The iconic Television Centre reopens today following more than four years of redevelopment.

Three state-of-the-art studios as well as post production facilities have opened on the site in London’s White City, run by BBC Studioworks, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC.

Television Centre, originally opened in 1960, was sold by the BBC for a reported £200m to the property company, Stanhope plc in 2012 and closed for redevelopment in March 2013. BBC Studioworks now leases and operates the studios.

The studios form the centrepiece of what is now a mixed-use development, which includes a Soho House club and hotel, flats, a gym and spa, restaurants and bars, as well as a boutique cinema.

The Studioworks facilities are open to productions from all broadcasters and production companies, with ITV1’s The Jonathan Ross Show the first production to be recorded.

The 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 new post production facilities, and technical and support areas.

The three revamped studios range in size (TC1 10,800 sq ft / TC2 8,000 sq ft / TC3 3,430 sq ft), and can accommodate sitcoms and panel show through to major entertainment and event shows – both live and pre-recorded.

Major investments have been made in equipment ranging from 4K studio cameras to the latest in gallery control desks.

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.

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.”

Studioworks also offers studio and post production facilities in Elstree. 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”.

Television Centre tech facts
– The three studios range in size: TC1 10,800 sq ft / TC2 8,000 sq ft / TC3 3,430 sq ft

– For cameras, visions mixers and monitors, Studioworks employed Sony’s ‘open standards’ approach to integrate 4K IP solutions with existing HD facilities. Sony studio cameras, including HDC-4300’s, XVS switchers and more than 200 monitors, including OLED screens, have been installed across the three TV studios.

– BBC Studioworks is the first studio provider to include Riedel’s new wireless communications solution. This has been integrated with the distributed Artist fibre based intercom platform.

– Television Centre’s audio and video routing supports 1080p50, as well as UHD1 and other HDR formats, and also supports emerging IP standards. Imagine Communications provided a Platinum IP3 routing platform solution across the three studios. The routing solution features one 28RU frame dedicated to Studio TC1, and one 28RU frame handling studios TC2 and TC3. In addition to Imagine Communications SDI Routing for traditional HD contents, Sony provided the IP Infrastructure enabling 4K.

– The new sound galleries at Television Centre are fitted with Studer audio processing solutions. Large-scale mixing consoles for broadcast, including a Studer Vista X, Studer Infinity Core and Studer Glacier, act as the backbone to BBC Studioworks’ audio set-up. .

Staff Reporter

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