BBC News showcases the flexibility of newly refurbished Studio B in a series of interviews with candidates to become the UK’s next Prime Minister.
Hosted by Nick Robinson, he and each contestant sit on chairs added to the raised catwalk area on the left half of the studio’s camera which also has the large curved video wall used to showcase 18 live streams after newscasts national products in space are preparing to cast to regional updates.
The video wall is filled with an animated loop created using a blue, white, and black palette to showcase a mix of geometric shapes and horizontal stripes, which can also be seen in the opening animation.
Similar graphics can also be seen on the video wall behind the anchor office area in some wide shots as well as in the lower resolution LED walls installed on the mezzanine level above the main studio space. These graphics were also used in debates between candidates, which were not done at Studio B.
The shapes used include both miniature triangles and larger diamonds, the latter being used to form the suggestion of a 3D cube.
This pattern is taken from other BBC election coverage looks, where it is also often interpreted as both a box with a cut and the hexagonal shape formed when a single 3D cube is viewed as a single plane.
The center of the video wall graphic is filled with horizontal bars that provide image fragments of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s house, and the Houses of Parliament.
Although the distance between the host and the candidate seems to be a little greater than one might expect, it is not clear if this is a COVID-19 precaution or if it is. is done on purpose.
Keeping the two farther apart allows the network to insert larger quotes and statistical graphics into the wide two-shot that allows the presenter to reference the material as part of the questions.
At the top of the interviews, Robinson stands next to Tower A, one of the studio’s two free-standing LED “monoliths”, with the strategically depicted candidate seated behind him on the catwalk. The monolith is also incorporated into some cutaway wide shots.
An opening animation continues the blue color scheme using similar images found on video walls. Additional elements include on-screen text set in the serif version of the BBC’s exclusive Reith font, listing the names and years of service of former Prime Ministers, the Prime Minister’s address and the names of candidates.
There is still a hint of the network’s red trademark in the form of a vertical red bar on the left side of a ribbon of the “10” on the Downing Street gate in the final title slide.
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The current Studio B set debuted in June 2022 as the home of the BBC’s national 6pm and 10pm newscasts.
Its backlit panels are usually set to red and white to match the news division look, but the color can be changed for special productions, like the blue look seen here. The same goes for the edge lighting that runs along the balcony facade; it is normally set to white but shifted to blue for interviews.
The many video walls also lend enormous flexibility to the space, allowing the network to power news graphics, unique backgrounds, and even virtual set extensions such as those used in the anchor office area. during newscasts which feature simulated views of the BBC’s sprawling newsroom and other structural elements.