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Blog: Miranda Hart

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Myself and The Laughs On My Laugh Track headed OUT WEST last night, as we went to BBC Television Centre to see if we could get in to see the filming of Miranda Hart's new sitcom. We'd applied for and GOT tickets a few weeks ago, but previous experience of this sort of thing told us that GETTING tickets doesn't necessarily mean you get in.

We arrived to find a BIG queue but as BBC Staff kept walking along COUNTING, and going far past us down the line without saying anything, we assumed that meant we'd get in without problems. However, JUST as we got to the front of the queue and inside the entrance lobby (to the car park, not the building itself!) the queue was HALTED. Apparently they were FULL, and only letting in another 20 people on stand-by. The poor people who'd queued nearly as long as us just outside had to go all the way home again!

We went into the BBC Audience Foyer, a sort of CANTEEN to wait in where they played APPALLINGLY BAD MUSIC at high volume. "No Limit", "Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit", THAT sort of thing. It DID include "Boom Shake The Room" for a singalong, but even THAT didn't make up for the terribly bombardment of TERROR we were subjected to. WHY, The BBC, WHY?

They collected the ACCEPTED ticket holders while we 20 stand-by people lurked around listening to terrible music for 15 minutes, before being told we could ALL go in. HOORAH! We TROOPED in and were led to seats that had been kept spare for any PALS of the production to use... which were thus The Best Seats In The House! I felt a LITTLE guilty, but not much.

And then we were into the recording - it was VERY interesting. All right, what I'm about to say may not be interesting if you've EVER been to see a TV show recording yourself, or know somebody that has and goes ON about it, for LO! everyone probably says the same things: it was really really tiny. There were big gaps between scenes. They did re-takes of pretty much everything. There was a warm-up guy.

He was actually pretty good - Ray Peacock his name was, and he basically kept us JOLLY throughout. He did the stuff comedians normally do BETWEEN the jokes mostly, all the "where are you from" stuff that is a pain in the neck when that's ALL they do but which worked pretty well in this ENVIRON, as he kept having to stop at a moment's notice when the next scene started up.

We were sat quite a long way from where the actual ACTING was going on - there were three different SETS all RIGHT next to each other, and between us and them were loads of cameras and sound machines, so we ended up watching the whole thing on GIANT TELLYS suspended above us. It was strange, especially when we watched bits pre-filmed on the same set that WEREN'T happening in front of us.

The show itself was really funny - I don't know if it will be when shown on telly, but it certainly felt that way whilst we were watching it. I've always wondered why the audiences on TV Laugh Tracks seem to GUFFAW and HOOT with laughter at even the slightest thing, but I now know - it's because they want to be HELPFUL. Right from the start we were told we were PART of the proceedings, so we LAUGHED even at bits that weren't that funny at the start, until after a while EVERYTHING was HILARIOUS!

Also Miranda Hart herself, as herself and as the character, was VERY funny and also extremely likeable. This DID make most of the other characters seem a bit unpleasant, but she was GRATE, especially in the bits where she talked directly to camera. She was HILARIOUS.

As I say, it was all very interesting, especially when the comedian pointed out that the Jokeshop Set contained THE ACTUAL TOYS FROM PLAYSCHOOL and also THE CLOWN FROM THE TESTCARD!!! GOSH! I found, and still find, that one of the most exciting things of ALL!

It took AGES to film - we got there at 6.15pm, started filming at 7.30pm and it was gone 10 o'clock when we finally got out - but it was all well worth it. As well as being a FUN EVENING we also got to walk through the BBC Buildings, past the fountain where Roy Castle broke all those records and, on the way out, have a WEE in the toilets Jools Holland walks past at the start of his show. Who could ask for more GLAMOUR?

posted 20/7/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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