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“Go big or go home.”
That’s how Entertainment Tonight and The Insider executive producer Linda Bell Blue describes her show’s approach to covering the April 29 wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. PHOTOS: Famous royal weddings.
The CBS Television Distribution sister shows have 70 staff members in London, which include seven camera crews and four hair and makeup teams for anchors Mary Hart, Nancy O’Dell and special correspondent Jane Seymour. The wardrobe department brought more than 15 suitcases to ensure they’d be wearing bright colors on air.
“Nobody’s getting any sleep,” Bell Blue tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We all meet in a hotel room suite that we’ve converted into a newsroom. We have all kinds of producers working around the clock booking stories.”
Indeed, for Wednesday morning’s dress rehearsal, O’Dell began working at 2 a.m. The show also filmed with night-vision cameras.
To stand out, ET and Insider staffers first flew to London in January to begin planning coverage. They’re also working with the CBS News bureau. When not doing location shoots, Hart has been reporting from Buckingham Palace and O’Dell has been at Westminster Abbey, where Middleton and Prince William will wed.
“We were here first. We have hired two British women to set us apart in our coverage,” adds Bell Blue, referring to Seymour and Sharon Osbourne, who is working with Kevin Frazier on The Insider. “Piers Morgan has an edge on CNN. Everyone knows him here. So we’re taking our strongest women and coupling them with Jane.”
Seymour, who was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 2000, was able to get an exclusive interview with Prince Harry, where he said he’s not nervous to watch his brother walk down the aisle.
“This is the biggest undertaking in the 29-year history of Entertainment Tonight. We’ve never put this much manpower or committed so many resources to covering something,” Bell Blue tells THR. “This will be the most-watched entertainment news television event in history.”
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