There are many reasons to love the BBC. In my opinion, one of the truly great things they do is offer free tickets to show recordings. Through the BBC tickets site and TVRecordings.com I've seen - for free - The Now Show, HIGNFY, The News Quiz, Mitchell and Webb as well as assorted TV and Radio pilots. Brilliant. An evening of watching some of the biggest names in comedy without paying a penny. The only thing they ask for is patience as they re-record all the bits which went wrong the first time. Utter bargain.
On Tuesday, as a birthday treat, I managed to snaffle some tickets for Russell Howard's Good News. While I'm a great admire of his, I hadn't seen the show before and didn't really know what to expect.
During any show, there are slack moments where cameras have to be repositioned, lights adjusted or other bits of TV nonsense. Normally it's up to the warm-up act to keep the audience entertained - however Russell is obviously no slouch in the comedy department and kept up a witty banter with the audience throughout. At one point he was asking what we'd spend a £45 million Lotto win on.
Bizarrely, in a moment of silence while the audience contemplated a win of this magnitude, I shouted
I struggle to think why. Why did I shout "Cheese!"? Why, when he asked what variety of cheese, I replied "Dorset Blue Vinney". For some reason, it was the only one of the Cheese Shop Sketch cheeses I can remember.
As a testament to how popular twitter is now, before I'd even made the train home I received this tweet.
@edent I'm gunna rub Dorset blue vinnie all over you!
— Tom Kendall (@zanytk) November 17, 2009
Still, at least no-one tried to get me laid!
Sadly, the bit was cut from the TV screening - much to the consternation of some audience members.
@bbcgoodnews YOU LEFT CHEESEMAN OUT, HOW DARE YOU! :@ best bit!
— Jess (@jessyka19) November 19, 2009
Do yourself a favour, apply for tickets to some of the shows on offer. Big name shows like Strictly Come Dancing often fill up quickly - but it's easy to get free tickets for sitcoms, pilots and game-shows. As well as a great night's entertainment you also run the very small chance of seeing the back of your head during the closing credits!