I went to see Top Gear being filmed. Having worked at Dunsfold Park for four years, I got to see both the old and new Top Gear presenting teams come and go and shoot all manner of weird and wonderful stuff. But I had never been part of the studio audience. So I had to find out what it was like.
It’s important to note that I don’t drive. I’ve not passed my driving test. I do not own a car (obviously). So I had to get a taxi from Guildford to Dunsfold Park where I was dropped off at the waiting area. Which had no seating.
After about an hour or so, the buses arrived to take us to the hangar where they shoot the show (literally next door to where I used to work). We were then herded into the studio and spent goodness knows how long standing up and waiting for things to happen. After a decent speech from the show’s executive producer, the filming got underway.
But after all the messing around, and another hour or two had passed – I started to get fed up. I was watching the monitors in the machine room rather than what was happening on the studio floor – particularly when the presenting team of Matt LeBlanc & co. went to the other studio.
When they finished with the first part of filming, they let us out. That’s when I left, got shouted at by a security guard for walking in the road, and went next door to say hello to my former colleagues.
I did, thankfully, behave myself during the interview with Matt Bacon. Though I do pop up occasionally in the background.
All this was back in the day when you could freely move around and not worry about viruses. Now? The studio would be empty. No studio audience. Then again, no filming at all – practically everything has shut down now.