Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Show Must Go On

From a dose of the squirts to projectile vomiting the show went on.  It's one of those things about our business that being ill does not always fit in with your on air schedule.  It is time I heaped praise upon some of my past Host's who carried on in the face of adversity.

The first in my sick hall of fame must be Pete Murray who about 15 minutes before his show was violently sick in the loo and came out a nasty shade of green, noticeable because Pete always had a perma-tan completion.  He thought he had a bad case of food poisoning and went into a great deal of detail about his bowel movements and how many times sick he had been.  I suggested that he go home.  "It's too late and I am not going to let you all down." he said.  Armed with a Tesco carrier bag to be sick in and instructions to all staff to keep the nearest loo free, Pete carried on broadcasting.

The second distinguished member who was actually a guest on a recorded show, arrived looking a little green around the gills.  It was a book interview with Host Therese Birch and she sat the guest down in the studio, the red light on and the tape rolling she asked her first question. "What gave you the inspiration to write the book?" With that the guest jumped up put his hand over his mouth and ran out of the studio.

Unfortunately for the newsroom that's as far as he got and he was very ill into the waste paper basket next to the IRN Editor who turned to the guest and exclaimed "Jesus, what kind of a grilling is she giving you in there?"

A quick admission of my own self-inflicted illness, after spending most of the previous night celebrating a major sponsor signing, I was very unwell the next day.  As the Producer and Studio Producer I had to produce the days show in question and drive the desk (panel) As the one o'clock news approached I knew I could choose to be ill in the studio or in the toilet just behind it, I chose the latter and managed to hang on to the news.

Unfortunately the news was only three minutes long and I was rather unwell for about four minutes, when I returned I had missed the op and the news had finished and there was an eery silence in the control room, broken only by the Host screaming on the talkback, 'we're off the air, we're off the air!'

Finally Sandi Toksvig at a live OB (Remote) from the BT Tower in London.  She spent most of the show running up the little flight of stairs at the top of the tower that led to the loo.  Despite having a really unpleasant attack of the runs she carried on in front of a live studio audience and nobody except the production team knew the difference.  Well as they say the show must go on.

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