Thursday, November 03, 2005

Have you got news for me?

Jon "My Ace Blog" and Shirley got tickets for tonight's recording (at the ITV London Studios on Upper Ground, SE1) of Have I Got News For You [a topical TV program featuring the current Funniest Living Englishman, Mr Paul Merton] and were kind enough to invite us to go with them. The tickets are free but they overissue them to ensure a full house..

The London orbital was jammed anti-clockwise (we dropped LO off with her Aunt Margaret & Family who live a couple of junctions clockwise) so we had to detour through the shithole I grew up in, which was as jammed with traffic as it's been every day for the last 30 years. Gripped with loathing, I followed the signs like a drone instead of striking out and looking for a clearer route.

Still, we got in in the end, and London was just totally rammed full of traffic, as if giant hydraulic presses were forcing cars where it seemed no more cars could go. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was discombobulated and missed a couple of turns. At one point I turned right when I should have gone straight on and had to redrive some of the Mitcham one-way system - not a big deal, but another delay. I remarked something like "Sorry about that one more minute of delay more but in the scheme of things it won't make any difference".

We got to the ITV London Studios at door opening time, seven o'clock - we had planned to arrive at six, everone else got there at five by the sound of it - and joined the end of the long queue. Some poeple joined the end after us, but they were queuing to see Parkinson, and scuttled off. At that point, we were warned that we may not get in by an employee of the production company who had counted the queue. The thing is, you never know, you _might_ get in.. maybe some people in the queue would change their mind, leave their tickets at home, feel ill, spontaneously combust.. and then some poeple joined the queue after us, a dozen or so, so we felt better.

We queued for about half an hour, until 7.30 came which is No Further Admittance time. We weren't in, but we were close. At this point we were next to the bronze cast handprints of ITV's A-list - Davina McCall and Beck's mum's old boyfriend Des Lynam (_big_ hands) were the one's I've heard of.

We were at the very very front of the queue, our noses pressed to the glass of ITV's warm cheesy lustrousness, when the bad news eventually came that they were full. The compensating good news was to follow rapidly - we would receive priority tickets "with a dot on" for a forthcoming recording, which means none of this queuing lark, straight to the front and into the best seats. It was a relief to be told that the last seats available have extremely limited views - "You'd only see Paul Merton [FLE] walk on and you'd see him walk off, you're better off watching it on TV".

We went to a cavernous diagonal Pizza Express across the road. We did recall the Mitchum redrive incident, but everyone was kind enough to represent it as the difference between seeing the recording while separated singly through the audience wherever the view was worst, versus going back to London in a couple of weeks time and seeing it from the best seats, with no queuing. If we drive again - the studios are close to Blackfriars, which is easily accessible by train from Brighton - I can take my car, which is currently having a new cylinder head gasket fitted. That should be much more comfy for the overall journey, Becky's is a town car, albeit one with a rocket for an engine.


Rangor said...

Do you want me to nip back in time and steal people's tickets from their bags and light some of the people in front you you in the queue? You'd get in, but you wouldn't get your special tickets. I think you're better off going another time and getting in the comfy front seats (I presume they're comfy). Are you actually going to watch this weeks episode or will you get sad seeing the people you could have seen in the flesh?

stuart said...

dude, it isn't worth pissing in the time stream, though we would have appreciated the warming..