Nick Clegg holds up BBC 3.29pm weather bulletin – inside report from the BBC #bbctours

Here I am in the BBC Weather Studio (tour mock-up version) this afternoon. Severe Storms, apparently.

I know, I was standing in the corridor outside the BBC weather studio as it happened. I saw it all on the monitors. Darren Betts, the weatherman was standing there very patiently for ten minutes waiting to go. (And, incidentally did you know that each BBC Weather bulletin costs just £60? It’s all part of the unique way the BBC is funded….) But Nick Clegg went on and on, and in the end, Darren Betts had to record his piece, for it to be slotted in (technical term) when Clegg wound up (non-technical term).

And if you don’t believe that I was there at the BBC, here is the evidence (above right). Yes, I actually presented the weather (albeit from a little mock studio they have rigged up outside the proper studios for people on the TV centre tour).

Here’s a few more of my photos of this wonderful tour (Well done BBC!):

As we stood in the actual famous person's reception, I saw that it was only blinking Olly Murs just outside the window. He actually walked past me in the corridor - sipping from a bottle of water. My fifteen year old daughter was impressed! Apparently, Olly Murs, so I've heard, actually turns down offers from stunning women.


The vast Studio 1 at Television Centre (TC1) which has hosted Morecambe and Wise, Strictly Come Dancing and, ahem, The Black and White Minstrel Show

One of the most famous TV studio entrances in the world - TC1 - Studio 1 at Television Centre

For security reasons, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the BBC News operation. But this was just outside the door. They have 2,000 people working on seven floors, including BBC World, which broadcasts to 200 countries. They have their own travel agency. It's an awesome operation - soon to move to Broadcasting House.


Yes, Studio 8 is officially pointless

The lights in Studio 1. Awesome. (Sorry to go on...)

The actual Spag Bog monster's mask from Doctor Who

Actual open heart surgery from Holby City

So, whither BBC TV Centre? It is being officially evacuated by the BBC in 2013. Stuff has already moved to Salford. BBC News will move to the unbelievably brilliantly architected Broadcasting House (new bit). If you have £33 million jingling around in your pocket, you can buy the whole Television Centre show. It is perhaps likely that bits will be leased or sold off and some of the studios will remain in use.

In the old days, it was a Television factory – first conceived on the back of an envelope in 1949 and opened in 1960. The Morecambe and Wise Christmas 1977 show from TC1 was watched by 28 million viewers (more than half the population of the entire country). All the studios used to be in use all the time. Now, some of them are in use for about half the week. Sad.

But it’s all change in TV these days. It’s all HD and multi-channel. The decision to close down the Concrete Doughnut (© T.Wogan) was taken in tandem with major investment in the regions – Salford, Glasgow, Cardiff etc. Just take a look at the superb BBC facilities in Norwich, as a random example. These guys are serious about regionality. Well done Auntie!

As ITV withdraws from the regions (ITV news for Truro currently comes via Bristol), creating a monomorphic mass out of what used to be a multi-faceted operation, the BBC is investing heavily in the regions.

I salute you, Auntie Beeb!

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