How A View from the Terrace turned from podcast to TV show

How A View from the Terrace turned from podcast to TV show

By Beth Watt,
Wednesday, 10th May 2023
man leaning on soap box
Craig Telfer, host of A View from the Terrace. Credit: BBC Scotland
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Beth Watt discovers how Studio Something turned its podcast into A View from the Terrace for BBC Scotland.

A View from the Terrace began life as a podcast but is now a hit weekly BBC Scotland football show, mixing chat and comedy – and all from the perspective of the fans.

At an RTS Scotland event late last month, the programme’s producers at ­Studio Something discussed how they successfully transferred the podcast to TV.

Jordan Laird, co-founder of Studio Something and director of A View from the Terrace, spoke about how the company and his career began: “We really wanted to make films, but no one would pay for us [to do it] obviously, so we started making music videos in our spare time.

“While we were doing that, we realised we were scripting, directing, producing – the whole shebang.” They began to wonder whether they could start a company just doing this. “We are massive football fans and… it all just came together.”

Andy Maas, now head of production at Studio Something and producer of the series, said: “I loved what they were doing at Studio Something, but I definitely knew they needed a producer. We shared the same values, and we had the same tone and sense of humour.”

BBC Scotland had a gap in the schedules and was willing to pay for a pilot. Maas said: “Pilots are quite rare now and they were looking for an entertainment sports show to fill the 10:30pm slot. So, we thought [about our] football podcast, The Terrace, and how to we could make that into a TV show.”

Laird added: “It’s super-informed fans who love Scottish football. If we took that to TV, that’s the hook – the fans’ angle hadn’t been represented on television in Scotland before.

“We’ve always tried to look at [football] from a journalistic angle – it’s the interesting questions around Scottish football that we love to answer. What is it like to watch football if you are visually impaired, for instance?”

The Terrace was the first podcast in the UK to be turned into a BBC show. It was initially commissioned for 10 episodes by the new BBC Scotland channel, and has now run for five series.

The quick turnaround required for each episode demands a fast-paced ­production process. “We don’t want to do the same [thing] every week,” Laird explained. “It will get stale and it doesn’t keep [the show] fresh. We’ll design the editorial and then we put in a script… then we send it out to whoever is coming on the show next week.”

Responding to a question about breaking into the industry, Laird said: “I remember where I was at – you think it’s never going to happen [but] you work hard and just keep an eye on those opportunities and be patient.

“Also, I feel no one is special. We are all about not pulling the ladder up after ourselves, we help anybody and reach out to people.”

Maas added: “I didn’t do anything of note until I was in my late twenties. It’s having the ability to back yourself – and I guarantee you’ll get that opportunity.”

A fan of the show, Aidan Lynn, told Television why he attended the RTS Scotland event: “You’ve got the guys here who explain not only what they do, but how they do it – it’s a great opportunity.”

He added: “I think that, a lot of the time, [football] fans don’t feel as though they have a voice; I think it should be the number one priority. At the end of the day, without the fans you wouldn’t have a club.”

The RTS Scotland event ‘A View from the Terrace: Turning around topical TV’ was held at Edinburgh Napier University on 27 April. It was hosted by Amy Irons.

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