The BBC’s A Question of Sport has resumed filming at Manchester’s dock10 facility, albeit under social distancing regulations.
Sue Barker and team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell have filmed 10 new episodes since lockdown lifted.
For the first time in the show’s history, the new episodes were shot without a studio audience, while new desks were built to keep team members two metres apart.
Executive producer Gareth Edwards worked with the show’s directors, and camera, sound and lighting teams to make it look as if the teammates are not so isolated on screen. “There were a few clever camera angles that we would use, not to cheat the fact they are two metres apart – because that’s quite clear on the wider shots – but to give a sense that they are a team,” he explains.
“I was quite insistent that we weren’t hiding the fact that they were all distant, or that there was no audience. We wanted to celebrate that fact.”
Edwards adds that the production team felt safe filming at dock10, having been in regular contact to discuss Covid-19 shooting guidelines before returning to the studio. “Everyone took it so seriously. It wasn’t for the first hour that everyone was abiding by the guidelines and distancing rules. That was maintained from the first minute to the last minute.”
dock10 also provided a remote viewing feed that allowed the production team to watch episodes being recorded remotely if they could not be at the facility. “I was hugely impressed,” says Edwards. “There was no drop out or time delay. It was so smooth, like being in the room.”
The first of the socially distant episodes will be broadcast on Friday September 4th at 8:30pm on BBC One.