On Saturday 25th May, with little expectation of anything, we went to the FTBDO. The show had been trailed for a few weeks on the live radio show and, with tickets at £10, and the offer of two recordings, two bands and a standup comedian it seemed a good way to spend a Saturday morning. I’ve been to some TV recordings before and you can feel somewhat used as the production team try to get some good TV out of it.
Things started well. The Britannia Stadium was an excellent venue with on-site free parking well stewarded and swift access into the stand. A slight glitch was the beautiful weather which had us worried about the lobster effect but within an hour the stand was in shade and it was a perfect temperature (good planning).
The show began with Colin Murray saying hello to some supporters at the front and then taking advantage of the situation to try and score some curling free kicks from outside the box – failed miserably but rewarded the 15% of ladies with a moonie.
The build up to the live show was a local Stoke version with panelists Dominic Cork, Danny Higginbotham, Terry Conroy and Tony Dorigo – all hosted by Nick Hancock. For those of you not familiar with the format the show is a light hearted panel quiz loosely based around sport. The looseness is its attraction with the classic question being to ask guests to compare sports stars with biscuits.
Before the main event Henning Wehn – a support in the Ashbourne Festival comedy night some years ago – did his standard act for around ten minutes. He had the 3000 audience clapping along to a folk song last heard at the Hitler youth rallies – you get the picture. Very funny.
Then the main event with Colin Murray hosting the quiz with guests Bob Mills (another Ashbourne Festival veteran), Nick Hancock, John Rawling and Martin Kelner. It all overran a little but the sound system worked really well and they even had time for a Rory Delap tribute long throw competition for some points. The show part ended with the inevitable Tom Jones impersonator doing Delilah.
Time for a trip to the bar – rammed and some food – woefully underprepared which was the only poor part of the day. I can attest that the pies are exceptionally good though. As a result of the long queues I heard The Enemy’s short set caused by laryngitis for the lead singer and emerged from the gloom to a comedy penalty shoot out before seeing Ash play their set.
I thought the production team did a great job of making the event a spectator-friendly show rather than a radio broadcast with an audience. And the weather helped.