On the shores of the River Thames in London sit scores of world famous buildings, many with incredible histories, and this one in particular on the South Bank is certainly one of them. So I guess looking at the first few images below this just looks like a regular tower block to the average passer-by, but it is in fact the iconic home of ITV’s The London Studios.
ITV are sadly soon to close this incredible home of television for redevelopment, following in the footsteps of the BBC’s TV Centre at White City, Fountain Studios (former home of The X Factor) and Teddington Studios.
The London Studios is the place where twenty years ago, when it was then known as London Weekend Television (LWT), I was one of four alongside Dan Kidner, Craig Harman and Stuart Biddlecombe, who made it through a pool of eight hundred applicants to join as a camera assistant and to begin my journey in the tv industry.
It was a job where you hit the ground running and learnt very quickly! My first ever show was An Audience with the Bee Gees which I remember blowing my mind and knew from day one this is what I wanted to do.
I went onto work on iconic productions there such as Blind Date, SMTV Live / CD:UK, Barrymore’s My Kind of Music, Graham Norton, Drop the Dead Donkey, Whose Line is it Anyway….. the list goes on. Before my time there the studios hosted the likes of Parkinson, Play Your Cards Right, Blankety Blank, Father Ted, On the Buses…..
With the constant closures, the way tv studio shows are made is changing. What I do know is that it’s incredibly sad to see these historic buildings being sold off. These studios are proven to be great training grounds for newcomers to learn the trade, so without these places it will be even harder to get into the industry and to maintain standards.
I took one last visit recently to The London Studios and wanted to not only document the studios and control rooms, but also the small details that made the place what it is.
The day I was there saw the last show of Loose Women broadcast in Studio 3 (which has been shot there for getting on twenty years), whilst the other two studios were prepping for the next shows coming in.
In two weeks time the lights will be switched off and the studio doors slid closed for the last time after forty four years of television broadcasting.
I consider myself fortunate to have trained at The London Studios, so many incredible memories and have met truly great people who I am proud to call my friends.
Farewell TLS, you shall be missed.