The staff all seemed to be polite, pleasant and reasonable people. They even gave the impression of understanding what our technical staff were talking about - at least when they took the time to listen. I was surprised to hear the producer asking one of his interviewees not to dumb it down so much - and this was for a science programme on the BBC. Yes really!
I suppose this is not a proper science programme like Horizon. Perhaps Sunday evening specials are allowed to present real science instead?
Another surprise was that they preferred to film in very low light, to the extent that most of the people who were trying to do a real job, operating a complex fusion machine, were complaining that they couldn't see what they were doing. Most film crews from other TV stations including the independents can cope with the normal lighting conditions, but it will be interesting to see the difference when the programme comes out. Perhaps it will be spectacularly better than average.
And yes - it is true that Hammond is not a tall man.
But the biggest surprise is that the film crew must have numbered at least a dozen people. Like the last time I saw a BBC crew for a high profile programme in action, I wondered what most of them were supposed to be doing. Not much, from all appearances! Funded by the tax payer, it seems that they can afford to employ four or five times more staff than most other companies.
After all, these are times of austerity.