30 March 2010

Absolute joy - a week's holiday

I thoroughly enjoyed my week's holiday, though it was busy from finishing work on Friday night until going back ten days later. Two trips (one overnight) to my late father's house to continue with the preparations to put it on the market and to meet an estate agent, three full length Rugby matches refereed, together with about two dozen 7s matches over four days at the National Schools Sevens, nine items sold on Ebay, a curry evening with Ruth's colleagues from the maths department, a pretty exciting Grand Prix and a trip to Broadcasting House to watch the recording of The Now Show for BBC Radio 4.

Almost all of these were an absolute joy. Even the house clearing effort progressed well, and apart from poor weather and lots of mud on the Thursday, the Sevens were great; talent, speed, skills and some really close,exciting games, and the chance to referee some fantastic teams.

The event in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House was fascinating too, not least for the contrasts with a TV recording. Last autumn, we saw BBC2's Mock The Week at Television Centre. The studio was completely rammed with lights and cameras - over 100 gantries above our heads, and I may have counted ten cameras used during the show, each with its own cameraman. We were in our seats for a full three hours to produce a sub 30 minute programme, plus a few segments for the Christmas show. This was in the end exhausting and I'm sure that the cast struggled to raise many laughs after the two hour mark.

The Now Show seemed much lighter on its feet, though maybe more of it was scripted. Just a microphone each (one set lower for John Holmes), and we were out within 90 minutes - less than an hour's recording, and could easily have taken more.

The Radio Theatre is worth a closer look. Art deco, with bas relief sculptures round the sides at floor level - the floor has clearly been raised by some six feet. Wikipedia says that the sculptures are by Gilbert Bayes, though much else around the building is by Eric Gill. Sadly there is no mention, let alone photographs, of this work in the National Archives article, which however does show his work at Lords Cricket Ground, amongst others.

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