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First Experience Being In A Live TV Audience

Last week I experienced being in a live TV audience with the BBC at Elstree Studios for The Apprentice: You're Fired...

A while ago my mum told me about a website online where you can sign up, fill out an application and then receive free tickets to live TV recordings in the UK. I'd heard of a few people I know who'd been to these live recordings before but never really thought about signing up.  However my mum signed up online to see what she could apply for... the first TV show she applied to and received tickets for was the BBC's The Apprentice: You're Fired. Luckily for me she decided to invite me along!

The Apprentice is one of my absolute favourite TV programmes ever and it has been for years and years. If you've never heard of The Apprentice (for some crazy reason) then basically it's a business-related reality game show where aspiring businesspeople compete against each other in different business tasks to become Lord Sugar's business partner. I love everything about the show and I suppose as a marketing student, I (as well as pretty much everyone else in the UK watching The Apprentice) always think I can do a better job during the tasks than the candidates haha.

The Apprentice: You're Fired is a spin-off show shown on BBC 2 each week after The Apprentice is aired on BBC One. It's a comedy panel show with host Rhod Gilbert, and each week 3 other guests discuss the experience and tasks with the apprentice who had most recently been fired from the show. As a fan of the show and spin-off show I was so excited to see it live.

Some of you may know that I love TV, film and media production in general too. I loved studying Media Studies at A Level, and I always have an interest in the TV and film industry. I also have a HUGE love for comedy. Whenever I go to watch anything online or on my TV 9 times out of 10 it will be comedic. There is nothing better than watching something that makes you laugh imo. So clearly I was very excited.

So we headed to Elstree Studios. It was only an hours drive from where I live which wasn't too bad, and parking was fine - just outside the studios. My mum and I headed up early as we wanted to do some shopping and grab some lunch beforehand. We ate in Prezzo as we had a 30% off voucher (the superscrimpers we are haha) and then we walked to the studios.

Our tickets stated that the gates opened at 5.15pm however we wanted to ensure that we got seats so we arrived about 45 minutes early. There was already a small queue outside that we joined and we were handed our wristbands by one of the event managers who was super friendly. Whilst we were waiting I ran to grab some Iced Coffees from Tesco to drink in the queue.

It wasn't long until it was time to head into the studios.

We had to be checked by security before entering on set and we weren't allowed any food or drink in with us. I suppose you wouldn't want to be seen on TV scoffing down a packet of walkers, and I don't think the loud munching sound would be appreciated by the TV and sound crew.

We were escorted to BBC Studioworks' Studio 8, and inside we were lead to our seats. Unfortunately I was placed in a seat on the far left side of the audience so in all shots of the audience I am cut out, haha typical me, but I had a great view of the set and panel. In the end shot of the credits you can see the back of my mums head haha.

So in order to understand the spin-off show we needed to watch that week's episode of The Apprentice. So just like a cinema screening we all sat in the studio and watched the episode of The Apprentice before it was viewed to the public. The episode was called Comics and during this week's task the candidates had to create their own comic book character and story to appeal to 8-12 year olds. I absolutely loved this episode, it was so funny, and such a great experience to watch it with loads of other fans of the show. We watched the entire episode and discovered the apprentice who was fired that week, and found out that it was David Alden who was appearing during the show.

There was then a 5-10 minute break before we were told by the director that it was time to take some audience shots. We had to take some shots laughing, applauding, sighing and other general audience reaction shots. We were then told the run through of the show and it wasn't long until the host Rhod Gilbert made an appearance.

He spent about 15 minutes talking through the episode, talking to us about our thoughts on the candidates this year, talking through what was going to happen during the recording, and of course some classic banter with members of audience. Rhod Gilbert is a brilliant comedian, and it was just like going to see a 15 minute stand up gig.

Then he sat down and welcomed the panel guests; Mike Soutar (one of the interviewers who tears apart the candidates during the interview episode later on in the series), Nina Wadia (British actress known best from Eastenders) and Daliso Chaponda (comedian from Britain's Got Talent). It was soon time to start the show. The director welcomed the candidate who had been fired during the comics programme - David Alden.

Seeing the recording of the show live was amazing. It was hilarious to watch and to involved with, and to see all the pre-recorded segments and cutaways as well. It was also so funny to see and hear the slip-ups by Rhod Gilbert as well as the guests and the fired candidate.

Just like every episode of The Apprentice: You're Fired, at the end of the episode the audience are asked to vote for whether they believe that the candidate that was fired, in this case David, was to take responsibility for the failure of the task by holding up a fired or hired sign that we were given. I held up a hired sign. Even though I did think David was quite weak and wasn't going to win The Apprentice, I didn't think he was responsible for why the boys lost the task and I don't think he was really given a chance to show what we had. Plus I 100% believe that Kurran should be fired asap because he is literally useless.

But the rest of the audience didn't agree with me as the majority of the audience voted that David deserved to be fired - harsh as he was sitting literally a few metres away from us haha.

Once the recording ended, Rhod Gilbert and the rest of the guests had to re-do a few shots and had to take some still shots for the episode thumbnail. Then we were all thanked and escorted out of the studio.

Before the event my mum and I had decided that we were going to try and take the fired/hired signs with us after the show, and well let's just say mission complete haha!

(my mum looking v happy with her hired sign haha)
Overall I had an amazing first experience being in a live TV audience. And I say first experience because I am certainly planning on being in many many more. I had such an enjoyable night, and the whole experience was completely free. We actually got another set of free tickets to go on The Apprentice: You're Fired later this month so I'll be heading back very soon.

I have listed below a few websites that you can sign up to apply for free TV audience tickets for a large number of different TV shows if you're interested in a cheap but really fun night out:


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