161MC: The One Show

This week I’ve been asked to watch an episode of the BBC1 magazine program The One Show and to summarise the program, 7pm as if for someone who has never seen it.

The One Show is a magazine program that usually runs for a total of 30 minutes and airs on weekdays 7 pm on BBC1. The program is traditionally hosted by two presenters and will feature different guests, introduced at the start of each episode, for example in the episode I watched the featured guest was comedian and TV personality Harry Hill. Something that makes The One Show interesting is that its guests are not only expected to answer interview questions but to participate in quizzes and games and to view and interact with the other segments of the show, for example in the episode I watched Harry Hill was asked to speculatively draw 3 different animals based on just their names and was then informed of what the animals were really like based on an expert on animals.

The One Show follows a format whereby following the opening with its iconic theme song and opening visuals and the introduction of the episode’s guests the show will alternate between cutting to live in-studio content with the presenters and guests and cutting to alternative segments outside of the studio which can consist of clips related to the guest (in the episode I watched a clip from Harry Hill’s current TV show Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule was featured), live footage from another location, pre-recorded informative segments or even montages of footage taken from various sources, such as television or viral internet videos.

In terms of content The One Show covers a wide range of content in terms of its tone, for example in the episode I viewed the subjects ranged from covering a problem with new build homes with unexpected building faults and the lack of government legislation preventing this, a look at how grass snakes actually spend a lot of their time in the water and how they swim, and a look at how early greying fur can be a sign of stress in dogs and an interview with a dog therapist, as well as of course interviewing Harry Hill about his new show. The show also sometimes features performances, such as musical performances, as at the end of the episode I watched it was mentioned that the next episode would feature a singer and group of tap dancers live in-studio.

The One Show also usually features elements that involve interaction with the audience through the internet, as well as tie-ins to other content from the BBC and other organisations. For example in the episode I watched the presenters asked for viewers to email in their best laughing videos as part of a competition for Comic Relief. The show also features both itself and other BBC shows, usually highlighting guests to be featured in the next episode of The One Show to give audiences a reason to come back, for example in the closing moments of the episode I watched the presenters told the audience how the next episode would feature a “stellar line-up” with the stars of the film Life, and the presenters also reminded the audience at the end of the show that the last episode of The Replacement, another BBC series, was airing that night, done to hook audiences in to watch both of these shows.

A show like this requires a lot of different people in terms of production. Presenters are needed for content both in-studio and out of the studio, some of which have to be expert in different fields, such as politics or science. You also need multiple camera operators, sound operators and runners to help with various tasks, as well as directors, script supervisors and producers to direct these people. In the gallery you’d have a vision mixer to cut different shots and clips together live, a sound mixer and a Visual Effects mixer to handle clips and graphics played on the different screens on set. You also, of course, have website designers working on The One Show‘s website which features clips from the show, social media links and links to BBC iPlayer to view episodes.

The One Show’s variety of tone and content, as well its 7 pm broadcast time and friendly, non-threatening presenters allows for the show to have a broad, family audience, suitable and able to appeal to young children, teenagers, adults and the elderly.

If I was sum up The One Show in one sentence it would be “A show for the whole family with something for everyone”.

Andrew Sheller is a Media Production student at Coventry University. You can see more content from Andrew at their Facebook page through this link.


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