on to reveal the Nation's National Bird! It would have been good to be on that show, but there were no spaces available. I would love to do this again, it was a very interesting experience indeed.
You can see me briefly, standing just to the right of Chris Packham right at the beginning of the show, again next to the picture board clapping at approx. 14.03 minutes, again at 25.38 mins and a few more times distantly, again next to the picture board.
Here is the show tonight on either of these links and is available to watch for 29 days: