[PLEASE NOTE: I’m sorry if this doesn’t flow as well as I had hoped. This is an edited version of a blog post I made on my regular blog. Please do not be offended that you do not have the original, the blog is for a specific audience, thus you will not understand half or be interested in the majority of it. This is for anyone who is interested in how ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ shows run or just want to hear about my great day out.]
This is in a diary form and I hope I can answer most of the questions I have been asked in this and might even help if you want to (and are lucky enough) to go to some of these shows. To make it easier as always it is in subsections, you can read the whole thing or pick and chose the subsections. Some might seem random, but this is as much a diary for me (and Kate) to look back on, as well as telling everyone else what happened.
It generally is in the right order but there are a few bits that may seem to jump around but only because I kept them in the same relevant subject areas and parts did over lap.
We were very lucky to get tickets for the Britain’s Got Talent Live Shows. These are so rare! Perhaps too this is the reason why those who get them assume they are guaranteed a seat. I went with Paul and Penny (who I know from Twitter) who I have often been to shows with like ‘Celebrity Juice’ and ‘Lemonaid’.
The other person I went with was Kate (who I also know from Twitter), and I also went to the Birmingham auditions. We chat all the time and although I’ve only met twice now, we are great friends and feel I have known her forever. Probably because our personally and interests are very similar. Also was great as she lives up in Chester, so it is very rare that I’m able to see her due to the travelling.
As I spent most of the day with Kate she has added her own “Kate adds:…” comments to the bottom of every section, as both her own opinion and in case I missed anything out which she thinks should be mentioned.
The timing of when I arrived was based more on when Kate was arriving. The reason for all of this is that Kate didn’t know London very well as she had not been many times before, especially not on her own. So I went to Euston to meet her and from there get across London to Wembley together… and yes I am half expecting comments regarding this as I have known to get lost in London before.
Kate adds: I thought I’d be in safe hands since Carly knew where she was going but noooo haha
I got up at 6:30am and ordered a taxi at 7:10. My aim was to get the 7:40 train into London with 15 minutes to walk over to Euston station. Unfortunately there were no taxis available and I had to wait another 15 minutes so missed the train. Unlike poor Kate who had to book tickets and trains were far apart, I have trains every 20-30 minutes at all at the same cost. I arrived in the end around 5 minutes after hers and if you saw the shoes I was wearing, the walk to Euston from St Pancras wasn’t the best and I swear was longer than I remembered last time.
Kate adds: Least somebody got a lie in! I was up at 3am and my 3 hour train was at 4:55am L I had 1 hours sleep and it was so drainingggg. Oh I would like to add, before the day even started I was annoyed because I lost my £120 earphones on my first train L I’m sure Carly will make a comment round about now on the earphones!
When I finally found Kate and worked out where in the station she was we headed for the Underground. As so many lines were partially or completely closed, delayed, etc and the service was incredibly limited (probably due to it being a bank holiday). We asked one of the staff at the station. Typically the route he suggested was to change at Kings Cross St Pancras! Yeah that sounds familiar. After getting Kate an Oyster Card and topping up mine we easily got to Kings Cross St Pancras. However this is kind of where we went downhill.
We couldn’t work out what train we had got on as there were no stickers in the window and the Circle, Hammersmith and Metropolitan lines all ran from the same platform. We even asked those on the train already and they came up with different answers. There was an announcement that there was no Metropolitan trains before Baker Street, so it made no difference which line we were on as we would have to change at Baker Street and both the other lines went there anyway. Once we arrived in Baker Street we just followed the signs to the Metropolitan line and lead us straight to a platform. Again no indication which train which was which line, even though multiple lines left from the same platform. After around 15 minutes and no Metropolitan trains had been past, we looked again and it clearly pointed to this platform. At this point we walked further down the platform and noticed what the sign meant was not that it was this platform but you just pass through this one to get to the line! How incredibly confusing is that. From there it was very easy, as we found the right train and there was a westbound train already in the station read to leave.
Kate adds: It was such a nightmare haha people were giving us funny looks!
My amazing packing! [That bag is only about 30cm/ a foot high]:
We called Paul as soon as we got there. For which I apologise for as at this point I was just a tad stressed, lol. It annoys me when we have to wait for someone to pick us up when I could easily walk there myself and save both them the walk and us the wait for the sake of a few simple instructions, but this one I had to let him off on as the car was actually parked behind us and it meant we were able to drop the bags off. I was so impressed with my packing! Unlike Kate I just bought one small bag and some how fitted; 2 dresses, a change of shoes, PJs, a full change of clothes for the next day and a hoodie all in this tiny Hollister bag.
