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Being Part of the SBS Insight Audience

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by Mel Hambo (subscribe)
I'm a UX designer, spending most of my free time trying out Sydney's attractions as a Google City Expert. Say hi via Twitter
Published June 12th 2014
An insight into the recording of the popular SBS show
SBS Insight audience

A few curious eyes looked on while I took a photo of my friend sitting in a soccer-styled seat. We were about to be part of the SBS Insight audience, waiting in the World Cup-themed office space and enjoying tea and coffee before the recording.

The main purpose of waiting in the office space is to collect bags and to ensure all audience members arrive on time before filming starts. But I soon realised that my friend and I were deep in conversation about our opinions on the day's topic: 'Drinking in denial'. It was an opportunity to test our opinions before we decided whether we wanted to share these opinions on television.

Later when we were taken into the studio, we saw the well-recognised symbols of a show recording: the in-studio guest speakers getting their powder done, the camera men adjusting their angles and later on, our host Stan Grant came in and introduced himself. Jenny Brockie was on leave that week, but I proudly shared to whoever would listen, that I'd seen her once in the bar 'York Lane'. That's right, son.

The best part of pre-filming was seeing the guest speakers who were joining via video stream. Because they had to be online for a considerably long time before the show, they were just doing trivial things that were really out of context, like talking to someone off screen, staring off into the distance or adjusting their clothes.

Filming started and it was a great show. We were encouraged to participate as much as possible and the audience really did. Even Anthony Mundine was in the crowd.

There were a couple of funny highlights. My friend, someone sitting beside me and I all had rumbling stomachs, that decided to have a choir rehearsal during the show. Each one of our stomachs took turns in making whale-esque noises. I kept hoping that the microphones around me wouldn't pick up the noise. Also, I'm pretty sure a guy in the audience fell asleep during recording.

After the show we got a photo with Anthony Mundine. Stan actually took this photo and I really wanted a photo with him too but the opportunity passed. We had a chance to have a quick chat with a couple of the guests.

In the audience
The only shot of my friend and I in the audience

It's a great experience that I'd recommend to anyone. To be part of the audience, you can register at

There's a screening phone interview to ensure that the audience is diverse. Attendees are given a cash incentive to compensate for travel and other expenses.
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Where: 14 Herbert Street, Artarmon NSW 2064
Cost: Paid - $50 cash incentive for attendance
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