Going to see a live recording of a TV show can make for a cheap, cheerful and entertaining night (or day) out in London. There are several studios in London that offer free tickets for chat shows, comedy shows, panel shows and more. Apply for tickets online through one of the companies below to score free tickets to a popular TV show.
General Advice for Studio Audiences
As a rule of thumb, most London TV studios prefer their audience members to be at least 16 years old.
Do check the age limit before you book tickets. Most companies will ask you to bring a photo ID to the studio in order to gain entry.
Most shows take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours to record so be patient and allow plenty of time as you usually can't move from your seat once the recording starts. The studio staff will do their best to keep you entertained during set changes or if there are any technical hitches that might delay proceedings.
The BBC offers free TV show tickets for BBC TV and radio shows. Choose the show you're interested in and fill in an online application form and the BBC will send you tickets two weeks before the show date. If you haven't planned ahead and want to find out if you can see a BBC show this week, then check upcoming shows by date on the website. Once you've seen what's available, you can call the BBC at +44 (0) 20 8576 1227 to book your tickets. Many of the tickets are allocated via a random draw.
Popular shows include Strictly Come Dancing and Later With Jools Holland.
Applause Store offers free tickets to some of the UK's most popular TV shows including Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor. All tickets are free but you need to register in order to book tickets.
As the name suggests, Chortle specializes in comedy show listings.
You'll find information about upcoming shows and instructions as to how to go about booking tickets on the site.
TV Recordings offers free online tickets to some of the best entertainment TV show recordings in London including Not Going Out and the Russell Howard Hour. To get a ticket is a very simple process: register, choose a show, print an e-ticket, then go to the show. What could be easier!
SRO Audiences promotes tickets to some of the country's best entertainment shows including panel shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats and topical talk shows like Loose Women. Applying for tickets is very simple. You just need to complete an online form and then wait for your email confirmation which will let you know if your application has been successful.
Lost in TV
Lost in TV offers free tickets to some big-name shows including The Apprentice: You're Fired, Ninja Warrior UK and Catchphrase. The company also looks for participants for new shows so it's an interesting site to peruse to see what shows are in the works.
Be On Screen
Be On Screen is another company that offers audience tickets but you can also find out how to take part in TV shows too.
Watching a TV show recording can be a fun night out and a chance to see how your favorite show is created.
And, because tickets are generally free, it's a great option for entertainment on a budget.