The deal is always that the tickets are free, but that more tickets are given out than there are seats - on the one hand that means there's definitely a full house but on the other hand it means that often there's people in the queue with tickets who don't get in.
Our experience in the past was always that the audience team got it about right, and as long as you arrived half an hour or so before then you'd get in. Not so anymore, so it seems.
In the past couple of weeks we've arrived in plenty of time (over half an hour before the "admission on site" time on the tickets) for two recordings and not got in to either. Of course, it's just part of the process, but it is quite annoying when it happens twice in quick succession.
I wonder why things have changed? I doubt the BBC ticket unit have changed their algorithm for how many tickets they give out so I guess that means that more people are turning up for recordings. Why suddenly should more people start turning up for recordings this year compared with last..? Well your guess is as good as mine...