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Gluben


Member

Posted Wed Mar 10th, 2010 10:51pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Right, here's a (hopefully) new and updated comprehensive guide to series H recordings. Let me know if I've missed anything out!

Dates

The list of dates so far (as currently scheduled) is as follows:

Tuesday 4th May
Wednesday 5th May
Tuesday 11th May
Wednesday 12th May

The other 12 are provisionally scheduled as:

Friday 14th May
Tuesday 18th May
Wednesday 19th May
Friday 21st May
Tuesday 25th May
Wednesday 26th May
Friday 28th May
Tuesday 1st June
Wednesday 2nd June
Friday 4th June
Monday 7th June
Wednesday 9th June

Tickets

The Reserve List has now disappeared and been replaced with these first 4 dates. Once the recordings have finished, the Reserve List will presumably re-appear for series I next year. You can apply to as many as you like, but you will most likely only get one date, maybe two if you're lucky (you may get more when the next set of dates appears). You should receive an email not too long after you apply, and/or, as I sometimes have, a phone call. As they say, if you haven't been notified within 10 days of the recording date, you probably haven't got a place.

People used to get more with Priority Passes, which are comprised of Silver, Gold and Platinum Memberships. They cost £15, £17.50 and £20 respectively for a year, and they allow you to get more guests in (up to 2 for Silver, up to 4 for Gold, and up to 6 for Platinum). However, the Applause Store's current policy states that "All tickets to BBC broadcast programmes are strictly exempt from the Priority Pass club membership." Presumably, this is because it contradicts BBC rules which make sure that tickets are given out for free and equally. Since this includes QI, the ramifications appear to be that, theoretically, regular viewers and fans of the show are put on the same level as non-regulars in terms of ticket allocation.

But actually, from recordings I've attended before, QI does NOT count as a BBC show, since Talkback Thames produces it. Yeah, it's still rather confusing. Basically, all you need to know is if your ticket says "Priority" at the top, you can queue in a separate queue from the normal one. If not, join the normal one.)

Additionally, there is another offer (it may not be on now though, as it is not featured on the Applause Store website, but it's always worth asking). If you live in or near Kent, you can pay £20 at the Applause Store in Bluewater and receive a Blue Membership, separate from the Silver, Gold and Platinum ones, which means that for a year, you are guaranteed entry into all Applause Store shows, regardless of whether they are BBC or not. You can put yourself down, plus 3 guests, and they are Priority Passes, but you can only get access to one show.

At the moment, I have put myself down for 10 guests for all of the first 4 dates. If I cannot make any of them, for whatever reason, I am willing to send the confirmation email on to someone who can. I have one person as my first choice, but if they cannot make it either, it'll be passed on to the next person.

Either way, series H could once again see yet more people apply (especially since the show now broadcasts on BBC1 instead of BBC2, although the figure has presumably increased year on year), and even more people turned away. Then again, as a form of balance, the number of episodes this year has increased to 16 (for the first six series, it has been 12 or 13 episodes), so more shows means possibly more chances to see an episode.

Travel & Directions

Parking isn't really an advisable option, unless of course you live in London and know the area well, and if so, it is available opposite the Studios or "within adjacent parts of the South Bank complex", as the Applause Store website states. The nearest station to the London Studios is London Waterloo East, or just London Waterloo in general. You can access it using the Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City Lines; it is also a short walk from Embankment (Circle, District, Northern & Bakerloo) Blackfriars and Temple (Circle & District) and Southwark (Jubilee).

Once you get there, make your way to the far end of the station, towards the boarded up remains of the gallery that used to overlook the Eurostar terminal before it moved to St Pancras, and exit there. Go down the steps into the subway and follow signs for the National Theatre. Still at subway level, pass the IMAX theatre on your right, and you should come to a road called Upper Ground. Turn right and keep walking until you possibly see a few eager QI fans (!) at the side of the building. This is the London Studios, where the audiences queue. If you're lucky, you may see some guests enter the main building at the front (although recently, they've been more discreet in getting in, to avoid being spotted).

Queueing

For most people, you will need the side entrance. The ticket will usually say that doors open at 6.45 pm and close at 7.15 pm, and the show finishes at 9.45 pm. From previous experience, the first two times are correct. The finishing time can vary between about 9.30 and 10.00 pm, so make sure you don't miss your last train home (as I almost did once!). However, the queues have become longer and longer each year, and as such, I will be getting there as early as possible, which for me has usually been between 4.15 pm and 4.30 pm, but this may be pushed back even more. If you want to be sure of a seat near the front, try getting there a little earlier; since the queues are separated, that would be a big help in getting a good seat. Be warned: unless you have a Priority Pass, the ticket does NOT guarantee you access, so getting there early is essential.

