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Gav's Trip to Russell Howard's Good News

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Gavin Inskip Gavin Inskip | 14:02 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011

Hello, I'm Gav. I'm the bloke who talks between the programmes on BBC Three. Occasionally the bosses let us out of our cupboard - sorry I mean studio - to go and visit some of our shows. So I went along to watch Russell Howard's Good News being recorded last week. This is what happened...

Russell Howard's Good News (Russell Howard)

The MASSIVE queue weaves around the back of the studio, through an alley and right out onto another street. Just because you have a ticket doesn't mean you're guaranteed a seat. TV shows always give away more as they're free, and inevitability people won't show. The studio has a maximum capacity of 310 and I'm told they've had up to 1,500 people in the queue before! The people at the front have been there for almost 6 hours - crazy kids!

Every TV show recording has a warm up act and Russell Howard has a very funny stand up comedian called Ray Peacock. Yes, that is his actual name! He is brilliant. Not only does Ray warm up the audience, he then gives a health and safety announcement, says what to do if there's a fire, reads a bit of legal blurb about being filmed, warns people not to stand up as they'll get decapitated by a jib (a camera on a big crane) - and he has to make it all funny! I can tell this is going to be a good audience, the laughs already are the loudest I've ever heard at a Russell Howard recording - they're well up for it!

Bang on time, Russell comes out and the audience goes crazy. He says hello, has a little bit of a chat and we're off! He explains when the show starts, they play the opening titles as you see on the TV at home but he always feels a bit awkward at this point, as this means he has to just stand on stage doing nothing! He does do some type of rude dance, too rude to mention here though...!

Russell Howard's Good News (The Set)

The set itself is actually made of different things, including cardboard boxes stacked up (you may have seen Russell falling through them earlier in the series)! These are all white and they project images onto them that represent the stories.

The titles roll, the audience cheer and Russell Howard's Good News Episode 7 - Series 4 is go! When you think about it there's quite a lot to get through news-wise this week with the Royal wedding, Osama Bin Laden finally losing the world's longest game of hide and seek and the fact I've finally purchased a dishwasher. To be honest I don't think he'll be mentioning my dishwasher.

Here's something he did mention though, a crime fighting Ninja...

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We move on to my favourite part of the show. I think it's really brave for a comedy show to have a story that is not for laughs - it's what makes this part so strong. This week is a lovely story about a man who takes part in triathlons with his brother who can't walk or talk. A nice warm feeling of love and happiness fills the studio. Beautiful.

After the Good News story Russell says bye, the audience clap and on your TV this is where the show ends but they don't roll the credits or the music in the studio. This is beacause things aren't over yet as they've still got to shoot the Mystery Guest and the Stand Up Guest. Things aren't filmed in the same order that you finally watch them on telly.

In the short time between sections, Russell answers questions from the audience. We learn what Russell likes playing computer games, he reveals his favourite guest from this series was William Hanson from Episode 6, says his favourite stand up comedian is Daniel Kitson and even finds time to give out autographs and hugs for the audience. It's a shame some of these bits won't make it to the show!

Tonight we are getting to see two mystery guests as they're shooting another one for the compilation Best Bits show too. And if you watch Russell Howard's Good News Extra on Saturday night - you'll know there's a stand up from the comedy circuit, personally selected by Russell. This week is a guy called Gareth Richard. If you're a fan of Family Guy and just love humour that goes off on a tangent (like me!) you will love this guy!

Then there's just time to record the 'pick ups' (which are the lines they want Russell to re-do) and also some quick links for the Best Bits show. Finally the 'trail' - the little advert that goes out before the show on BBC Three. It has to be 15 seconds exactly, but Russell boshes it off in one take - what a pro!

10:00PM - IT'S A WRAP!
Episode 7 done! Russell thanks everyone and the audience go on their merry way, very happy.

Lucky me - my VIP pass lets me back into the holding area with the performers and crew. Drinks, nibbles and everyone seems really pleased. Not only with this show but the series as a whole. I honestly think Series 4 has been the best so far. Talking to people on the show - as much as they love it - they seem pretty relieved it's now all finished and they can have a break! For Russell and the team who come up with the ideas and jokes it's pretty full on for the entire time the show is in production and takes over their lives.

I met Russell at a previous record. It was a very weird experience when the team found out I was the BBC Three announcer I had about half a dozen people from the show gathered around me, including Russell - and they were getting me to do links live, like some kind of 'Announcing Monkey'. I think Russell genuinely found this a little exciting.......or weird!

Now BBC Three blog fans, I feel this is where I feel I've let you down. Obviously it would have been great to have a photo of Russell and I - but what I didn't realise is that even though he's just finished recording the show, he has to go off and do some editing.

Russell Howard's team

Instead you'll have to make do with this picture of me with Dan Atkinson, Karl Minns and Steve Williams - they're the programme associates and along with Russell come up with ideas for the show. They're all stand up comics and are all very funny, you may have even seen some of them as stand up guests before on Good News Extra.

So there you go that's what happens when you go to see Russell Howard's Good News - it's great but as you can tell, a highly sought after one to attend. You can understand why though. Russell has sell-out live stand up shows but for free you can see two hours of fresh new material....and even possibly be on BBC Three!

You can watch Russell Howard's Good News Best Bits tonight at 10.30pm and you can see the show that I watched being recorded, episode 7, online now.

And if you want to apply to see any BBC TV shows visit the Shows, Tours & Events website.

You can hear Gav announcing programmes on BBC Three. Except when it's a woman, then that's Collette.



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