TV & Broadcast
Most of the broadcast work these days are Phone-ins, they usually fall into two categories, either 3 to 4 callers talking to the presenter and guests for one segment of the show or a whole show dedicated to viewer interaction.
Most of the shows are done from my studio in Croxley Green. In the past sound quality was better if callers were switched in the studio, these days I use ISDN links into studios and the sound quality is as good as if we were in the studio.
The studio has a telephone system that can answer 30 concurrent incoming calls for these kinds of shows. It is not designed or intended to handle large scale competitions where you'd expect to get many thousands of callers. There is also an overflow route for excess calls, we have peaked at about 3,000 calls an hour. It's being used daily to take incoming calls from around the world for "Fanzone" (Premier League Productions) for callers wanting to have their say about everything football. I can supply you with 0800, 0845, 0844, 03 & 0207/8 London numbers depending on the tariff you'd like to use. None of these numbers need special permission or to give any cost information on screen.
Over the years I've done hundreds of competitions, my favourite was probably Wonkey Donkey. Premium rate competitions with callers going on air, have changed a lot over the last few years. In the past we were always asked to get good fun chatty callers, however we can't vet callers any more. These days we can only refuse to put a caller on if they are drunk or abusive. Luckily most of the general public seem do be very nice, polite but a little dull. It does worry me that with competitions, we have no control over who we put on air.
Other things of interest
Here's a list of shows I've worked on over the years Clients & Shows. I also built a DTMF UNIT a while back that's worth looking at, it's used to trigger all kinds of things (Lights, Grams etc) from the callers phone.
In studio or remote?
I've worked at The London Studios, Teddington, Maidstone, Riverside, Manchester, Nottingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Elstree, Pinewood and BBC Television Centre. I've also worked in OB trucks up and down the country for Living TV.