Saturday 22 January 2022

The Socks On Britain's Got Talent (part one)

When BGT themselves tweeted this photo, I figured it was okay to mention the fact that, on Friday (Jan 21st) the Socks recorded their appearance on Britain's Got Talent at the London Palladium.

I signed a Non Disclosure Agreement at the start, which doesn't restrict you much but, understandably, asks you not to disclose the result of your audition on social media, so I won't. I'll tell you all how it went when it airs, which probably won't be till April or May.

It's a long day, filming BGT. It started, in my case, with an 11am call time. This was an 8am call time for some, because there are two shows recorded in a day. The Socks were, I discovered as we went along, in the second show, which starts recording at about 6pm and goes on till about 10pm. So I drive to London, having pre-booked good cheap parking underneath the Hilton on Park Lane (£17 for the record, worth bearing in mind, and, er, that's as interesting as these notes are going to get) and made my way to the Marriott on Grosvenor Square, where most of the day's activities took place.

Having set up my sock set to one side of the room, I then waited behind it, hiding away from my fellow acts to ensure that only the Socks ever got filmed, and not me, for the rest of the day. Like all the movie stars will tell you, there's a lot of waiting involved in this sort of work. But, in various bursts of activity, the Socks filmed a chat with a German magician called Topas - getting in lots of fun ad-libs, including "Topas, that's the thing that runs along the side of a canal", which I bet never makes the edit; then a chat with a stand up called Stefano, who I think I MC'd for back in the Comedy Box days, which again got some good funny ad-libs in; then our face-on interview which, again, I thought included some good ad-libs. All in all I felt I'd got a lot of good comedy material on camera, and will keep fingers crossed that some of it makes it into the finished show. But, by golly, there was a lot of interesting and varied competition...

Yes, that would be Mary Poppins having an on-camera chat with two schoolboy dancers, as glimpsed from behind my set. This is the sort of thing the show's all about, and it'll be fun to see how our various moments in the spotlight pan out. I didn't take the opportunity to talk to many acts, because I wanted to keep the Socks anonymity, and also I'm wary of wearing out both my voice and my welcome by talking too much before a gig.

Wishing I'd brought the laptop and some proper work to do with me, my day of waiting and little bits of recording kept going from my arrival before 11am right up until sometime after 7.30 when I packed up the Socks set and we got ferried over to the London Palladium. There I set up the set backstage and prepared for my moment in front of the judges...

About which you'll hear in a few months time.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, and graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and TwitterHe is the host of the podcast Comic Cuts The Panel Show

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