The National Lottery Draw at the BBC.
This visit to The National Lottery Draw Show at the BBC Television Centre in London, UK, on Saturday 21 November 1998 was slightly different to the other two I went to, (The National Lottery Live and The National Lottery Big Ticket). As usual, the tickets are free, available from the BBC Home Page.
Simon London (one of the producers of the National Lottery Draw), one day found this internet site and emailed me in July 1998, saying he liked my site. He even telephoned me at work (sadly, It was my day off). We made contact and he was planning to make a show about Number One Lottery Fan, which didn't get made (yet!). Simon emailed again three weeks before the 4th anniversary show on 21 November 1998 and said that in return for a ticket, that I supply him with some questions and answers for a lottery quiz planned for that nights show. (They didn't get used in the end, due to the time constraints). I returned the questions and got a ticket 10 days before the show, with the word PRODUCTION stamped on the back of the ticket.
21 November 1998 arrived and it was a very long day. I got up at 5.15am to go to work at 6am!. I managed to finish at 12:15pm. A quick rush to get ready and headed down to Reading by car, leaving at 1.15pm, arriving at 3.30pm. I then took the train into London Paddington. I arrived in London at 5pm. As I had some time before arriving at BBC Television Centre, I headed to Oxford Street to view the Christmas Lights.
I arrived at BBC Television Centre at 6:10pm. There was a long queue outside. Thinking it is for the lottery draw, I joined the queue. Was I wrong! It was the queue for the production, DAD, also recorded that night. Went through security and went up the stairs at the front of Television Centre. At this point, most people have a sticker attached to the ticket. I got the production stamp on the back of the ticket, so I didn't need one. This sticker contains a number. As there are more tickets sent out than seats, the seats in the show is on a first come, first serve basis.
Inside, it was a lot of people. Three shows were planned for that night. Noel's House Party (broadcast live), The National Lottery Draw (broadcast live) and DAD (recorded). There was a shop and I brought myself a pen at GBP£5.99 and a badge for 50 pence. There I waited for 40 minutes until we were called. I spent most of the time, watching the TV screens, watching BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News 24 (Digital) and BBC Prime (European Satellite Only) all at the same time, without sound! Where was BBC Choice!
Sadly, not everyone who wanted to watch Noel's House Party didn't get in, so they had to go to one of the other shows or come back another time.
7pm arrived and we were called. Production Tickets First, then sticker 1-50 then 51-100 etc. Through the corridor we went and then outside of the building. We then headed (slowly) to Studio 4. When we all got in, we were being shown to our seats. My seat was in the front row, in the middle. Front Row seats, great. After waiting for 15 minutes, Miles Crawford, the warm up person, entertained us and get ourselves ready for the live broadcast. Someone from Camelot handed out Free T-Shirts and other gifts into the audience. Then all of a sudden, my name was called out and I was escorted off the studio!
Don't worry. It is for the best. I met Simon London (producer) and was escorted back stage, to the gallery (Control Centre). There, he showed me all the screens and basically how it works (explained in a few seconds). I then went into a room, where Voice of the Balls, Alan Dedicote was sitting. There, I was left with him to watch the show on two monitors, one, the live feed and the other on a camera in the studio. Alan basically shouts (shouts is not quite the word) in the microphone and announces that this was the 4th anniversary show and there was a massive jackpot. I had a headset on. On the left side, was the sound from the programme. The right side was all the directors directions, like what camera should be shown on BBC1, what part of the script they are on and a countdown to various parts of the show.
The show started at 7.40pm on time. There goes the usual things you normally see on the National Lottery Draw. Bette Midler, the guest singer went on to singer "I'm Hip". The show went on. At this point, I think the show was running 30 seconds late! Then the film was shown about the 25 Jackpot Millionaires Party. After this, the Ladsmith Black Mambazo went on. They are a sort of dance performer, from Africa (I think). After that, it was then the announcement of the jackpot prize pool and estimated prize pool. It was a superdraw at £25million. Then Chris Smith, the minister for Media, Culture and Sport came on to answer some questions.
7:57pm. It was time for the lottery draw. Karl Crompton, who was one of the first jackpot winners, started the draw. The machine was Lancelot and set of balls 2. The balls dropped in the machine and the draw started. Here are the numbers drawn.17 49 22 38 07 09 and the bonus ball 47.
Finally, Bette Midler came back on stage to sing "My One True Friend". After that, the goodbye were said and the programme ends.
There are other points worth mentioning.
- The Draw is Live.
- Alan has a piece of paper, showing him all the numbers and previous statistics. As soon as the numbers is drawn, he looks down the list and read out the stats. Something else happened but I will not tell you here!
At first, I thought that was that. But no. The after show party! As my last train didn't leave London Paddington until 10:30pm, I was invited to join the rest of the production team to the after show 4th anniversary party.
Before all that, I followed Alan all over the place. Then we headed to the 6th floor where the party was.
I managed to drink 3 glasses of orange juice during the party, but others drink Champagne, Larger, Fizzy Drinks etc. Nibbles of food was on trays, so everyone can help themselves (well most of them!). Simon then introduced me to other people, one who works at the Camelot Newsroom. I was given by Simon, a script of that night shows. I wasn't expected that, a collectors items. During the party, I had it signed by Simon, Alan and Dale Winton. Yes. Dale Winton. I had a very short chat with him (well for 10 seconds). I also saw but did not speak to John Willan, the lottery draw master and the rest of the production team. I also met Peter Estall, the main producer of the show. We talked about my web site and have I enjoyed myself on the night. Who else knows about my web site?
There comes a time that I had to left the party to catch my last train home to Reading. Then a mad rush, to London Paddington using the London Underground. I made it with 10 minutes to spare. I arrived back at Reading at 11pm and stayed there overnight and headed home the next day.
That was my most enjoyable day at The National Lottery Draw at Television Centre. Many thanks goes to Simon and the rest of the team for inviting me to the show and to the after show party.
The following are the autographs I had on the night.
The First Page of the Script I was given. Please note. This First Page of the Script was produced by the BBC.
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