I was just saying the other day that one of the coolest things about moving to London are all the entertainment options it has to offer. You’ve got your world-renowned theatre, A-list British actors who’ve made their mark in American cinema as well, clever British comedy and drama on the telly, club acts, street performers, and, what I rank just below street performers for its pathetic organization of a basic studio audience, BBC One.
BOO BBC!!! Is this what I pay TV tax for? Forgive me if I sound a little bitter today; perhaps I’m in a mood because my sinuses are crackling and my ears are ringing after TWO HOURS of standing in line last night with the frigid wind right off the Thames thrashing around me as I waited, unsuccessfully, to get into the taping of today’s Graham Norton Show despite having a ticket in hand. My friend had invited me along (as I mentioned Wednesday in my post about Mayfair), and I didn’t realize until yesterday that BBC’s brilliant booking system, in fact, over-books like a gol’ darn airline, so even with a ticket, you’re not guaranteed admission unless you have “Priority” status. Well, my friend has it now for the next date she books thanks to our pain and suffering of last night. Be warned, then, if you’ve made your UK relocation and are looking to step out of your new London apartment to enjoy such an evening of entertainment—make sure you get there EARLY and dress WARMLY.
We ourselves arrived at London Studios on Upper Ground near the National Theatre (make note of that address for aiming your tomatoes) at 5:15pm, and I reckon it was about 7:20 when we were mere yards from the door and wrist-banded and everything when the people at the front of the line finally left and were kind enough to tell us that anyone whose wristband number exceeded 200 wasn’t getting in—these were the people at the front of the line who were the only ones that could possibly hear the flakiest of reps that BBC could’ve sent out there to address the crowd, who basically just stood on the top step flapping her hands around and speaking as loudly as if she was in church, guaranteeing to leave us in ignorance. I thought we were going to have another student-protest-esque riot on our hands simply due to a lack of communication. BBC, are you that low on human capital that you can’t send someone to walk down the line with status updates, or maybe had the very person who is wrist-banding everyone say what the color and number of it means so people can make the decision for themselves whether to brave the 0.5% chance of getting in out of the freezing river-wind or just high-tail it to the pub? My previously tissue-damaged toes from early stages of frostbite went absolutely numb out there—I don’t even know who Graham Norton is just like the rest of the world outside the UK doesn’t, so he’s definitely not worth losing toes over. I was only there for Daniel Radcliffe, so I guess I’ll just catch him on the silver screen like everyone else soon.
In any case, it would probably make more sense for them to designate who has seat assignments and who is wait-listed from the getgo so that, again, people can make the decision for themselves and not be left to waste their time in highly unblissful ignorance. (Not to mention that if these shows want attractive audience members, they aren’t going to get it by exposing them to high-speed winds that’ll destroy the best of hair days! )
Thank you for letting me rant. It was a frustrating night. Idiotically, however, I’m still totally registering online to score tickets to other shows that I actually do watch, like Top Gear. I’ll just know to select warmer-weather dates and get there super early. Tickets can be applied for directly at BBC for some of their programs (http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tickets/) or through the Applause Store, which also offers tickets for other stations (http://www.applausestore.com/home.php).
Otherwise, just kicking back and viewing the programs from my warm London apartment sounds just as, if not more, appealing to me…