Big Centre Television

Big Centre Bloopers and Behind the Scenes

Cliché alert!

In broadcasting you know that things don’t always go to plan. You’ve watched “It’ll Be Alright On The Night” or “Auntie’s Bloomers” (blimey, that’s going back a bit) and so on… Yeah, so did I, but I never thought I’d be an outtake myself…

From the Summer of 2015 I had joined Chanelle Shea-Calvin on the sofa to co-present “Postbag”. It had originally aired every night, presented by various people from within the station, featuring viewer feedback and news about the station. As time moved on, Chanelle became its regular presenter and it was moved to the weekend where it metamorphosised into much more of a magazine programme. I later developed the format through The Big Centre Magazine, Midland Weekend, The Big Magazine, and the Weekend Magazine. Each of these versions of the programme has its own page – with videos – on this website.

Postbag and The Big Centre Magazine were by far my favourite programmes to present, because of the wonderful rapport that Chanelle and I had. We got on like a house on fire! So I thought you’d like to have a brief look behind the scenes at one of our shows.

Postbag, like most of Big Centre‘s studio programmes, was recorded ‘as live’ which meant we did it more or less exactly as you see it on screen. We did our ‘live’ links, played the clips and inserts in the correct position, all timed to fill 22 minutes of screen time. After the recording we would immediately edit it where necessary, then drop in the opening titles and closing credits, in order for the finished programme to fit the screen time exactly.

Doing it this way gave us the flexibility during recording to re-record our bits if anything went wrong, or perhaps re-phrase something if it didn’t feel quite right.

We usually didn’t keep any of our ‘fluffs’ or ‘bloopers’ but I recently came across these clips. They are from the raw studio recording and so don’t feature any graphics or programme music (other than in the clip right at the beginning).

The first clip is from the section which would lead into into the commercial break…

The ‘Alice’ reference comes from us chatting about the famous song ‘Living Next Door To Alice, by Smokie (“Alice? Who the…”) during a previous recording break in the studio, so I wondered if I could put Chanelle off with it… and I did!

Sorry Chanelle!

Anyway, onto the second clip from the very end of the show…

To my shame, this was my fault again. As you can tell we’re reading our script from a prompter in front of the camera lens (also known as an Autocue). Although we’ve written the whole thing in our own words, we never really tended to separate the paragraphs into who-would-say-what. We’d simply decide who would begin the link and then take each paragraph in turn. As you saw, I carried on when I should have let Chanelle pick up the next bit.

Sorry Chanelle!

The other voices you hear in the background are coming from the studio gallery area. That’s Peter Crowther and Dan Woodward taking it in turns to give us the countdown to the take.

And if you want to see how the final edited programme turned out… here it is!

The featured band are Little Liam (I directed their appearance that you see here, within Big Centre’s CuppaTV programme). You can follow them on Facebook:

I’m going to try and find some more bloopers and outtakes… watch this space…

And finally, a little music. The theme to Postbag as performed – but never broadcast – by me.

This article, along with various others in my website are part of the wider story of Big Centre Television as seen from the perspective of the programmes I was making at the time. Most of the articles contain a video gallery of the original shows that I made.

I was with Big Centre Television from the very first day of production in January 2015 until the last of the original team were made redundant in November 2017 when the bulk of production and operations were being moved up to Leeds, the HQ of Made TV with whom Big Centre had merged in October 2016. Big Centre had a wonderful team all the way through, I miss them all and I remain really proud of what we ultimately achieved.

Contents (click an entry to go to that page)

  1. The Beginning
  2. Spring 2015 - An (Early) Day In The Life
  3. July/August 2015: Postbag
  4. Summer 2015 - Reading The Television News
  5. Summer 2015: Crossroads Check-In
  6. Summer 2015: Tiswas Pies Again! (new 8th July 2022)
  7. August 2015: The Story of Children's Television
  8. Bloopers and Behind the Scenes
  9. Autumn 2015: The Big Centre Magazine
  10. Winter 2015: The Midland – Weekend Edition
  11. Continuity - The Bits Between TV Programmes
  12. Spring/Summer 2016: The Big Magazine
  13. Autumn 2016 - Spring 2017: Weekend Magazine (Walsall)
  14. Promotional Trailers
  15. Summer 2017: Weekend Magazine (Birmingham)
  16. Autumn 2017: Community Noticeboard... and The End...

As time goes on, I'll be filling in some of the gaps as well as adding more to these existing parts of the story too. If there's anything missing, or you'd like me to talk about something in particular, send me a message on social media (see the very top or very bottom of this page) or contact me through the website.