I joined the audience at Late Night Lycett filmed live in Birmingham and it was Brummie gold
Joe Lycett’s Channel 4 chat show has attracted some huge stars - and I got to see them in real life at the studios in Digbeth
and live on Freeview channel 276
It’s the crazy Friday night chat show featuring A listers from across the globe and shining a dazzling spotlight on Birmingham like never before.
And it’s certainly brightened up those industrial back streets - with fun, glamour, and, of course, Joe’s trademark political satire. The opening credits are amazing - if you haven’t seen the show yet it’s well worth checking them out.
The animations of Brummie landmarks - including the Birmingham Bull at the Bullring and Black Sabbath Bridge on Broad Street - are so impressive. I got invited to join the live audience - and it was an opportunity not to be missed!
Guests have included Joanna Lumley, Joan Collins, Brummie born actor David Harewood and Jonathan Ross - so it was quite a thrill to be part of the same show as such big names.
Ahead of the TV cameras rolling we were given strict instructions to meet at a bar around the corner where we were given coloured wristbands to give us access to the show. I attended with my old school pal Caroline McTaggart and we enjoyed a drink before we were called to the uber cool studios at The Bond on Fazeley Street.
This creative hub has recently been relaunched - it used to be a warehouse for HP Sauce and has its own wharf where you may have spotted comedian Katherine Ryan stranded on more than one occasion!
There’s a real Victorian feel to The Bond when the show isn’t on - you can almost feel the Peaky Blinders heading off on a mission to London, lol! It hosts events, as well as TV studios and workspaces. And these days it’s bedecked in foliage, frivolity and fun set designs - complimenting the opening shots of the show.
We were invited to stand right at the very front of the first bit of the show where Joe comes on and does his round up of some key news events from the last week. He certainly had his own take on that Dalai Lama kissing incident on the night we were there.
We loved the detail of the 50 bus stop, a nod to Joe’s Kings Heath home, and a little model pigeon in the corner - smoking a fag! Joe has described the set as an ‘overgrown temple to my own ego’ and the artwork is from fellow Brummies including Folkawolf and Tat Vision.
The night we joined the audience Joan Collins, the Masked Singer’s Joel Dommett and reality TV royalty Gemma Collins were on. It was a shock moment when Joan Collins gave Gemma Collins a slap as they re-enacted a scene from 80s soap Dynasty - and raised huge laugh.
It was a real thrill to see the stars in real life - Joe’s star aunties, Margaret and Pauline even passed us by. We didn’t get to see star producer Linda Biscuits, however, but we were delighted she was reinstated in her post after Joe had sacked her live on air the week previous.
We were right at the front of the show as the Richard Yew Tree Straight Talking segment was beamed into living rooms across the nation - it was a hoot to see Joel Dommett’s reaction to the autocue script Joe insisted he followed. Fair play to him for carrying it off - and mainting his credibility with that ultra right wing news reports.
There was such a buzz throughout the production from start to finish - and a real warmth and admiration for the star himself, Joe Lycett. Must remember to check out his corner shop the next time I’m in Kings Heath - it looks like a great place with everything you could possibly need on your doorstep, and is a hilarious side focus for the show.
Anthea Turner was on the tills during the show we were part of, and H from Steps did a great job last night (Friday, April 21) when Jonathan Ross and Judi Love were among guests. And a lucky woman from Moseley got to win Joe’s car.
We were mindful that the cameras were filming live throughout the show - and we didn’t want to get caught falling over or talking over the script, and getting the mobile out was a definite no, no! Everyone was so friendly - and there were so many laughts before the show, and in the ad breaks.
It certainly was a great experience - and wonderful to see Joe doing Birmingham proud with such a fabulous show. Apparently there’s just one more episode left - next Friday with Richard E Grant among the guests. I’ll definitely be watching. You can catch it on All 4 too if you’re not around to see it live