We were invited along to participate in a recording of Deal or No Deal, (which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year), in their Bristol studios, and participate is exactly the right word. You don’t just watch Deal or no Deal you’re actively involved with every part of the game and encouraged to join in throughout.
We arrived at the gates of the car park, put our secret access code in and parked up. We were told the doors wouldn’t open until 10:45am exactly but we headed around the corner and joined the excited queue of other pilgrims dressed in a sea of black. Finally 10:45am arrived and slowly we began to make our way into the audience holding area.
After handing over our confidentiality agreements we received colour wrist bands and were told to make ourselves comfy and to help ourselves to tea and coffee.
There are lots of photo ops and fun things and to look at in the audience holding area including a cardboard cut-out of Noel, (which we may have stopped and played with!), and a host of other props and set bits which have been used in the show.
After a short time we’re called to attention and given an enthusiastic welcome and run down of how the morning will go. We’re then called to queue up and get ready to enter the studio.
We’re excited as we wait and gradually we’re let into the studio. A soundtrack of cheesy upbeat 60s songs is blasted out as you enter, giving it a real party atmosphere. It looks a lot different from how you expect. The whole set is raised up in a large circular shape with steps down to the audience. Down the central catwalk sits all the boxes waiting to be distributed to the players. We get to see the game box chosen at random by the player and then we’re given an introduction from the warm-up act who practices our reactions with us. At various breaks during filming he comes back to entertain us, including offering out Deal or no Deal tissues and asking if anyone had questions about the show (this brought up a big discussion surrounding Noels shoes, but thats another story…)
It’s almost time to begin filming and the players enter – we cheer, shout and clap to welcome them. They join in with the action and then Noel arrives and strolls on and begins chatting to the audience and joking around. All of this time the floor crew are busy making sure everything is ready for filming to begin. The camera crew are testing out different clothing patterns in front of the cameras and lining everything up and finally we’re ready for the off.
The lights dim and the theme music starts playing and we’re encouraged to clap and cheer. And we’re off… Or are we… Looks like they’ve got a problem with one of the mobile cameras. Everything stops. A crew member enters and they try and sort out a sync problem by clapping in front of it. Noel cracks a few jokes and everyone handles the delay perfectly. Does this incident take away from the experience? No, if anything it adds to it. It’s great to see things go wrong and how they fix them it’s all part of the live audience experience.
Finally we’re off and running and filming starts on our players game. The show music and sound effects are dramatically loud, that added with the changes between the show lighting and red for the Banker’s phone calls all add to the atmosphere and the intensity of the game. You really feel involved with the player and their game and every up and down, every offer that the banker makes and the reactions of the other players and audience. It’s an important part of the Deal or No Deal experience.
Of course we can’t tell you who our contestant was or whether they won anything as we’re bound by confidentiality agreements. We can say though it was a game of many ups and downs and you’ll just have to tune in to find out what happened and also to see if you can spot us and our reactions to the game. We were lucky enough to be sat right in the central seating bank behind the player.
So would we recommend a visit to see Deal or No Deal being filmed? Yes we would. It’s a brilliant, exciting, fun experience (Sarah enjoyed it so much she went back again to see it filmed a few days later). You feel welcomed and get a real sense of fun and enjoyment from all of the crew working on the show. It’s a very happy environment which adds to the fun of the experience. The best part is that it’s filmed so locally so anyone who wants to see it can easily get there and catch an episode. They even have a Deal or No Deal bus that transports people to and from the studio.
Will we pay them another visit? We most definitely will! It’s great fun and an amazing experience to be part of. We highly recommend you grab some audience tickets if you can and experience the excitement for yourselves!
If you want to book FREE audience tickets to watch Deal or No Deal being filmed you can phone 0117 316 0888 or visit their website: https://audience.dealornodeal.co.uk/