The Hospital / h Club / Celebro Studios

2003 – 2020.  Reopened September 2023.

(Revised February 2024)



h club ext 450p


This unique and very old building is situated on the corner of Endell Street and Shorts Gardens in the heart of Covent Garden.

Between 2004 and 2020 The Hospital Club (later called h Club) was aimed at people working in the media and offered several bars and lounges, a gallery, some bedrooms and a high class restaurant.  Most interestingly, there were also recording studios and a TV studio.

Its somewhat unusual name is simply because the building used to be an actual hospital, first established in 1749.  It became known as St Paul’s Hospital from 1948 and in the early 1960s specialised in kidney and dialysis procedures.  The hospital closed in 1992 and was purchased by Paul Allen in 1996.  Most of the work in converting it to a club took place between 1999 and 2004.  The long delay before opening was partly due to planning issues with its change of use.


The TV studio was the first in the UK to be equipped with HD cameras and facilities – and that was way back in 2004.  It was the ‘vision’ of Paul Allen – co-founder of Microsoft, and Dave Stewart – late of Eurythmics and more recently a successful music producer.  They decided to build a facility containing a state of the art music studio which would also incorporate television facilities so that musicians could record both sound and vision to the highest quality.

In fact, they sensibly realised that such a studio would have a market for other types of TV shows – not just those with music.  The studio therefore was equipped with a production gallery (including lighting and vision control) and a large sound gallery with all the facilities of a professional recording studio.


hospital studio 450p
The television studio in the basement of h Club London.
with thanks to the Hospital Club website


The television studio is about 61 feet x 44 feet and thus is similar in size and shape to TC2 at Television Centre.  However, the grid height is only 14ft which somewhat limits the height of sets.  The studio is two floors below street level so all scenery and props have to be loaded in via a lift.

When it opened, the production control room was quite unique with regard to its monitor stack.  It didn’t have one!  In fact, there were two huge back-projection screens and the ‘monitors’ could be displayed on them in a variety of configurations.


As well as being used for its original purpose as a facility for recording music on video – this studio was also home to several pilots and broadcast series.  These were of the discussion programme type including both series of Morgan and Platell or entertainment shows such as That’ll Test ‘Em for More4 or Guinness World of Records for Challenge TV.  In February 2014 Channel 5’s debate show The Big Benefits Row Live came from this studio.

The Hospital Club studio picked up more bookings following the closure of TV Centre – notably Watchdog, which transmitted live from here.  It also hosted some work for MTV after their own studios in Camden closed.  The studio was the home of the live daily programme Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two between 2004 and 2007 and again in 2018 and 2019.  Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out was recorded here in 2018 and 2019 for BBC4 and the first two series of Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back were made here for Channel 4 in 2019 and 2020.  Other productions included Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Extra Gear, Richard Osman’s House of Games and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled.


In May 2020 there were press reports that h Club were in financial difficulty, due to the Covid-19 restrictions.   Their US branch had closed and the future of this branch was looking uncertain.  In June 2020 there were reports that it had been placed in administration and studio bookings for the summer onwards had been cancelled.  The whole building including the studio then closed and the staff were laid off.  Very sad news indeed.  In September 2021 all the contents of the club were auctioned off – but not those of the TV studio.

In October 2021 it transpired that the building had been acquired by German companies AM Alpha and WE-Holding.  They intended to convert it into Patrizia’s new London HQ – they are a real estate and infrastructure fund management company.  They revealed it would be turned into ‘creative office space.’  Apparently, Patrizia was not intending to relocate from its current London HQ in Knightsbridge until 2024, to allow time for the building to be redeveloped.    Perhaps of more interest to readers of this website, buried within the press report was this statement:  ‘AM Alpha intends to retain the TV and music recording studio in the lower ground floors.’  I contacted the company and they confirmed that the studio equipment had not been disposed of and that the studio would reopen.  However, they said the date ‘depends on various factors.’  Another source informed me that the opening date would be 2023 at the earliest, after the rebuilding works were complete.





Celebro Studios

Studio H.
image thanks to Celebro Studios


I had heard rumours that BBC Studioworks were interested in taking over the studio when it became available again but in fact in August 2023 I was contacted by Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro.  He is an ex-BBC Three News/BBC World Service journalist.  Celebro is described as a global broadcast TV company who rent out production and studio space around the world, mostly to news-based companies.  According to their website, they are home to broadcasters such as Al Jazeera, Fox, CNN, BBC and 80 other broadcasters.  They have studios in Washington DC and New York.  Before moving to Endell Street they were based in Portland Place, where they had a couple of small studios.  I’m informed that the BBC relocated one of their TV language services there during the integration testing of NBH.  TRT World’s London output also came from there for a while.

The very smart production gallery. Lighting and vision control are at the far end of the desk.

Celebro moved into the Hospital studio during the summer and reopened it in September.  Wesley Dodd explained that a lot of work had been involved.  To make the business commercially viable, they have stripped out a couple of green rooms to create a second studio.  This is relatively small at 650 sq ft and is aimed at their current ‘b2b’ streaming clients.

The main studio is now known as Studio H, but the overall business is called Celebro Studios.  Some of the original kit has been retained but much of it is quite old so a process of upgrading to 4K will happen over the coming months.  There are 6 cameras available.  The studio has a pre-lit permanent set at one end, suitable for corporate hires.  I gather it is also used for interviews and streamed shows.  I have also heard that Studio H has been booked by Shop on TV, shown on ITV1 between midnight and 3am but can’t confirm that.  I’m told they have two workflows, enabling ‘shiny floor’ TV shows to use the studio as well as the smaller scale bookings.

So this is all great news and I am sure that the studio will be fully booked for the foreseeable future.  All we need is for plenty of production managers to hear that it is available again!


the stock ‘corporate’ set in Studio H
photo thanks to Bernie Davis