Kate adds: I had one bag just for food and drink… oops. Never mind, I like to be prepared!
We were a little late and Paul and Penny had saved us a space at the front of the queue. They had been there since 6:30am! There was already about 10 people there when we arrived at 9:30am and to explain our queue jumping, Paul explained to security that we were part of their party and were in McDonalds warming up. Sure that wasn’t necessary though as the girls behind were going to do something very similar afterwards.
It was a cold day and typically within an hour it started to rain and stayed like that for most of the day. Which is why we kept disappearing off to McDonalds for coffee, and me and Kate took our time to have lunch in McDonalds for about 20 minutes.
Not much went on for ages, apart from loads of production arriving. As a joke I said “haha, it would be funny if she went inside” as this lady with lots of Primark bags approached us… the crazy thing is she actually did!
Me and Kate hiding under umbrella when it started raining:
I got a tad bored and tired, and Kate’s shoulder was too comfortable:
Arrivals of judges and the acts:
We didn’t actually see many of the acts arrive, although we saw ‘Only Boys Aloud’ and Ashleigh & Pugsey for a few minutes as they came and went for something. Paul and Penny saw more of Pugsey and ‘The Showbears’ than we did as we were in McDonalds at the time and they did pause for while on the way out. We also saw a few like the ‘Showbears’ pass by the fence again already in their gold costumes but only by looking through the tiny gap between the gate and the fence.
There were a lot of crazy fans of ‘The Wanted’. When I say crazy I mean fans who got there from 9am just to see them arrive. They didn’t see anything at all. When The Wanted arrived at about 3pm they opened the gates let their people carrier in and then closed them straight behind. In fact we in the queue got a better view because we could see through the gaps as they walked past, and a few went on each other’s shoulders to see over the fence, unlike those crazy fans on the other side of the road. Some even stayed until 7pm even though it was clearly there was no chance of seeing them.
As regards the judges the same thing happened they closed the gates behind and seemed to go through a different door so we didn’t even see them pass by. The only judge we did kind of see was Amanda and that was just because she arrived on a motorbike.
Simon we heard arrived at about 4:15 but through entirely different gate. We did meet his driver and his car was parked just across the street, just around the corner. We couldn’t work out why, but an hour later it pulled up to the gate and Jackie got in before it drove off. Must admit now I wish I got a photo by it just for the sake of it now.
Kate adds: Erm…. Simon came through the gate right IN FRONT of us
I add again: Whoops, missed that thought it was like the other times I had heard about
Other than that we saw Stephen Mulhurn (who presents ‘Britain’s Got More Talent’) arrived but it literally was a second as he walked past.
We saw Gavhin Jones, who only Kate seemed to really recognise. He looked familiar but seems to be because he was on CBBC several years back, for those who remember those days, plus a few other shows. He was there for a charity project, which a charity bought some children with disabilities to watch the rehearsals.
We also met Roycey (the warm up guy again) and had a photo with him, I think mainly because we were bored and I still love him for asking Simon our question which nobody else understood but embarrassed Simon so much in London.
Simon’s car around the corner (Paul took this, me and Kate were still sitting the queue keeping our place) [As this is a public blog, number plate is blurred out]:
Penny with ‘The Show Bears’; we missed this as we were in McDonalds at the time:
Ashleigh & Pugsey; we saw them walk past but didn’t catch this time, or would have said we knew her cousin Lauren (we know her from Twitter, she often mentions her cousin to us):
Simon’s car pulling up outside the gate to pick up someone [Again as this is a public blog the number plate is cut out]:
Gavhin as we was waiting for the Charity’s minibus to arrive:
Me and Kate with Roycey (i.e. ‘the warm-up guy’):
Getting in and our seats:
At around 6pm The Applause Store (who do the tickets) arrived. They made an announcement and then checked tickets and stamped wrists. This was a little different as this time everybody had to have photo ID to prove the tickets you were using were actually yours. I assume this is because (and you can see this on Twitter) people were illegally selling their tickets. Although rare, the tickets are free and clearly state that they are not allowed to be sold. For this reason, many people who had arrived early in the morning were turned away as they didn’t have sufficient ID. A few used fake ID too, some of which we told them about, and one was brilliant as they made a fake ID and got the name wrong. They really did kick up a lot of a fuss, all of which were girls and looked about 16 to 18.
As there was plenty of time we took this chance to get changed. As it said “dress for the cameras” I actually wore a dress and heels. I wasn’t sure about it as Kate just put a pair of heels on and changed her top, thus looking smart casual than dressy. I couldn’t decide but my mind was made up when Penny said “oh just get dressed!” lol. Consequently I felt over dressed for the rest of the day.
