Hello again, and it’s another review style blog post from me, as I went to see the recent E4 smash-hit, Virtually Famous! I hadn’t been to a TV show in a little while, and Applause Store kept emailing me with taunting emails such as “apply to this show and you’ll get…” and I must get at least 5 a day. But in fact, Applause Store actually SENT me a ticket and I didn’t even apply for the ticket. I made the decision to go to the show after seeing who the guests were going to be on Twitter, and I’m glad I did. All of the panellists were wonderful, but it really does highlight with shows such as Virtually Famous that the success of them heavily relies on the panellists. In my opinion, previous episodes of Virtually Famous have not been successful due to the behaviour of the participants; for example, the people from Made in Chelsea aren’t able to take the mickey out of themselves and really get involved in the way that people from TOWIE, Geordie Shore and other reality programmes do. In order for Virtually Famous to work, all the panellists have to just lose their inhibitions and get involved. They all did, and it was great. It was definitely just as good as when I went to see Virtually Famous for the first time with Katherine Ryan, Joe Lycett, Helen Flanagan and David Haye.
If you don’t know what Virtually Famous is, it is a comedy panel game show championing online videos and the virtual world, particularly Youtube. The programme debuted in Summer 2014, and in November 2014 was recommissioned for another 2 seasons. As I post this, they’ve filmed 8 out of 10 episodes for Season 3, and I hope that another season is commissioned, as the camaraderie between the team captains, Chris Stark and Seann Walsh and the presenter, Kevin McHale is full of lads banter. Seann’s always joking to Kevin about wheelchairs and singing (Kevin played Artie Abrams in Glee), and Chris is always made to seem like the younger, perhaps weaker one. It is slightly true that Chris could walk into a lecture as a fresher and blend in perfectly, but he can stand up for himself and his team, and can take a lot. Just take the moment when Chris Stark willingly allowed David Haye to punch him to be ‘cool’. On the other hand, Seann is a bit more conscious of being make to look like an idiot, but his comedic flair allows Seann to get away with so much, presenting harsh ideas through what he says as a joke. Two things that won’t get into the episode are Seann’s opinion on Chinese people and how he joked about Alex Brooker. He’s also able to use a weapon as a stick.
On to the filming itself, and it was a brilliant day. I arrived at Elstree Studios which, as I found out is quite near to my house! It only took a 20 minute train journey and a 10 minute walk down Elstree high street and I was there. I then arrived and joined the queue about an hour before doors opened. If you think that’s sad, I walked past people queueing for Big Brother as if it was Wimbledon 9 hours before the programme was due to start. Don’t get me wrong, I love many comedians and singers, but 9 hours before, just no. Anyway, I waited in the blistering sun and then we were finally allowed in to the studio, but not before we were given a free drink. As we were outside the studio, I saw Jason Byrne on the phone outside which got me excited. He was one of the guests, and along with Alex Brooker, Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash, they really made a great team. We then sat in the studio, and I had such a wonderful seat. Once I was sat down, I watched the first challenge they were filming outside on the TV. I’m not gonna say too much but Jason and Alex had a right battle to race down the hill.
As the episode won’t be out for a little while, I’m going to do the rest of the blog post in a slightly different matter, bulletpointing the best parts of filming the episode. I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but I want to entice you enough to watch season 3.
- Jason Byrne and Stacey Solomon were with Chris Stark, Alex Brooker and Joe Swash were with Seann Walsh.
- Joe Swash used to give his sister a ‘Golden Shower’ whilst she was in the bath.
- Stacey Solomon used to pretend to drive a car so she could get served in McDonalds drive throughs and they worked.
- Alex Brooker discussed his prosthetic leg and actually whacked it out! It has hair on it too, and it genuinely looks so real.
- Joe Swash can ‘fly without wings’. He also broke a trampoline and nearly injured himself.
- Stacey Solomon can stretch herself through a yoga band considerably faster than Kevin McHale.
- Jason Byrne wants many things to get in the sea.
- Kevin McHale is a cutiepie (but we all knew that anyway).
They were just some of the whacky, wonderful, crazy things that were discussed throughout the filming of the show. Virtually Famous is such a fun show, and they tried to get the audience to watch the second episode that was being filmed, but the guests on that make me cringe inside, so I politely declined. I then walked out of Elstree Studios to see the long queue for Big Brother and walked past Rylan Clark. He genuinely owns the whitest veneers in the world. This just topped off what was a wonderful few hours inside the glitzy world of Elstree Studios. But, if you’ve never seen Virtually Famous and don’t know who the presenter Kevin McHale is, here’s my favourite song that he sang on Glee, with some Vietnamese song lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_648CWTxj0A