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Blog: Have I Got News For You

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After a KRAZY week of EVENTS I would very much have liked to have lain down my tired/cold-ridden body last Thursday and slept for the rest of the YEAR. This, however, was not an option, as I had Glamorous Showbiz Occasions to attend.

The first of these was my usual Thursday meet-up with Mr John Dredge, during which several schemes were plotted, after which I headed off to The London Studios on the South Bank, where I was due to go and watch the filming of Have I Got News For You!

This had come about from my LAB with Ged Parsons at the London Screenwriters' Festival last month. He'd invited us all to come along, one at a time, to a filming and this week was my turn. Unfortunately I had printed out only half the instructions about how to get in, missing the crucial Where To Go section, so had to ring The Runners In My Production company and get her to HACK IN to my emails to get the details, all while standing near a HUGE crowd of excitable people. Apparently One Direction were filming an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in the same building!

Now fully informed I entered the building and began the long process of being gently shunted about. This seems to be the way with any recording I've been to, radio or telly, where you have to stand in certain places for a while before being moved on by nice young people to other places which tend to feature a BAR. It's very much like going to a Wedding, in fact, without the dancing at the end!

After a couple of hours of shuffling I ended up in the actual studio itself, which was decidedly ODD. I've seen HIGNFY about 100,000,000 times and suddenly there was the ACTUAL SET, looking slightly cold and tatty, right there. The mind, it boggled! We sat around some more then a floor manager came on and then, for some reason, a warm-up man. He was very much in the Big Hair/Tight Jeans/Child Noticing Things genre and I don't really understand why they'd have such a thing. Everyone was EXCITED already, he just delayed things!

Anyway, the show got started and almost immediately everyone just sat and looked at the screens. Again, we've all seen it SO many times that we fell into our usual "Oh, it's on!" mode. Occasionally I'd look down to the Actual Humans (including Mark Watson, Joan Bakewell and Jack Dee this time) and tell myself "Look at them, not the tellies!" but then the eye would wander back.

It went on for two hours and, to be honest, felt LONGER. There were funny bits but long gaps of general talking, and they did lots of extra versions of all the rounds. It was fascinating to see - I mean, I've done a whole DEGREE about telly and that (MA Telly And That, in fact) but it's still a surprise to see how much it gets edited down. As I say, it was a bit boring at the time, but when we watched it on telly a couple of nights later it was HILARIOUS!

When the show was finished there was more waiting as those of us on the guestlists sat around before being escorted upstairs to the BAR for the AFTER SHOW! I thus spent a very very enjoyable hour or so with Ged and various other people discussing comedy stuff while occasionally thinking "Crikey, that's Ian Hislop over there!" and then looking out at the AMAZING view over London from the 14th floor. It was brilliant and EXACTLY as glamorous as I'd hoped it might be.

I set off home with brain FIZZING full of SHOWBIZ and the possibilities of being part of it, but also with one AIM left in my brain: to get to BED!

posted 12/12/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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