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

Goodbye to Old Friends at GMTV

Tuesday 10th March 2009

I managed to navigate through London courtesy of the trusty Tom Tom. It only sent me on a couple of detours. I was at the school location a little later than the rest of the crew. 

Parked up in the car park was an old friend, GMTV’s big multicoloured old bus of an outside broadcast vehicle. It is crewed by two of the few people that, like me have been at GMTV since it came on air. Steve and Eddie are part of GMTV folklore. Sadly this was the morning I would potentially work with the truck for the last time and maybe Steve and Eddie as well. The truck is being taken off the road and the boys are going the way of so many staff over the past umpteen years. They are being made redundant.

My last sight of the OB truck in the car park of the school.

The truck with Steve and Eddie has been all over the country providing live inserts into GMTV over the last several years. During the World Cup in Germany three years ago it was “on tour”, broadcasting from the various locations in Germany.

Steve was out in Spain a few years ago with some colleagues having a look at locations for live broadcasts. The schedule was tight, driving around to various beach locations, jumping out having a quick look and deciding if it would be suitable. Around lunch time they stopped at a nice busy little Spanish cafe bar. They sat round a table and looked at the menu. It had the usual stuff, salads, boccadilos, toasties etc’. The prices were pretty average. In those days we were still using Pesetas and two hundred and fifty were about a quid. Things on the menu ranged from 100 pts to around 2500 pts. Orders were placed for light snacks of salads and sandwiches. Steve liked the look of the lobster salad, a snip at 2000 pts. The others all got their salads and sandwiches plonked in front of them in that very Spanish off hand fashion. Steve’s arrived. It looked delicious and the plate was piled so high any deli in New York would be proud. The waiter placed it in front of Steve with a satisfied smile and bow. The rest of the guys looked at his meal. They looked at their own measly portions. They all suddenly thought that they had made the wrong choice. 

Steve tucked his napkin in his shirt and prepared to attack the mountain of white fluffy meat. After a couple of mouthfuls the manager of the place came out to ask if everything was to Steve’s liking. He ignored all the other tables in the place. Somewhere in Steve’s head he could here the lightest tinkling of a bell. 

Whilst Steve maintained his assault on the north face of the remaining mound of seafood the others had finished and were quaffing coffees to pass the time. Steve put his knife and fork down with a satisfied grunt. There wasn’t even space for a “wafer thin mint”. The manager rushed out to clear away the plate and asked again if Steve had enjoyed it. Steve said, “yes.”

The tinkling in his head got a little bit louder. When their table was the only table that was presented with vintage cognac on the house to finish off with the tinkling became loud clanging. 

A few moments later when La quenta appeared it sounded like the warning of a nuclear holocaust in all their heads. The bill for a light snack, a drink each and coffees all round for four came to  a bit over 25000 pts or £100 in real money. 

Every one looked at the bill, then at Steve. His salad had cost £85. The menu was called for so that they could check the price. When they looked closely at the menu they could see a little asterisk beside the 2000 pts. At the bottom of the menu it said *per 50g.

The next thought was that the meal would never be cleared on their expenses. It was, as it had been a genuine mistake, although it did take a bit of explaining.

Eddie is a true Cockney with a jolly laugh, and never short of a long tale of how good life was at TVam.


Steve all misty eyed.             Eddie working?

I for one will miss both of them even although I only work with them occasionally.

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