|Producer(s):||Rowan de Pomerai|
YSTV's comedy panel show which blends original rounds with some borrowed from the greatest TV and radio comedy.
Origins and Pilot
YSTV had long wanted to produce a regular game show, but had never managed to get one off the ground despite three attempts during Autumn 2003 (the return of Games Disaster, Whose YSTV is it Anyway and The Great Big Massive YSTV Christmas Quiz Game Show Thingy 2003). LipSync began over drinks in Wentworth Bar on a Monday night after a station meeting in February 2004, based around the YSTV Clock and the idea of "Just a Minute" on TV. The pilot episode was transmitted live later the same night (after pizza!) and featured Richard Ash, James Thorniley, Steve Walker, Rowan de Pomerai, and Ed Jellard, with Drew Perry chairing. All the contestants sat in front of the YSTV Week backdrop (somewhat naughtily as to avoid overuse this was usually reserved for news and current affairs programmes during this period!). Crew was non-existent - the chair vision mixed whilst the swapped onto camera! A short clip from this made it into Best Broadcaster 2004.
A more organised regular show began in the summer term of 2004, produced by Rowan de Pomerai. Steve Walker created the title sequence (featuring a clock and a giant baby's head!), Rowan and Vanky did the rest. It was ace. The original title music was Chopin's 'Minute Waltz', before eventually being replaced by a jaunty tune Rowan knocked up in Apple's GarageBand application to avoid copyright implications associated with the launch of Watch Online. The first couple of episodes had the teams sat rather awkwardley up against the left wall of the studio (now completely free following the recent demolition of the Off The Cuff broom cupboard), in a not disimilar fashion to the pilot, with the Green Screen covered by the purple ex-Central Hall curtain. Later that term the set was shifted to a new more suitable setup in the back right-hand corner of the studio, again using the purple curtain attached to the lighting rig in the ceiling, creating a virtual corner to provide another area to present shows from. The show remained in this home for the next two years, and the new corner area was also used for shows such as Children In Need and Stereotypes.
The first episodes were presented by Pete Nichols, with Vanky and Jay Foreman tending to alternate presenting from the Autumn onwards. As well as producing the show, Rowan had tended to direct every edition as well, but on one occasion when no presenter was available he moved in front of the camera to present. His aversion to presenting was thus overcome and he joined Jay and Vanky as a regular presenter.
When reviewing YSTV's Best Broadcaster compilation for 2005's NaSTA, Stuart Murphy - then controller of BBC3 - included a comment in his (brief) notes that "the panel game looks crap". This was referred to a number of times on the show in summer 2005. Despite this objection, Stuart thought that YSTV was the 2nd best student TV station.
A number of in-jokes were found throughout the early episodes, including frequent piss-taking of pint sized popster Aaron Carter, though nobody seems quite sure how that one came about. His single Saturday Night even made a guest appearance on a special version of the title sequence, but the team members didn't seem impressed.
Through the Autumn and Spring terms, Rowan was still producing. During the summer term, Rick Selby and Rowan put out 4 shows between them as a sort of gradual handover, with Rowan turning his attention to his new show Limited Edition. These were the first to use the "Coffee Bar" set, dating back to Elections 2003, and YSTV's new colour curtains, making the show look very different and a lot more like a traditional panel game.
Over the summer Rick spent countless hours creating a new title sequence (music created especially for the show by James Hyde, a non-YSTV bod doing Music Tech), and a few rushed minutes at the start of the autumn term updating the graphics.
16 mini-shows were hashed together from previous episodes for the Freshers Workshops, which Rowan and Rick presented, but these still used the original titles and graphics.
In week 4 of the Autumn term, the new-look LipSync was unveiled, with a few new rounds:
- Lost In Translation, where a phrase or title is translated to a foreign language and back; the contestants are given the result and must work out what the phrase or title was
- Threesomes - in the past, many shows had an "odd one out" round or similar, generally consisting of three options. This round allowed all of these to come under one header.
Rick did most of the presenting, with Claire Butler presenting the last show of the Autumn term, and Sarah Leese the Jay Foreman special in week 6 of the Spring term. During this term Sarah also joined Rick as co-producer. Sarah and Rick also later presented one edition together that summer just before their wedding day.
Under increasing pressure from outside commitments, Rick cut the show's output down from its regular slot to a handful of special editions; a move shamelessly copied by the BBC in 2009 for its obscure sci-fi show, "Doctor Who".
Having co-produced the final show of the previous year, Neil Brehon took the reins as producer, attempting to revitalise the show with the introduction of new rounds, nonsensical pre-titles sketches and regular "team captain" seats for Matthew Tole and Mark Friend.
Unfortunately, he too succumbed to time constraints and took the Spring term off to focus on his degree, though he intended to produce extra shows in the Summer term to make up for it.
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