Kate adds: I didn’t want to catch a cold a feel ill for my train back! L I have 3 hospital appointments to go to woman lol!
We were getting worried as we heard the previous day only 50 or so got in from the general queue. The queue by this time was very long! I estimate just 400 people were in the queue now, and there were still people arriving and they were complaining because they were being told that there was no way they were getting in.
We saw 4 get kicked out, I couldn’t work out why and then I found a tweet on Twitter which explained it all: “Arrived at Britain’s Got Talent, the queue was ridiculously long, so snuck in and was kicked out within seconds”. And there were some who thought they could sneak into Priority, obviously that wasn’t going to work!
After all the Priority/ V.I.Ps/ Virgin Media had gone in there was a long wait, and they came out and said how many they had left. Only 31! We were fine obviously, but only 31 of the 400 or so were able to get in. The last people to literally just get in arrived about 3:30pm, they had the worst seats though. The last of those who got at least OK seats arrive before 1:30pm.
They counted us through we got our bags checked by security and joined a queue almost as a holding area. We got chatting to some really nice fans of ‘The Wanted’ and this too was our final chance to use the toilets, as there would be no opportunity during the show.
We slowly got to the front at the door to the main arena. This is where we worked out the reason for the hold up. Unlike auditions and other shows which they just fill from one point and work through, these ones the guy at the door chose your seats. Paul’s idea was to push me and Penny to the front, as we were the 2 kind of dressed up. Me and Kate looked at each other and both were clearly thinking the same thing. We knew how these shows worked and knew being dressed up was only part of it. It seems age plays more of a part; unfair but true.
Kate adds: Took a bit of offence at the dressed up comment 😛
When we got to the front the guy said to us “I’m really sorry guys, but I’m going to have to split you up”, with the lack of seats we assumed it because there were only pairs of seats left. Acting like a little schoolgirl who wanted to be with her best friend I just grabbed Kate’s arm. We let Penny and Paul go first, they were in the centre of the stand. He then came back for us and said with a real cheeky smirk on his face; “I hope you like these seats”. When we saw where were I couldn’t believe it. We were so close to the judges that we almost were sitting on the panel ourselves. Front row, right behind David, but enough that we had a very clear view of the stage!
Kate adds: Very similar to the seats I had for Manchester auditions (front row right behind David)
We looked around and noticed there was plenty of seats in the row behind us but it turned out these front 2 rows were just 16-25 years who were relatively dressed up! Not just pretty blonde girls like the usual rumours but a mixture of guys and girls who were in that age range. We know not all did though because the group of girls behind us in the queue were in the first row of the stands and Zanaib and her brother (who I met in the London audition queue) were just behind them were put at the back, even though the girls behind that were sitting straight behind us.
The length of the queue [taken at 5:10pm]:
The stamp we got after they checked our tickets:
Kate putting on her make-up just after we got changed:
Paul called Kate’s heels high I didn’t agree, so a pic to prove a point (these are the shoes too that I walked from St Pancras to Euston on) [Mine are the ones on the left and Kate’s are on the right]:
Our seats (taken from a screen shot from the show) – I’m circled and Kate is to my right:
The view from our AMAZING seats!! [Kate very sneakily took this on her phone]:
The Show itself:
Probably due to our seats, I thought the show was amazing and seemed so much better being there in person than it appeared on TV. Similarly again Jonathon and Charlotte definitely sound even better there than how they sound on the TV.
David was really funny, we knew what he was going to do after the Showbears came on as we saw the hat by his feet before he arrived as it was right in front of us. Although when he jumped on the table I remember thinking “please don’t fall as you will fall on us”. I also loved how he turned around because we were screaming so much and very jokingly turned round and said “oh shut up”. Alesha and Amanda had ridiculously high heels on, Kate even said as Alesha walked past; “how do you walk in those things?”, and she replied “I don’t”.
Kate adds: Alesha is always so friendly.. she did her hilarious laugh and was like “I don’t!” LOVE her!
It is strange watching the show back as it does seem quite different than it did at the time. Remember too watching it back and saying “Oh my god you can see me!” as the audience booed Simon’s comment at the beginning. And poor Amy (my housemate I watched it with) having put up with me saying “look there I am” every few minutes.
You don’t miss too much, except the introduction to the results show is not live, it is pre-recorded at the end of the main show, and there are a few little comments and things with the judges you miss. Like the photo we saw in one of the papers the following day of Alesha, Amanda and David. That was actually Amanda and Alesha who wanted the pic and Ant took it (standing right in front of us), but then David jumped on the table and said he wanted to be in it. Also you miss the guys working backstage crazily to set up and put away, especially when they had less than 2 minutes to get the taxi off the stage for the next act to start.
