BBC Studioworks, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, has re-opened the studio doors to the ‘home of British television’ at the Television Centre site in Central London. Television Centre, originally opened in 1960 and the biggest TV production facility of its kind in the world at the time, has been undergoing major redevelopment works since 2012 when it was sold by the BBC to the property company, Stanhope plc.
Studioworks has re-opened three state-of-the-art studios as well as post production facilities on the site to create the centrepiece of what promises to be a vibrant and creative media quarter in London’s White City. Television Centre is now a mixed-use development and the studios sit alongside a number of outlets which are likely to prove very popular with production crews, audiences and on-screen talent – including a Soho House club and hotel, a gym and spa, an array of restaurants and bars, as well as a boutique cinema.
The Studioworks facilities will play host to productions from all the major broadcasters and production companies, with ITV1’s The Jonathan Ross Show the first production to be recorded. The popular chat show started its 12-episode run yesterday, the night before the official opening, and will run weekly until November. Also booked for the Autumn are the BBC One quiz show, Pointless, and the Strictly Come Dancing companion show, It Takes Two. These two shows will account for over 120 episodes of television produced between late September and mid-December. Other confirmed shows include a brand new production for Sky – The Russell Howard Hour.
Across the three studios, Television Centre provides over 22,000 sq. ft. of shooting space as well as fantastic new post production facilities, all served by an array of flexible technical and support areas. The revamped TC1, TC2 and TC3 studios range in size, and can accommodate all genres and styles of programming, from sitcoms and panel shows, to major entertainment and event shows – both live and pre-recorded. The facility boasts a range of new technologies to the benefit of Studioworks’ clients, with major investments made in equipment ranging from 4K studio cameras to the latest in gallery control desks, helping to make Television Centre an industry-leading production hub.
From 2018, Studioworks’ Television Centre facility will also become the temporary new home for the ITV Studios Daytime shows, Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women. These shows are relocating from ITV’s London HQ during the redevelopment of the site and will be hosted in studios TC2 and TC3, live on weekday mornings.
Speaking about the Television Centre reopening, David Conway, Managing Director at BBC Studioworks said: “It really is an exciting prospect to see Television Centre back as the production hub for the nation’s favourite programmes, and we expect to see ‘TVC’ re-emerge as the production community’s favourite place to make TV. Whilst some may get nostalgic about the re-opening, this really is a new Television Centre, set up for the future with leading-edge technologies, flexible facilities and a fantastic team running it. Having a range of independent bars, restaurants, a gym and spa, a cinema and a members’ club on our doorstep is also proving a great draw for production teams.”
The re-introduction of Television Centre into the market represents an expansion for Studioworks and bolsters its existing studio and post production presence in Elstree, which is spread across the Elstree Studios and BBC Elstree sites. David Conway added: “Elstree has been a big success story for Studioworks, and has provided the springboard to grow into Television Centre. Having multiple London locations provides choice for the production community with varying studio configurations and technologies available. There really is a bright future for TV at each of Elstree and Television Centre”.