BBC Welcomes Back Small Studio Audiences, As Fans Laugh Along To Fremantle’s ‘QI’ From Behind A Mask

QI audience
The audience at the QI recording on Monday. BBC Studioworks

The BBC has started welcoming back studio audiences for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak after an episode of comedy entertainment show QI was staged in front of 40 people on Monday night.

The show, made by Fremantle-backed Talkback, was recorded at a BBC Studioworks facility at Television Centre, where the small audience took their seats in a studio that usually houses 600 people.

The last time BBC Studioworks entertained an audience was in March, and the commercial offshoot of the BBC said strict safety protocols were enforced for QI, which is presented by former Great British Bake Off host Sandi Toksvig.

BBC Studioworks said it carried out temperature checks on people as they entered the studio building using thermal cameras, while hand sanitizers were stationed in the outside queuing area and by studio doors.

It staggered the audiences’ entry and exit to the studio, and people were seated using 2-meter social distancing rules. Masks were mandatory, meaning fans laughed along to their favorite show behind a face covering.

In addition to BBC Studioworks’ safety procedures, ticketing company Applause Store will keep a 21-day record of the audience for test and trace purposes in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.

QI was able to film in front of an audience after the UK government greenlit indoor performances last week. Other UK entertainment shows are set to welcome back audiences in the coming weeks, including ITV’s The Masked Singer.

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