24 Hours on TV

I have no time at the moment! So I’ve decided to “do less”, which is a new one on me, brought about by a schedule that was crazy last week even by my standards.  Just to give you an idea of how busy I’ve been, there are still 3 unwatched episodes of Battlestar Galactica on my box.  I’ve reproduced Friday/ Saturday here:

Friday 1400 – get ready for TV marathon- that includes the incredibly dull and non-glamorous stuff like washing hair, doing nails, choosing outfits, making sure I have all my kit, checking specifications, and confirming the hotel is booked and the staff won’t be freaked out that you’ll be turning up at 2am looking half-mad and slathered in heavy make up. (NB: It turns out that if you call in advance and let reception know that you’ll be turning up at 2am looking half-mad etc, you are 78% more likely to be admitted.)

Friday / Saturday midnight to 0200 – go on telly.  There is an odd thought that sometimes hits me when I do the late shift, which is this: I know for a fact that the vast majority of people are going out on the town, dancing, eating, messing up their hair, or definitely not working – I can’t remember the last Saturday night I’ve not worked! Prior to doing the TV stuff, I used to gig in a band from Thursdays to Sundays – weekends were work even then… but I love having Mondays off.

Saturday 0830 – wake up ravenous and driven slightly bonkers by lack of sleep mixed with adrenalin from being on TV – yes, even after 8 years on the telly,  I still get quite excited.  Must. Eat. Now.  I suffer from “angry hungry” if I’m not fed, especially in the morning.

Saturday 0930 – back into QVC to get ready for the next show, including making sure the tech is working and no-one has unplugged/blown up anything whilst I was asleep, which is possible, although unlikely.  I normally also go for breakfast no. 2 at this point.  Must. Eat. Again.  I meet with the producer and the director and we talk about how last night went, what was good, and what could be done better (i.e. what was utterly pointless and needs to be dropped)  – I normally cave in to my first caffeine craving and drink a cup of tea just before going to air.

Saturday 1300 – I’ve presented 2 shows by now, we’re into the swing of things and the afternoon beckons- I’ll be looking at the 1600 and 1800 show, then it’s on to the evening shows at 2000 and 2300.  All the preparation of the weeks before has paid off – I know what I’m talking about, and I know how to talk about it, and of course, I’m used to the voices in my head (producer/director) giving advice and asking questions at the same time as my co-presenter is talking to me on air.  After the 1800 show, I start looking forward to yummy chinese food for dinner, which I normally indulge in between the last two shows of the shift.  

Saturday 1700 – this is where I’m hoping for my second (or third) wind, the frenzied preparation of the days before has finally demanded payback by now – I’ve sold my soul to caffeine, which comes to my rescue, a double latte with an extra shot, no foam.  Although it has to be skimmed milk now, I’m currently on a health kick and saving my “recommended guideline daily amount for Fat” for CHOCOLATE.

Saturday 2015 – just finished my penultimate show – normally the 8pm slot is quite fun.  Everyone knows what they’re doing and we sail through (assuming there’s no technical mayhem).  I bolt from the double doors off to dinner, and stuff my face with the same thing every time* before waddling back to the studio feeling contented and a little too full up.

Saturday 2259 – one more show to go, I’ll get to leave after this, but live TV is broadcast until 2am every night, so I can’t get publicly excited about going off home to bed after 24 hours, because others can’t turn in until much later.  It’s difficult being “De-mob happy” if you’re the only one allowed out.

Saturday 2315 -just finished the last show, all that’s left now is to De-rig.  This includes striking the set (i.e. clearing down the stuff in the studio), sorting out what’s mine and needs to go home, and what belongs to QVC and needs to stay at the studio, before completing the last “once-over” check and leaving at around midnight.

Saturday/Sunday 0125 – I’m finally making my way back home where I’ll attempt some form of make-up removal and hit the pillow square on in a triumph of unconsciousness.  I won’t even unpack until I wake up in the morning.

Normally, this is where I take a break, however, last weekend, I enjoyed the honour of taking part in Food 2.0, a fantastic charity event in which we raise money for Action Against Hunger whilst cooking a 3-course meal at the Cookery School for some incredibly sophisticated judges.  It was just like Masterchef, except with geek. You should have seen the kit people brought with – there were laptops, mobiles and camcorders everywhere.  We could have probably hacked into the Pentagon and/or broadcast to the outer reaches of the universe with the computing power in that kitchen.

Re: Food 2.0 Gulp!! I’ve managed to record 10GB of data!! 10GB!!!  Am not looking forward to wading through that much footage, when I’m pretty certain that the vast majority of it is not very interesting at all… mainly waffling about mushrooms and pastry it seems.  The usual saying in the industry is “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it in post (post production i.e. editing etc)” but I shall soldier on valiantly and post a link once it’s a) done, b) interesting, and c) not 14 hours long.

Well, next posts are imminent, they will be on the Food 2.0 experience, and I’ll be doing a special Archos post as I’ve been getting some techy queries from some viewers, it’s only polite to respond accordingly. 

*Vegetable Ho Fun noodles, no beansprout, no baby corn, no water chestnut, no bamboo shoots, extra tofu and extra chinese mushroom.  Followed by banana fritters.

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