Yes, the queueing last 2 hours, but us fans are very pleasant company, and you may well be treated to snacks! If you get tired, there are no seats, so you'll have to sit on the floor for the time being. At some point (probably 5.00 or 5.15 pm), if it hasn't already happened, the organisers split up the queues for the different shows if there is more than one going on that evening. They will also split up the queues into "priority" and "non-priority" tickets if it hasn't already become apparent.

There also isn't much shade until they open the main gates at about 6.00 pm and you are allowed to go forward a bit, so if you are worried about weather, bring sun lotion or an umbrella or whatever applies. At 6.30ish, security will check your bags and keep hold of cameras if they spot them, since you cannot use flash photography in the studio for obvious reasons. A few minutes later, they will briefly (and I do mean briefly) check your printed tickets and then you can go in, up the stairs and into the QI studio audience.

Inside

If you need the toilet, go before you actually go into the main building - just ask a fellow queuer to hold your place and go into the main building, where toilets are on your left, if I remember correctly. Do NOT wait until you are making your way into the building - if you go before you find your seat, you will lose your place and will be led to the back of the queue. Wait until you're seated and then go before the show starts.

At about 7.15 pm, the warm-up or Audience Wrangler will come out (often it's Stephen Grant - buy his DVD!), warn the audience to switch off all mobile phones (even on silent, they can interfere with equipment) and entertain the audience for 15 minutes before introducing Stephen, who in turn introduces the 3 guests, and Alan Davies. And no, nobody knows who the guests are until they are introduced (unless you spot them at the entrance, of course). The recording lasts two hours with rarely any breaks to correct ear-pieces, microphones and whatnot, and then pick-ups occur at the end. Sometimes there are a few, sometimes none at all. Then you are free to exit. If you don't know the way back to the station, stick with a friend who does or you could just follow the general crowd, since they tend to have come by train.

Green Room

If you're lucky enough to get Green Room access, you can go in the main entrance and wait until about 6.30 pm (so, unlike the rest of the audience, there is no rush to get there) when you queue up with other lucky people, get your name checked off, have a yellow wristband placed on your...er, wrist...and be led into the lift and up to the central part of the audience.

At this point, Green Room attendees will be asked to wait behind, have their yellow wristbands checked and be led out to the Green Room (which has a free bar, by the way). If you are lucky, have fun there, although of course Stephen, Alan et al. might be busy chatting to friends or might leave early, just in case you were thinking of having a chat. You can leave at any time (although preferably before the early hours of the following morning), and if you don't know how to get out, just ask someone and they should be more than happy to act as a guide and help you exit the admittedly complicated building.

Most of the details to do with directions are also available on the Applause Store website (http://www.applausestore.com), although they should appear on your ticket when it is emailed to you. For other updates concerning QI, do try the QI Blog (http://qitalk.blogspot.com). And for further information on guests and topics discussed, I suggest asking/stalking Stephen, Alan, potential guests and the elves on Twitter, albeit in a friendly manner.

Phew!


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Pink_n_Fluffy


Member

Posted Tue Mar 16th, 2010 8:29pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Hello and Thank You for posting this.

We are trying for a pair of tickets for the 21st May as it coincides with a pre-booked visit to London for mine and my husbands' birthdays. We've never been to a recording before - keeping our fingers and everything else crossed.

Do you know if there is a difference between an application from the reserve list which has been emailed to people on the reserve list and one made speculatively through the site? The site only lists the first 4 dates. My husband is on the reserve list and has applied for the 21st through an email he received. I've joined the priority pass membership myself in the hope I can get tickets for the 21st if my husband is unsuccessful.

Hopefully your info will be useful to us!!

Love E.


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Mandibles


Member

Posted Tue Mar 16th, 2010 9:26pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Reserve list emails simply lets people know before anyone else that tickets are now booking.
All normal tickets are equal.

Applause Store SHOULD make it a policy to fill their audience seats with reservation requests - but because the tickets don't cost any money they DREADFULLY oversell tickets. If you manage to get normal tickets, I would advise that you get to the studio fairly early to join the "normal" pass queue. If you get priority you can afford to be a bit later since you have a much better chance of getting into the show.

Natalie: "Are you finished with your coffee cup Stephen?"
Stephen: "Yes Natalie darling I am, although it's not a coffee cup, it's a teacup..."

