Austin Farm couple are regulars ‘on the box’
Next time you’re watching a panel or quiz show, take a close look at the audience to see if you can spot this couple. Austin Farm husband and wife, Peter and Maggie Gray are regular audience members on TV sitcoms and panel shows.
And it doesn’t end there… think of a modern-day comic and you can almost guarantee that Peter and Maggie will have seen them live. Tim Vine, Milton Jones, Lee Mack, Michael McIntyre, Al Murray, Joe Lycett, Sarah Millican, Katherine Ryan, Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane, Jimmy Carr and Josh Widdicombe are just a few of the household names the Grays have seen over the years.
They’ve been in the audience of Not Going Out, QI, Pointless Celebrities, Open All Hours and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Peter loves sitting in the front row, though Maggie admits she shies away from it. Peter said: “I love to interact! Dara O’Brien is really good at interacting with you if you’re in the front. Even at the sitcoms and game shows, the presenters and actors talk to the audience. On Not Going Out, Lee Mack is very good at interacting between takes.
“I’m fascinated by the mechanics of TV and how it’s all put together. That’s the bit you don’t see on television. The downside is you have to queue for ages to get in…”Maggie Gray, Austin Farm resident
“On Pointless, the bit you don’t see on TV is that once a couple has been eliminated… they stop filming to unscrew the podium! While that’s going on, there are lots of jokes from Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman.”
Peter’s bushy beard is guaranteed to get him a mention (he’s even been called Captain Bird’s Eye and Father Christmas by some comperes)! Maggie said: “I’m fascinated by the mechanics of TV and how it’s all put together. That’s the bit you don’t see on television. The downside is you have to queue for ages to get in. You need to get there early because even though you have tickets, they don’t always guarantee you entry – they always oversubscribe as people often don’t turn up.”
Although many shows only appear on our screens for 30 minutes, the Grays say you can spend up to 90 minutes in the studio due to all the retakes. Their favourite comedian is Count Arthur Strong, and still on their wish-list is to be in the audience of Strictly. They’ve applied numerous times but have never been successful… so far.