First published on 6 May 2008. Updated on 8 Aug 2012.
Ever wondered what goes on behind the cameras? As a part of a live audience you can get a taste of television magic and be a part of it at the same time - all for free. Here's your Sydney-specific guide to getting tickets, and maybe even realising your secret fantasy of 15 minutes of fame.
First Tuesday Book Club
Hosted by bookworm Jennifer Byrne and regular panellists, the only nationally televised Tuesday book club meets once a month… on a Friday! (Those TV tricksters). One can feel seriously smug by reading the books ahead of the show as the featured titles are announced prior to filming.
First Tuesday Book Club is filmed on Fridays at ABC’s studios in Ultimo. Email email@example.com or call 02 8333 3644 for tickets.
The first series of the ABC’s newest game show is being filmed as we type. The show, brought to us from the people behind The Gruen Transfer
, promises to be a fierce and funny battle of words. Ten teams of two will go head-to-head over 27 shows, hosted by Andrew Denton.
Randling is filmed at ABCs studio in Ultimo, four times a week. There are two time slots every Tuesday and Thursday. To be one of the first studio audiences for the show, apply for tickets at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/randling/ or call 02 9217 2243.
The two shows named after the guy who designed the very first shopping mall, both hosted by anti-ad warrior Wil Anderson, rip to shreds through all that is spin, branding and image control in the world of advertising. The shows take us on a laugh-out-loud journey through all that is bad and wrong with the adverts we love to hate.
Filming for the Gruen shows will begin again in mid 2012. To make sure you’re first to know about studio audience bookings, sign up to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/gruenhq or follow @GruenHQ on Twitter.
The Hamster Wheel
Scrutinising the feral media world (hamsters, rats and all), the Chaser team at The Hamster Wheel examine the latest news - from top-tweeting Kyle Sansilands stories to ‘man gets penis stuck inside wasp nest’. As long as you’re over 16, and quick off the mark on a Thursday morning, you can be part of the mayhem.
What do you get if you put punters, pollies and pundits together in the same studio? FIGHT! And it’s all broadcast live on national television. Each week, journo Tony Jones leads the Q&A from the audience who get to ask the panel of politicians and opinion-makers what the hell they like.
To make sure the studio audience is balanced (and to make good telly) you need to complete Q&A’s audience registration form to take part. Q&A is predominantly filmed weekly at ABC’s studio in Ultimo.
Australia's Funniest Home Videos
Seeing people fall over, animals being mocked on the verge of torture, and men being hit in the ball-bag is a hoot, right? If you're nodding in agreement, this is the studio audience ticket for you. And if that's not enough to convince you, the free giveaways and the chance to meet Shelley Craft in person might sway you. Then again...
Australia's Funniest Home Videos is filmed fortnightly on Mondays at the Channel 9 Studios, Artarmon Rd, Willoughby. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9965 2424.
The Footy Show
If NRL's weekend-long TV domination isn't enough, you can join the studio audience for the surprisingly hilarious Footy Show. At worst you can entertain yourself by dressing in a Swans outfit and mocking the other code.
The Footy Show is filmed live on Thursday nights at the Channel 9 studios in Willoughby. Ring for tickets (02 9958 9999) on the first Monday of each month or for more information, go to wwos.ninemsn.com.au/footyshow.
Good News Week
Paul McDermott and his team captains Mikey Robbins and Claire Hooper poke fun at the stories making the headlines this week. Always stocked to the brim with fun guests and inappropriate content, it might be worth catching the filming to see if you can finally get all the in-jokes that seem to be going on.
Good News Week is also filmed at the ABC TV studios in Ultimo. For more information or to book tickets email email@example.com.
Can of Worms
The second series of Can of Worms has a new host, Logie winner and mother of two, Chrissy Swan and each week three celebrity guests, a studio audience and Australians from all walks of life find out what we really think about some very curly questions.
Young Talent Time
It's the show that launched the careers of Dannii Minogue and YTT 2012 judge Tina Arena (but don't hate it for that), and it's back to channel 10 with a fresh cast of fame-hungry teenie boppers. Kind of like The Mickey Mouse Show, it showcases the triple-threat talents of ten bright young things with a whole lot of congratulating from host Rob Mills and the show’s celebrity judges and mentors.
Young Talent Time is filmed at Fox Studios in Moore Park. Fill in the YTT online application form for the chance to get your hands on some tickets.
Now you, too, can be one of those idiots who wave their hands and hold up "Hello mum!" signs from behind the glass at the cameras in the Sunrise studio, in Martin Place. Sometimes they even have free gigs too.
Sunrise is filmed at the Channel 7 studio in Martin Place from 6-9am. Show up whenever you feel like it and bring an inappropriate sign, or go to au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/sunrise for details on live gigs.
Each week, host Jenny Brockie referees a verbal wrestling match between a bunch of so-called experts, politicians, disgruntled senior citizens and ordinary folk like us. They battle it out over topics like rising property prices, arranged marriage and sibling rivalry. Then everybody kisses and makes up at the end.