*5 minute debate later*

Result: The contents of the cup do not determine the name of the cup. The cup is a cup/mug whether it contains tea/coffee/ribena/hot chocolate or any other beverage.

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Lauren


Member

Posted Tue Mar 16th, 2010 11:56pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Just curious, do you have to be living in the UK to apply for tickets? My brother will be in London from June 2nd to 15th, and I would LOVE for him to go, (even though he's never seen the show).

Follow me on Twitter! @Lauren1991

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Mandibles


Member

Posted Wed Mar 17th, 2010 8:50pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Not at all, you can book tickets no matter where you are from

Natalie: "Are you finished with your coffee cup Stephen?"
Stephen: "Yes Natalie darling I am, although it's not a coffee cup, it's a teacup..."

*5 minute debate later*

Result: The contents of the cup do not determine the name of the cup. The cup is a cup/mug whether it contains tea/coffee/ribena/hot chocolate or any other beverage.

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Lauren


Member

Posted Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 9:58pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

That would be great if my brother was even remotely interested in going.

Follow me on Twitter! @Lauren1991

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Ajayrious


Member

Posted Sat Apr 10th, 2010 2:58am Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Thanks for this post. I've got tickets for Monday 7th June.

I got tickets a couple of years ago, but unfortunately wasn't one of the lucky ones able to get in on that occasion as i was towards the back of the line. So this time i will be going extra early to make sure.


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Pink_n_Fluffy


Member

Posted Sun Apr 25th, 2010 6:44pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Oh well, it looks like hubby and me have been unlucky and not had tickets - if anyone has even one spare for 19th, 21st 25th or 26th May would be eternally grateful.....

Love E.


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Hermi80


Member

Posted Mon Apr 26th, 2010 7:17pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Thanks for posting this Gluben. I hope you manage to get tickets. Sadly, I live too far away to make the show but would love to hear other people's experiences as an audience member

'I am gone, though I am here'

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Chris_Quartly


Member

Posted Thu Jun 3rd, 2010 11:45am Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

I've a quick question, I have tickets for the June 7th showing, after reading this thread it looks like I'll be turning up fairly early! Anyway, my question is that my wife and I will probably have a small suitcase with us, will that be a problem and is there a cloakroom facility at the studios or will I have to find some other form of storage? We're not talking a big bulky thing here, not much bigger than a rucksack but I don't want it to be a problem on the day and not get in.


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Mandibles


Member

Posted Fri Jun 4th, 2010 12:56pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

It should be fine Chris, I'm not sure if there's any storage for bags but I'm working there today so I will make
enquiries on your behalf and post here when I have a definative answer. Are we talking about the size of bag you would class as handluggage?

Natalie: "Are you finished with your coffee cup Stephen?"
Stephen: "Yes Natalie darling I am, although it's not a coffee cup, it's a teacup..."

*5 minute debate later*

Result: The contents of the cup do not determine the name of the cup. The cup is a cup/mug whether it contains tea/coffee/ribena/hot chocolate or any other beverage.

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Chris_Quartly


Member

Posted Fri Jun 4th, 2010 5:08pm Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Yes definitely hand-luggage size. We're staying overnight Sunday - Monday so won't have much more than a change of clothes. Thanks very much for asking! We might just end up with a regular bag each in any case.


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Mandibles


Member

Posted Sat Jun 5th, 2010 9:07am Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Handluggage should be fine just bear in mind that there's really not a lot of space and you might end up a bit cramped up. Still - there's enough room to sit a bag.

Natalie: "Are you finished with your coffee cup Stephen?"
Stephen: "Yes Natalie darling I am, although it's not a coffee cup, it's a teacup..."

*5 minute debate later*

Result: The contents of the cup do not determine the name of the cup. The cup is a cup/mug whether it contains tea/coffee/ribena/hot chocolate or any other beverage.

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Chris_Quartly


Member

Posted Tue Jun 8th, 2010 9:35am Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

Thanks very much, I did get time to check but not reply (in a rush, limited internet access at weekends), everything was fine and had a great time


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Mandibles


Member

Posted Fri Jun 11th, 2010 10:12am Post subject: The Unofficial Guide to QI Series H Recordings

I'm glad you had a good time Chris. QI recordings are far superior to the polished result because you get to see Stephen trip over his words.

Natalie: "Are you finished with your coffee cup Stephen?"
Stephen: "Yes Natalie darling I am, although it's not a coffee cup, it's a teacup..."

*5 minute debate later*

Result: The contents of the cup do not determine the name of the cup. The cup is a cup/mug whether it contains tea/coffee/ribena/hot chocolate or any other beverage.

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