Fancy being in the audience of a TV or radio show? Many of your fave programmes are filmed/broadcast from studios and theatres dotted around — or just outside — London. And tickets are invariably free.
Below is a list of the main websites to check out. Signing up for mailing lists is a savvy idea — especially if there's a really popular show you're keen to see.
It's worth noting that to ensure a full house, more tickets are usually given out than there are seats. So if you do score tickets, arrive in plenty of time. As you'll see, there are some VIP options, which guarantee you entry.
SRO Audiences tickets - Graham Norton, Late Night Mash, Last Leg, Have I Got News For You, Would I Lie To You
SRO (which stands for Standing Room Only, despite nearly all TV audiences being seated), deals with a lot of the big ticket names in TV. If you dream of seeing Meryl Streep in the flesh on Graham Norton's show, or watching Lee Mack lie to Rob Brydon about playing baseball with a pangolin, this is where to come. As with all the websites on this list, it's not quite as simple as claiming your tickets. The more in demand the show, the tougher it is to nab your seat, and you may well have to go on a waiting list. But persist, and you'll get there.
Lost in TV - Never Mind the Buzzcocks, The Apprentice - You're Fired
The revamped Buzzcocks and The Apprentice: You're Fired are shows currently on Lost in TV's roster. There are plenty of others too, although many are filmed outside of London. That's a good general tip actually: if you're booking to see a show in London, double check it's in London.
Lost in TV offers 'priority membership' (£20 a year), which gives you ticket alerts ahead of the hoi polloi, plus guaranteed studio entry with any tickets you bag.
This is also the place to apply to appear on certain TV shows — ranging from Gordon Ramsey's Next Level Chef, to Too Large For Love (!) — should that kind of thing ruffles your truffles.
Applause Store - Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Michael McIntyre's Big Show, QI, The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan
Dealing with some of the — can we say hammier? — shows, Applause Store is an international setup, but one which has plenty of London-centric offerings. On the books is the weekend behemoth that is Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, and Michael McIntyre's Big Show (it's OK, we won't judge you). Tickets for highbrow panel show QI (now in its 278th series, or something like that) are on Applause Store too.
Like Lost in TV, there's a priority club (although this one appears to be free). Applause Store is also your gateway to taking part in shows including Catchphrase, Blind Date and (for the love of god, no) Naked Attraction.
BBC tickets - Strictly Come Dancing, Later... with Jools Holland, Dead Ringers
Although many of the shows on this list are aired on the BBC, only some are produced by the Beeb, which is when you tend to obtain tickets from them directly. The BBC's ticket site is somewhat esoteric (with plenty of fleeting radio shows), but it's also where you'll find some biggies, including Strictly (filmed in Elstree, just north of London), and the inimitable Later... with Jools Holland (its latest venue being the stunning Alexandra Palace Theatre). HOOTENANNY!
By the way, when you do start going to watch any of these shows, you might end up in any number of different studios and theatres. While some recordings/broadcasts are still done at flagship venues like Television Centre and Broadcasting House, you may end up in, say, the intimate Cockpit Theatre in NW8. Wherever you find yourself, be prepared to clap loudly and to laugh at the same joke three times if it gets messed up in the first couple of takes.