Catchphrase has been a hit with audiences since it first aired in 1986, showcasing the genre of British game shows at its best.
All the broadcast equipment for Catchphrase has been provided by Gravity Media and includes seven Sony HDC2500/L HD multi-format colour camera heads, large box, studio box & wide angle lenses as well as EVS XT3 Channel Max HD servers.
The current filming at Maidstone Studios of course follows all the necessary COVID-19 related social distancing requirements. Installing Perspex screens within their galleries, ensuring the entire site has been taped to show the 2 metre distancing rule, providing hand sanitiser and reconfiguring the production offices so that productions aren’t sitting face to face are the main changes they have implemented. Due to their ample facilities they have the flexibility to allow productions to use multiple make up rooms, dressing rooms and production offices.
The current version of Catchphrase has run since 2013. The original version was based on the American game show of the same name and aired on ITV in the UK between January 1986 and April 2004 (made by TVS in association with Action Time, then picked up by Carlton Television and fully produced by Action Time productions at Maidstone Studios until 2004).
Aired weekly, Catchphrase was presented by comedienne Roy Walker until 1999. In 2000 Nick Weir took the reins until 2004 when Ex-Blue Peter presenter Mark Curry stepped in for the final series.
That was the end of the nations beloved Catchphrase until a successful revival pilot was made in 2012 by STV Productions. The new show hosted by Stephen Mulhern returned to Maidstone Studios keeping the same format with an extra contestant, 3D graphics and a new final game.
Maidstone Studios (formerly called TVS Television South) has one of the UK’s largest regional independent television studio and has been home to a vast selection of independent British television programming including Inside No 9 Live, The Split, Supermarket Sweep, Rugby World Cup 2019, ‘Later Live with Jools Holland’ and Jools Holland’s annual Hootenanny.
in 2002 the studios underwent a £2 million refurbishment under the helm of ex-BBC producer Geoff Miles – head of the consortium who bought the studios. A new HD studio (Studio 1) was opened (12,000 square feet/ 1,100 m2) able to accommodate a 2,400 standing or 1,200 seated audience with large to huge seized sets.
Studio 2 (6,000 square feet/ 560 m2) handles a 250 seated audience with medium to large sized sets. Both studios have impressive production galleries, are fully air-conditioned and can operate in HD or 4k.
Maidstone Studios is also equipped with a dubbing and Foley facilities, 26 dressing rooms, 6 green rooms, onsite restaurant, cinema, bar and production & wardrobe departments, scenery departments, transmission and playback facilities. The 700 square feet (65 m2) American Diner is also offered as a filming location.
On the Maidstone Studios premises, their sister company, Custodian Data Centre, offers server rack space for local, national and international companies and has one of the most connected networks in the UK allowing Maidstone Studios to broadcast to almost anywhere in the world.