Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Corby Girls Football and Mr M.

Monday 9th March 2009

Our location was a shiny new sports pavilion near the centre of Corby. There was a team of girls that play football that had been visited by Mr Motivator a few weeks ago and given some exercise tips. Yesterday when things were changing their coach had been asked if he could organise the girls to come to the pavilion so that they could be seen exercising along with Mr Motivator. The plan was that he would be in the studio and they would be watching him on the TV and following his routine along with various other locations around the country. What they did not know was that he was going to be there in person.

Nigel the Sound Recordist had a load of sound equipment so that Mr Motivator could have some music to workout to. He set up all his speakers, mixing desk and microphones. 

Nigel and his racks of equipment.

About twelve girls arrived in their red and black football kit all excited about being on telly. They were running around kicking footballs and generally letting of steam. As they did we noticed that smack bang on the front of the strips was one of their sponsors names. Oh dear. The rules and regulations that govern advertising and sponsorship in commercial TV are quite strict and we would not be able to show that. One of the best tools in TV was instantly put to use. Pieces of black gaffer tape the size to cover the word Peugeot and the lion logo were ripped off a big roll and stuck to each of the girls tops.

As the light came up we kept all the blinds to the room we were using closed in case anyone saw Mr M. when he arrived in the car park. When he did arrive he was secreted in a car in the far corner of the car park as far away from potential prying eyes as possible. He only came out of the car just before we were due to go on air. When he did come out he was very cold and shivering particularly when his jacket came off and he was there in all his Lycra glory.

The girls had been told that they needed to work out for a shot that was going to be taken on a camera  already set up in the room. They were under the impression that the actual routine would be a little bit later. 

On cue from the studio gallery Mr Motivator did a little piece to camera and then we burst in through the door.

The rouse worked the kids went wild and greeted him with loads of squeals and screeches  of delight and surprise.

Back at the hotel, having breakfast my phone rang. It was the office. There was a shoot to so in the afternoon at a primary school in Wembley, tomorrows live location. A London crew had been booked to do the job but for various reasons had suddenly become unavailable. I was asked to do it. I agreed so started to make my way into the big city.

There was another surprise, this time for the kids at Barnham Primary School in who had been doing a lot of healthy eating things. The editors in London were so keen to get the reaction from as many kids as possible they sent two other cameras that the Producers, Yiljan and Stuart could use so that nothing would be missed.

The kids were all in the hall ready for their usual afternoon dismissal when Kate the Head Teacher announced the presence of a special guest. Once again I followed Mr Motivator as we rushed into the hall. One thing that you can bank on when it comes to kids and that is that given any opportunity to go absolutely crazy they will go for it. The noise was off the scale when we went in. Mr M. did his workout stuff for a minute or two and we did a couple of interviews with some very enthusiastic kids about healthy eating. Job done, time for food and sleep.

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