Friday, May 25, 2007

My Day Out in London

This is actually an entry for last Monday, as I have been, oh so, terribly busy in the library this week studying hard for my last essay.....honest guvnor.

Anyhoo, a while back Megan had got hold of free tickets to a recording of the New Paul O'Grady show, which is filmed up in London. We originally in the pre-recorded show filmed at midday but then we got bumped to the live show filmed at 5pm. This was good for a couple of reasons a.) it meant we could explore London for a while before going to the studio and b.) we didn't have to get up at some ungodly hour, for example 9am, to catch the train.

After much discussion of places to visit, it was decided to find Pollock's Toy Museum. The museum is contained within two buildings one dating back to the 17th Century and has a wonderful collection of dolls, play theatres, trains, puppets, board games and various toy related items....even the unbelievably un-pc Gollywog doll (if you don't know ask your parents).

My favourite area had to be the one filled with the old mechanical tin toys, hours of fun and no need for batteries. Another was an upper room of the house (which had incredibly low ceilings) which contained a huge collection of dolls from all eras and all over the world. This room was also just a tad creepy.....must be all the glass eyes just staring at you and the fixed smiles and the one doll (which Meg pointed out) had blond hair and brown just know after the lights go out that one in particular would try to kill you.

We still had a couple of hours to kill before needing to be at the studio and as we were a short walk from the British museum we headed there. Now this place is amazing and certainly needs much more time dedicated to it than we had. We checked out the Egyptian display which houses the Rosetta stone (basically a dictionary for Hieroglyphics) and a few mummies. I also took much glee explaining the process of mummification to Megan who nothing of the pulling brains out of the nostrils thing.

Time ticked by rapidly and we soon for ourselves out front of the television studios...that's the BBC television studios...that is mecca for Emma. Now don't be fooled by the 'Priority' sticker which is shown on the ticket. As we arrived there was quite the queue and we had thought our ticket meant we skipped to the front, we learned however that everyone is this particular queue also had 'priority' tickets and were all in front of we joined the queue (it is what us Britons do best after all).

We had been standing in the queue for only a matter of minutes when I noticed a couple of young blokes crossing the road next to us, one of them happened to turn his head in our direction and I recognised him to be Dom from Dick 'n' Dom fame (Saturday Morning TV for the O.A.P's reading) Dick was walking alongside and it took all my resolve not to yell out 'Bogie's' ...because I bet they've never heard that before.

Soon T.P.T.B. started herding....I mean guiding us towards the studio area. On route a mutter went through the crowd and walking past a window of a reception area Sven Goran Erickson stood (ex England manager). So three stars already spotted and we hadn't even watched the taping yet.

We had a brief stop in a 'holding area' before we were let into the studio in groups. Megs and I ended up somewhere in the middle on the right side (so much for our 15 seconds of fame). There was a warm up guy called Andy who encouraged much whooping and hollering and to laugh even if the guest isn't funny.

The taping of the show was fun. The studio was bloody hot from all the lights, Paul O'Grady really knows how to work the audience, Shelia Hancock was pleasant and likes a proper cup of tea, the band Pink Martini were excellent, we rocked during the organ game with a jolly sing song and Buster was a real star.

The show went incredibly quickly and it was very interesting to see a real working studio, I'd love to go again.....if it didn't cost so much to get up to London.

FYI whilst mooching around looking for a place to eat Megan and I popped into HMV and spotted Erasure signing autographs...unfortunately we had missed joining the queue for this but I did manged get a sneaky piccie (from afar and ever so slightly blurry)

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