Yesterday, as part of our course, we took a trip to Manchester’s Media City. This is a space that was reinvented in 2011. Since then new buildings have been taken up by several large organisations: the most notable are the BBC and ITV. Both have studios in this area and I was lucky to go on a tour of the BBC studios.
On the tour, we saw a very large studio where shows like The Voice and Match of the Day are regularly filmed. The studio was empty of any sets and undressed. It was surreal to see how different a studio looks in person rather than on TV. This was further proved when we were shown the Blue Peter set which looks somewhat smaller than it does on TV. We saw the dressing room and green room backstage of The Voice, as well as a Radio Studio often used by 6 Radio. We also saw an orchestra room.
After all of this, we were shown a replica set of BBC Breakfast, which also films in the BBC buildings at Media City. We got to be news presenters with an auto-cue and weather presenters with a green screen. This was very interesting. In the same room, there was also a replica Sports Round panel and Strictly Come Dancing costumes.
Around the studios and before the tour there were artefacts from different shows, replicas and the real things. We got to take pictures in front of Doctor Who’s Tardis and the Daleks. We got to sit on one of The Voice chairs and pretend we were a judge and we got to see the actual Countdown clock.
The tour lasted about two hours. Before the tour we explored the nearby shopping area and grabbed Harvester breakfast before heading to the Lowry Gallery to see some of his work. While we in the gallery, we each drew our own version of one of his paintings, inspired by other people who had done the same thing previously.
It was a really enjoyable day and an experience I would recommend to anyone. Media City is a beautiful place. To see more about MediaCityUk click here.