I recently moved to London. Wow! It is a beautiful city! As well as all the wonderful free museums and art galleries there is plenty to do in London for free.
Something I enjoy doing is attending recordings of radio shows. It’s hard to believe that you can attend the great programs you hear on the radio or watch on TV for zero cost but you can! Although I’m based in London, they do recordings at other cities (Manchester, for example) that you can also attend for free.
This includes shows like;
- The Infinite Monkey Cage
- Strictly Come Dancing
- The News Quiz
- A Question of Sport
- The Now Show
- Later… with Jools Holland
- And many others
Most of the shows are very popular and you apply via a random draw. To see what shows are available visit www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/shows/ and then you can filter via Genre/Location and also by date.
I’m not successful for every show that I’ve applied for but I would say I have a 50/50 success rate for the radio recordings I apply to attend. I don’t think that I’ve watched anything I’ve not enjoyed.
The two main recording studios for radio are at BBC Broadcasting House, just up from Oxford Circus and the Rada Studios that are close to Goodge Street. Both studios have bars you can buy drinks at before the show starts and the don’t mind you taking drinks into the recording at Rada. At Broadcasting House the radio studio is a lovely Art Deco affair and holds many more people so they don’t always allow drinks in.
Tips and Tricks
The Reservations Show Two Times.
One time is for when the show starts and one time is for when you can start to collect tickets. Don’t get these muddled up!
For the Best Seats Arrive Early.
For popular shows people start queuing 30 minutes (and earlier!) before the tickets are available to collect.
If you have two tickets reserved and you want to sit together, you need to collect your tickets/sticker together. If you arrive at different times you will have different numbers and that means you could be called at separate times to enter the theatre. The danger is your will be sat separately.
Bring your own food/drink.
Both locations mentioned above allow you to bring in your own food and drink. There is a Tesco Express near the Rada Studio for cheap drinks and there is a Co-op not far from Broadcasting House. Broadcasting House also has its own Costa Coffee attached the building as well as serving Costa coffee at the bar. The Rada Studios have all sorts of coffee-shops nearby if you want them. If you are going to buy food to eat in the studio…. PLEASE make sure it is not in a bag that crinkles!
Grab a Drink.
Once you have your tickets/stickers there is usually well over an hour before the doors to the studio open. You can spend this at the bar of either location but you don’t have to stay on-site. Use this time to grab a coffee or do some quick exploring.
One final point!
The recordings are free for a reason….they supply more tickets than there are seats. If you arrive later there is a possibility that you wont get in as the studio is full. As annoying as it is when this happens, it is not the fault of any of the staff so just use the oppertunity to grab an early dinner or find something else to entertain you near by. In my times of attending radio recordings I have not got in once and that was because I arrived to validate my tickets 1 hour after the time given…too late!
This blog post is about BBC shows that you can attend for free. If you have any questions then please ask below.