I was in the audience this morning at the pilot for Weekend Wogan, the weekly live chat & music show Sir Tel is to start, next month.

It’s going to be a great show! His audience simply love what he does, and are comfortable with a range of music. They really do feel they’re in a club – and what better way to establish that among your listener than with a name? The combination of TOGS, team (who really seemed to gel), and Sir Terry mean the show will go well.

Some notes I scribbled* down during the recorded songs:

  • As the host pointed out, there was no food! It’s likely the audience will provide some. The security staff should be notified, and any policy stated on the tickets.
  • If the audience do bring pies or cakes, that will change the dynamic for them. During the recorded songs, the lights go up and people chat, but might a bit more might be useful at times, especially during the slightly awkward song when Sir Tel suddenly isn’t talking to them! Maybe some audience questions or puzzles on paper to be handed in at the news break?
  • The PA was too loud. It actually hurt my ears, and I know TOGS tend to be old, but they’re not that deaf, surely. I admit the volumes can help when you’ve been sitting there for two hours, and allowing people wander about more could block the view back to the cubicle. But it is a long time to be sitting, especially as the main audience will be pottering around, driving, cooking (roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, of course).
  • The host’s earpiece seemed too loud for him too. Maybe one of those combo earpiece small-boom mics would be better supported? It would also deal with the difficulties of one handheld cardioid radio mic when he’s interviewing singers.
  • I guess with practice he’ll get used to closing the mic during songs – he has after all described himself as self-op to the core (I think) :-)
  • The house band are not very visible, blocked by the piano, music stands and backing singers, though I can imagine that’s necessary just for micing purposes. Still, I hope they had comfy seats!

And get this… if there had been pips, Sir Terry would have hit them perfectly – but the network, where they took the news, was late!

All in all it was a good show. Even though my mother, also originally from Limerick, couldn’t make it this time, I plan to apply for tickets on her behalf so she can attend the real show once it’s on air from 14th February.

* Yes, scribbled, in a lovely Muji notebook. Unlike the groups on at least two sides of me, I left my iPhone off. Something tells me the TOGS are an iPhone-literate audience, and that perhaps could be borne in mind.