The show in general too is a lot louder than it sounds on the TV, but what was actually deafening was when The Wanted came on stage, the girls behind us screamed so much, I actually got a head ache and ear ache at the same time.
Less than 5 minutes in you can see me behind Alesha when the audience boo Simon for this comment regarding ‘The Show Bears’ (screen cap from the show):
Also noticed that I was the first to stand up when the audience gave Jonathon & Charlotte a standing ovation lol (screen cap from show):
This is the pic which was in ‘The Mirror’, this is basically the same view we had as we were sitting right behind Ant when he took it:
Meeting Julia (Simon’s make-up artist), the book and almost getting chucked out:
At the beginning of the show the security spoke to everyone in the first 2 rows and said that due to the judges being under some pressure and often busy we weren’t allowed to shout for, bug, touch, etc any of the judges. If they turned around and spoke to us that is different but we couldn’t say anything. They made it very clear in that, and that if we did say anything we would be chucked out straight away. I understood why, and thought it was just to prevent some people who I could imagine shouting continuously at them and abusing them in some way or even almost pulling them off the platform as they walked past, but it also became apparent how strict they were being on this.
We were worried on occasions like when we made a few comments which they heard that we would be pulled up on this. However they actually didn’t care about this.
About half way through the show and almost out of no where Julia just appeared. I think this was actually only the second time we had seen her for the whole show so far. It took me by surprised and I just without thinking said; “oh, it’s Julia”. She heard this and looked at me with a kind of “how the hell do you know me face”. I apologised and said we were big Simon fans and that was how we knew her, although mainly because Roycey mentions her almost every show without fail. She was absolutely lovely, she shook our hands (which were so soft) and started chatting to us. She asked if I wanted the book signed by Simon and offered to take it. Of course in a very enthusiastic voice was saying “yes please, that would be amazing if you could”. We found before that if you act like bigger fans than you are it is amazing what you can get away with. She took it to him, and then mouthed across the Judges table, “what’s your name?”, I tried to say “Carly” and she mouthed it back it looked right. Obviously there was a mistake somewhere as Simon signed it as “Hi Kylie”. It was a short break she literally walked past and gave it back and walked on.
The next break a security guard came over to us looking very seriously and said to us; “now girls, do you remember the conversation we had at the start?”! At this point Kate and I were almost panicking, although also very confused, seeing how we had not said a single word directly to any of the judges. He then spoke of the book, basically accusing us of harassing Julia about it! We explained what happened and how she spoke to us, not the other way round! He then asked if Simon has actually signed it. When I said he had, he at first looked almost surprised and quickly stated he would have to confiscate the book. I actually agreed, thinking although a misunderstanding I would rather have that than being chucked out, at which point he smiled and said actually not to worry he wouldn’t and that we should just be more careful.
Kate adds: I got SO worried by this point when the guy came over! I was just like “sorry sorry!” haha
Simon’s autograph in my book (even if he did get the name slightly wrong):
Dancing with Alesha:
I felt I should mention this as I mentioned it on Facebook and got a few questions. At the end of the main show when Ant and Dec recapped the numbers they showed us the same thing that those at home could see, and as the music was quite loud I was happily dancing along to the music (like I usually do and had been doing throughout the whole show). Alesha was doing exactly the same thing and almost the same time we both realised we were doing the same little dance in our seats. She twisted her chair round, smiled at me and we started dancing together to the rest of the clips, when the music and the clips stopped, returning back to the studio live, we both stopped at the same time and she burst out laughing.
Leaving and the Hotel:
We left only 10 minutes or so after ‘Britain’s Got More Talent’ started. We found Penny and Paul quickly and headed straight back to the car and the hotel. Good thing that we were able to get a lift from Paul as it seemed the Underground was already shut even though it wasn’t that late and we had absolutely no clue where we were going. We knew we could check in late as I had phoned the hotel up already and they were happy as long as we could confirm on the phone we were still definitely coming.
We weren’t staying anywhere at all posh as it was only the Travelodge. It was funny listening to Kate constantly comparing it to the hotel she works at. Being me and a tad hyper I just started posing on the bed lol. We were also too lazy and tired to actually be bothered to make up at the spare bed for one of us (especially seeing how they didn’t provide any sheets for it and it was very late), so just kept with the double bed. Think in the end we ended just chatting about random stuff until about 2am.
Kate adds: Amazing few days together! Although it was long, tiring and there were a few tears along the way.. I had a great time! Love you C! ❤ xx
Me posing in the hotel room, while just a tad hyper:
Me posing again:
The view from our room’s window – Still very close to Wembley (as I’m sure you can guess by how you can see Wembley Stadium):