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Bubbles, live on tv!

The One Show –


Originally the call came in a couple of months back and they wanted me to shoot a short film about Marty, their presenter, trying to break the record for the biggest bubble – I was supposed to train him, and help them out and there was going to be a feature on me too.

Annoyingly when they eventually set the date for filming, I was already booked to perform in Bahrain for the Formula1 Grand Prix. It was typically last minute and they couldn’t change their date. So I had to let go of it. Welcome to the world of TV! They eventually went with a bit of a bubble legend - Cyril Isenberg, University professor and author of the science of Soap Films book from the 1970's (a bit hard going, but an essential part of my bubble library!)


Then a few days ago, they called me back and said that it was airing this Thursday and would I come in and add a bit more bubble action to it. They had Guy Martin, a motorcyclist on the show and were asking if I could do something bike related with bubbles. I threw a few ideas at them, including having him cycle through a bubble, and they eventually confirmed yesterday (!). At least this time I was available.


Taxi came and took me down to Broadcasting House at 3 and upon arrival things got straight into gear with a decision on location for filming. They film immediately outside their studio on the street regularly, so if you ever find yourself in C. London, you can just walk by and catch a glimpse of their show being filmed. If that’s your thing…

All systems go – decisions were being made on what we were going to shoot. It was raining and windy and outside and some of it was going out LIVE - that’s a bad combination for bubbles – live tv in itself is NOT bubble friendly, as I learnt back in 2006 during my first stint on BBC’s Blue Peter . I’d just broken my first GW Record putting 19 people in a giant bubble and hadn’t been on telly before Suddenly I was shooting live in Shepherds Bush studio 1. Nerve-cracking!


Anyway, back to the One Show - Thankfully it was decided we’d do some of the shots pre-recorded but still, time was so short that it was literally bang bang bang. One shot to get it right! A few umbrella bubbles, some Wonderweb bubble action and some tiniest bubbles in the world. Frantic! I knew it would be like this so had resolved to go with the flow. I put the presenters in a bubble and then the guy on the bike – it was non-stop! The show was supposed to end with an interview and me making a giant bubble. I was all set up to do so, but the show had run out of time and the giant bubble was cut whilst we were filming the interview - it was a snap decision and I didn’t even know till the credits were rolling. I’m there thinking “is that it?”


They were happy with everything, and so was I. These things ‘wrap’ up and everyone is out of there within about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, one of their crew threw away all my bubble mix in this 20 min grrr… don’t they know how long it takes to make? Actually that’s only every happened once before and that was the BBC too - at Glastonury festival coverage in 2005 – I’d just put Phil Jupitus in a bubble (no mean feat) and their crew took out my bubble mix and threw it away! They agreed to pay for it at least.



So that’s live tv! I wish I’d been able to shoot the short film too but you can’t do everything I guess, though I give it my best shot!