The shows that define Saturday night viewing on both BBC One and ITV – attracting combined small screen audiences of 12m – are produced in the dock10 studio complex in MediaCityUK at Salford Quays.
And while attention has focused on the “ratings war” between BBC’s Let It Shine and ITV’s The Voice, which clash over 25 primetime minutes in the early evening, the truth is that the two top rated talent programmes are made in the same studio.
Let It Shine, Take That superstar Gary Barlow’s search for band members to star in a new stage show featuring his hit songs, starts at 7pm. The Voice, featuring celebrity judges will.i.am, Tom Jones, Gavin Rossdale and Jennifer Hudson airs from 8pm. Both are filmed in front of live audiences.
MediaCityUK’s studio complex is the most technically advanced HD production facility in Europe and is operated and managed by dock10. A spokesman said the production of the two Saturday night blockbusters involved major juggling of the shows’ requirements.
“The production companies filmed the programmes for the BBC and ITV in blocks and took it in turns to shift their respective sets, props and audiences into the same studio on different recording nights.”
Producing the shows saw a host of celebrities making tracks to Salford Quays. In addition to the line-up of star judges for The Voice, Gary Barlow’s show is presented by Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc and features Danii Minogue, Martin Kemp and Amber Riley as fellow judges and contributions from Take That band members Mark Owen and Howard Donald.
But that’s not the end of Manchester’s Saturday night on the telly. Match of the Day, one of the BBC’s longest running shows, having been on air since August 1964, is also produced at MediaCityUK by dock10, taking feeds from all over the country with a fast turnaround edit for Gary Lineker and fellow pundits to ponder in the studio.
The Quays play host to a multitude of BBC channels and programmes including Blue Peter, A Question Of Sport, Mastermind, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live, CBBC, BBC Sport and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, to name just a few.
ITV’s home to more than 750 staff at MediaCityUK is Orange Tower together with the production centre for Coronation Street. Other local productions include Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Come Dine with Me and the Jeremy Kyle Show.
Both BBC and ITV offer opportunities to be in the audience of their shows and the BBC facilitates tours of the MediaCityUK complex via www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours