Peter Carter – On Placement with ITV’s This Morning

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This summer I headed to London for what was an absolutely extraordinary 2 Week placement with ITV Daytime and their This Morning programme. Originally broadcast from Liverpool’s Albert Dock before moving to London in the late 90’s This Morning recently moved to the iconic Television Centre (Formerly BBC Television Centre) in White City.  Having such passion for the industry and to be granted the opportunity to work within the walls of this historic television making factory felt amazing. I walked up to the front of the building and no word of a lie I just felt like I had to take it all in –  it was incredible! 

My placement began with a tour of the main studio building, we were taken from the main reception into what is referred to as the ‘Red Assembly’ which is basically a social space for production staff working both with ITV Studios Daytime & BBC Studioworks – If ever there was a networking opportunity that was now!  We were then taken for the first time into Studio TC3 (Television Centre Studio 3) which is the current home of Good Morning Britain and This Morning. The walk into the studio was awe-inspiring, we were informed that iconic shows such as Doctor Who were originally recorded in this studio back in the BBC days of Television Centre. Back to the present and we walked around 2 closed sets the first being GMB and the other This Morning. Walking onto the set for the first time felt so surreal genuinely I felt I had to try and contain my excitement, to see the current This Morning Sofa where hundreds of interviews and items have taken place (probably most of them I’ve seen) was the most surreal experience. I was also taken back by how realistic the now pre-recorded view is. I always felt that a pre-recorded view would be slightly disappointing but the view is so convincing that you wouldn’t think you were in Television Centre so to be able to visit the former Studio 8 building on the Southbank in a different location was pure TV magic. The opportunity was then given to watch the show just meters from the presenters Lisa Snowdon & Nigel Havers and with just 1 minute to on air I heard the floor manager shout “10, 9, 8” I looked at Maddie my fellow work experience friend with a look of pure excitement. “3,2…” I think the second the second the most recognizable theme tune played out it reminded me of how much I’m going to just relish this opportunity, make great friends connections and throw myself into the show as if I was a genuine member of the production team.  Being in the studio just reminded me how much I loved this environment, to be stood in the position I was in and just to think that millions of viewers would be watching at exactly the same time but from a completely different perspective honestly gave me goosebumps. Watching the show from the studio enabled me to get a real sense of how everything is fast-paced and very much a moving machine during a live show, watching how they rigged for items, guests being transported on and offset and the presenters rehearsing links just about made the experience for me. However it wasn’t just the studio that was part of this experience it was also being able to work in ITV Daytime’s HQ where  Good Morning Britain (GMB) , Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women teams were based so if ever I had the urge to network this time was now! And by Week 1 Thursday at 5.45am I was sat in the GMB gallery chatting to their production coordinator Amma and watching the rehearsals and then the live output from the Good Morning Britain gallery how they opt out to regions, how stings and graphics and visuals are all cued from the director to the very calm gallery teams – it was utterly incredible. Following the show I was fortunate to go down and just visit the set – yes I have to admit get a picture behind the desk and against the photo wall. What was amazing to see is that because GMB & This Morning share a studio they have quite a fast change around with the cameras. Within 10 minutes of the show coming off air the cameras had been transported into the This Morning closed set and GMB was powered down by such an amazingly talented team. I thought in this post it would be vital to mention just how many teams put into process the LIVE shows you see on a daily basis. This Morning alone there are teams for the individual days, social media, entertainment, features, news, production management as well as the editors.  What was astonishing about this was that it’s evident that every person working in this office was a significant cog in the machine that keeps the programme still going strong at 30 years on air. I don’t want to mention everything in this post as I need to save most for an upcoming essay but what I will say is that working with such talented people has been an amazing opportunity.