At 0800 this morning the BBC released audience tickets for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. They’re free, but available by phone only and the line was instantly engaged. My cheapest-in-the-Argos-catalogue phone does not, it turns out, have a redial button. I’d promised various people I’d do my best to get hold of tickets, and was dialling the number once every five seconds. At 0845, I got through to the BBC ticket line, where an automated guy told me to press 2 if I wanted to speak to an operative. Yay! I settled back into the chair with my paper and pen, and pressed ‘2’. I was greeted by a minute’s silence, then the line disconnected. There was a brief and exciting soliloquy, and twenty-five minutes later the process repeated itself.
The phone gods underestimate how stubborn I can get about these things, and I decided to keep trying until at least 1000, at which point I’d grab some breakfast then go back to the phone. I got through again, and nervously pressed 2. This time a friendly voice told me that lines were very busy, and I should phone back later. By this point I’d memorised the number and forgotten it again. Eventually I got lucky and was placed into the call queue, and at 1035 spoke to a lovely lady who told me there were still a few tickets available for the date I’d requested. The line went all crackly as I gave my postcode and I thought for a horrible moment it was going to disconnect, but happily it was good enough that we could understand each other. I hung up at 1040, very, very relieved.
It’s not a guaranteed booking. The BBC website says that failing to turn up can affect future applications, so I guess they check the names against their database. Not sure if there’s anything else that could affect it, but if all is ok the tickets will arrive a week before the show, so I’ll have to wait and see. There could still be one problem, though: what if Anton gets knocked out before then? I don’t know whether my companions will be consolable…:-)
Update: Have just spotted the tautology in the first four words of this post. Sorry about that, was clearly still excited at getting through 🙂