Four episodes of television now broadcasting live every weekday morning from Television Centre.
In September 2017, BBC Studioworks reopened its Television Centre (TVC) facility in London’s White City and enjoyed a busy autumn across its three studios, facilitating over 200 episodes of television.
Building upon this success, from January 2018 a joint project between BBC Studioworks and ITV Studios Daytime commenced in earnest to deliver the technical fit-out and building works required to accommodate Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women at TVC while ITV’s London HQ on the South Bank is being redeveloped.
From 16 April, all four shows began broadcasting from TVC. Good Morning Britain and This Morning share Studio TC3, with their sets sitting back-to-back across the 8,000 sq. ft. studio floor. Lorraine and Loose Women both reside in the adjacent 3,430 sq. ft. Studio TC2, with a daily turnaround between the sets after Lorraine goes off-air.
The turnaround is achieved in approximately 45 minutes by the scenic and technical teams. Not an easy feat considering there are 51 set pieces including 13 LED screens and monitors. To aid the process, the studios benefit from a touch screen system, meaning all hoisting operations can be controlled and manged safely and efficiently from the studio floor.
In addition to scenic operations, BBC Studioworks’ electrical and engineering teams support the four shows to ensure seamless production every weekday morning.
As part of welcoming ITV Studios Daytime to TVC, BBC Studioworks undertook internal reconfiguration work within its ancillary areas to create a production zone for each of the four shows, ensuring each programme has its own dedicated and branded area. Each zone houses dressing rooms, wardrobe, make-up, technical and other support facilities. The TVC dressing rooms and green rooms are now a mix of exclusive and non-exclusive use, with many of the rooms being released in the afternoon once the ITV shows are off air. These are used by productions being filmed at TVC in the afternoon and evening, further bolstering TVC’s position as a 24-hour operation.
BBC Studioworks has also kitted out five onsite edit suites to support the shows, and worked in partnership with ITV Studios Daytime’s technical team to modify the existing studio galleries to tailor them to the needs of Daytime broadcasting. Within the sound galleries, an IP-based radio mic and IEM system have been implemented for each studio with full coverage to all other shooting areas used by ITV Studios Daytime. The comms system has also been expanded with extra panels installed in the production galleries and offices. This links to the comms system at WestWorks, 0.4 miles down the road from TVC, where ITV Studios Daytime’s main office is situated. The team is also making extensive use of BBC Studioworks’ new Bolero DECT wireless system offering seamless connectivity across the whole TVC site.
The ETC Cobalt lighting desks have had additional fader wings installed and the software has been adapted to run the large number of lighting channels required to operate two shows from one gallery, with new LED-based lighting rigs introduced into studios TC2 and TC3.
The router infrastructure has also been expanded to accommodate the large number of incoming lines and additional sources that shows like Good Morning Britain and This Morning require.
To aid outdoor filming, BBC Studioworks installed wall boxes across the wider TVC site – including one in the garden at the front of the building, one in the iconic central Helios concourse and one on a raised balcony overlooking the London skyline. Since going live in April, the shows have been regularly using these outside spaces for entertainment segments and trails to introduce guests.
“ITV Studios Daytime produces 6.5 hours of live content every weekday so a seamless transition to our new home at Television Centre was essential,” said Emma Gormley, Managing Director, ITV Studios Daytime. “We are delighted to have jointly achieved this with BBC Studioworks and look forward to continuing our trusted relationship over the coming years.”
The three studios and post production facilities at TVC supplement Studioworks’ existing portfolio in Elstree. The different format of facilities at the two locations are proving complementary and clients have been enjoying the options that Studioworks are bringing to the market.
“The reopening of Television Centre has effectively doubled our core studio footprint and provides the market with a unique facility that sits at the heart of an exciting media-focused development,” said David Conway, Managing Director, BBC Studioworks. “We have welcomed an array of leading entertainment shows since launching in September and are delighted to now also be hosting ITV Studios Daytime. The partnership is working out really well and crews, talent and audiences are enjoying what Television Centre has to offer, from technologically advanced studios and a range of outdoor shooting options, through to boutique restaurants and outlets for when the shows have wrapped for the day.”