Tonight I went to the filming of Parkinson as a member of its studio audience.This was a show that my mum had gotten me into in Australia and is similar to the Andrew Denton show in that the basic premis is a charismatic interviewer of the stars that is good enough to be interesting without falling to the smutt of the likes of Jerry Springer. An added bonus was that the ITV studio is literally a 5 minute walk from my current place of work and being free it was an opportunity not to be missed!
The night started with an interview of two time ‘world’s sexiest TV man’ winner at the age of 47 Patrick Stewart of Star Trek and Xmen fame.
His rather eccentric personality (his greatest fear in the world was that he would be knocked down on a road in the us and die in the us rather than the UK…. ) was followed by an English comedy TV Staple Ian Hislop. Lastly and by no means least was an amazing interview with an aging Gene Wilder, who will always be the true and very creepy Willy Wonker.
He talked quietly and sincerely of his life and career. He is somewhat disillusioned with the current climate of movies with more searing and explosions than plot and class. Towards the he talked about his cancer and stem cell therapy (v interesting). He is now in ‘Complete Remission’. He was asking his doctor if he could say that he was cured and his doctor told him that if he lives longer then his doctor he can say he is cured. Gene’s come back that all he had to do to be cured then was take a gun to his doctor! – it was funnier when he said it :p
Polishing off the evening was music from Joe Cocker
whom i thought sung wonderfully whilst also looking like he was going to drop dead any second. I really loved ‘Unchain My Heart’.
‘What was the Price?’ do i hear you ask? Well for the hour and a half entertainment we paid with repeat after repeat of applause.. on the cue of the dude in black with the big head phones down the front.. we applauded as the light went down then as the lights went up then a ‘clean applause’ then a few with the band doing their intro bit and before each interview and after each interview and then again befoer and after each song by Joe Crocker then again as if we applauding Joe when he wasent even there so they could get shots of Parky applauding him. hehe..
The Choreography of the Camera men was something to behold. It was like a silent ballet. They always had at least 7 cameras on the go and would weave in and out and over.Â During the Joe’s numbers a man with a shoulder cam would run in take his shots of the backing singers and musicians and run out just before they shot a stade wide shot without ever showing up on screen. They would also magically disapear when the camera behind/above the audience took the shots to make it look like there were no cameras at all when going to comercial.. it was an art form!