It has been years since I have been to see the recording of a TV show and so when I was offered the chance to be in the audience of Tales from the Vault, a new F1 programme from Sky I was keen.
The offer came from a friend who I had previously only ever spoken to on social media having come together through our love of WilliamsF1 – sometimes it had felt more like a small support group as we got each other through the difficult days of finishing well down the field! It is also somewhat ironic that most people perhaps fear that someone they meet online might turnout to be a 40ish year old man. In my case I would have been worried if he wasn’t!
Carl and I met at Syon Lane station and walked to the Sky TV studios where we would spend the day. The one thing that I had forgotten was just how tedious a recording could be as there was a lot of waiting around while things were setup and retakes were done. This would have been fine had we been sat down but, thanks to Top Gear, the audience was stood up so it was a shock to the legs for anyone that was normally an office worker. It was also a very small audience of about 40 people which was a surprise.
The proceedings would have started promptly had Horner not been delayed – some unkindly suggesting that his Renault must have broken down on the way!
The format of the programmes is that Steve Ryder interviews a few studio guests on an F1 related topic interspersed with archive footage. The shows that were recorded while I was there were “team-mates” where the guests were Nigel Mansell and Red Bull’s Christian Horner and “underdogs” with Damon Hill, John Watson and Williams’ Pat Symonds. So a really high quality set of people to discuss the topics on hand. To add a bit of interaction the audience were able to submit questions beforehand and then Ted Kravitz would find said individual and get them to ask their question for their moment of glory.
My question wasn’t selected (possibly because it wasn’t about the individuals being discussed or possibly because it included the word “fucking” in it! You can read an expurgated version of the story here, search for “bury the hatchet”), however, Carl’s question was selected and was first up (gulp!) and because I was stood next to him my mug will also be on TV (unless it is edited).
After the first episode was recorded Mansell and Horner dashed away as quickly as they possibly could but Watson, Ryder, Hill, Symonds and Kravitz all hung around chatting to the audience and having their pictures taken, which I thought was good of them and made for a really good day.
However, the thing that really made it for me was when I cheekily suggested to Symonds that there was a large amount of white space on the sidepods that could do with being filled with a sponsor. He replied with a crafty grin that we should watch this space and so now I am excited!