Last Sunday the sun was shining as we had coffee at Starbucks and decided to go for a walk in the center. I managed to direct us towards Soho, as I just finished this weird detective story/murder mystery novel set in the night clubs between Oxford Street and Shaftsbury Avenue, and was now eager for an on-site inspection. We crossed Soho Square and Greek Street and went deeper into that jungle of narrow side street, sex shops and eateries. They say Soho was a somewhat dangerous red light district a couple of years ago, but we couldn’t really believe it. Basically the area seems a little more alternative or boho, but too many tourists armed with cameras and city maps mixed with hip-looking locals strolling casually around the streets prevented a really dodgy atmosphere. Maybe we should give it a second try at night, but I’m almost sure that the near West End and numerous “secret insider tips” from various travel guides make sure that Soho is always swarmed with tourist and day trippers.
Nevertheless Kathi, Gonzo and me had a lovely lunch at a small pasta shop. The owner was a true Italian. Not only he assured us how proud he was of his little shop and that we liked his pasta, but also he gave us some free focaccia, as we were “belle ragazze” and it was such a beautiful Sunday.
Later a friend of ours joined us, who had managed to escape his girlfriend and her sister shopping crazily at Primark. Mike was obviously relieved that in Gonzo he had found a match to talk about his cameras, productions and future projects and soon the guys were sucked into media topics and trying out cameras as we were strolling through Covent Garden.
The beautiful thing about having friends who work in the various fields of media are little surprises, such as the following: we just passed Somerset House, and I was about to propose some cocoa and cake to warm up with (it was freezing cold!) as Michael announced that we should start heading north again, in order to be on time for the BBC. – Wait, what? Well, he explained, he has this friend who works there and he is going to take us on a tour through the building and the studios, if we want to… And of course we wanted!
In front of the super impressive BBC Broadcasting House we met with Tatiana and her sister Marina and other friends who joined us.
Inside, first thing, we met a Dalek and took pictures in front of Dr Who’s Tardis. Nerdy stuff: check! Our lovely tour guide Tony took us to the newsroom, we went past the radio studios, onto the terrace, further to the news studio, to the green screen studio and into the control station, from where the news is broadcasted. Not only we could sit on the newsreader’s chair and play around in front of the green screen, but we were also allowed to try the cameras and all that super important stuff in the control room (a lot of buttons mainly). We behaved like good tourists and took loads of pictures and asked a thousand questions. It was super interesting and great fun! To sum up an amazing day we went to a Pub nearby for some tea and beer and stayed there till they kicked us out at 11pm – yes, the majority of Pubs do close at that time, it’s not a stereotype! 😉