We were lucky enough to be invited to the audience of Unsprung after Autumnwatch. The problem, it’s at Aigas Field Centre near Inverness! Never mind, haven’t had a break since June last year so a good excuse for a long weekend. A day there and a day back, but absolutely stunning and totally worth it.
We assumed we would just turn up and be in the audience, but they sorted out an itinerary for our visit!
We were given a tour of Aigas and of the BBC set up, the production suites and the studio. As we walked up to the studio we saw our first Red Squirrel, but it was too dark for a photo.
View from the studio in the light
It was very small and compact with a lot of kit. How would they get any audience in?
There were miles and miles of cables. I thought mine were bad, but this is on a whole new level
These are the Live Cameras with the teams monitoring them, what a set up!
We then went back to the production suite to watch the rehearsals. Even though everyone was very busy, they were all really friendly making sure we were ok. They are under a lot of pressure, they were still editing the show with 5 minutes to go. Even though it looked like chaos they all knew what they had to do and did it. Not a raise voice was heard (very different from offices I’ve worked in!). People were checking the website, making boards for Unsprung, changing running order, editing, it was all going on! Then it was back to the main house at Aigas for a meal with the production team.
Lovely food in a stunning location.
After that it was back to the production suite to wait for the live show. Anyone remember this?
Before the main show started we were given a briefing on what to do for Unsprung. Basically smile and do what Royston says! We watched the live show from the production suite, and there I was on telly. Everyone cheered, much to my embarassment! They all seemed to enjoy it, so did I, even if my heart was racing!
Ten minutes before the show ended we moved to just outside the studio, being very quiet of course. The credits rolled, Royston shouted GO! There was one and a half minutes between the end of the show and the start of Unsprung. In that time the audience has to get in and the set changed! It was chaos! As Martin started talking to camera, things were still being sorted! We were positioned right behind Martin so knew we were on screen most of the time. It was chaotic but great, really enjoyed the show. After the show ended we left, the BBC were then basically packing up to leave as soon as they could.
The Loch with the lights on
We went back to the production suite and met everyone, Chris, Michaela and of course Martin, he really is a lovely bloke. Chris appreciated the nail varnish marking, top bloke!
Then it was all over and we went back to the hotel, exhausted and elated, plus a full twitter timeline 🙂
I would like to thank all the staff of BBC Autumnwatch for such a great day and being so nice. Special thanks go to Victoria Bromley, for organising the day, Anna Place for doing all the website stuff and Natasha Hayes for doing my bit! Also to Martin Hughes-Games for making it so easy.