Sofa sessions

12th May 2006 at 01:00
(Photograph) - What do teachers laugh at? In answer to that, Peter Curran has written and hosts The Bell, a light entertainment chat show where all things to do with education are aired, shared and bared on the couch. This summer, Teachers' TV presents six half-hour slots where teachers can escape the "tyranny of the classroom", says Steve Wilkinson, executive producer.

Where education etiquette can be challenged and irreverence can take over.

First Appointments was invited exclusively behind the scenes to sneak a preview of the shooting of the pilot episode.

Lights, camera, action

Words: Joanne Shepherd Smith? Pictures:Neil Turner

Silence: right, the crew has a few hours to go through the motions before the studio audience of teachers arrives for free entertainment - and filming "as live" begins

Recording: above, Peter Curran, writer and host of The Bell, plays the signature tune on a keyboard at his side before each guest settles on the couch for an informal chat Testing, testing: left, floor manager Vivien Ackland-Snow keeps a radio check on crew and studio audience during the filming of the 'as live' pilot programme

Keeping it topical: right, on a lighter note, Peter edits part of the script about the recent story of the deputy head who complained that her colleagues got fancy new chairs while she was left with one with a farting sound. The Bell commissioned its own survey of pupils and the result was unanimous - 70 per cent claimed that 'she who smelt it, dealt it', and 30 per cent said 'she who denied it, supplied it'

Love her or loathe her: left, Yolande Beckles, who ruffled more than a few feathers with her recent controversial show BBC2's "Don't Mess with Miss Beckles", had her chance to answer her critics

Finishing touches: right, Peter Curran and Yolande discuss last-minute details before the show, while make-up artist Amanda Bowen applies face powder Take your places: below, the studio crew wait for instructions before filming

Taken aback:Peter Curran gets some vital statistics from education expert and First Appointments regular Professor John Howson: "Did you know that there are 24,000 schools?"

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today