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.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Traffic Jam Jamaican Style

Tuesday 7th April 

Mr Motivator’s multicolour mansion is 2000 ft up in the Jamaican hills not far from Ocho Rios. The road up to it twists and turns threading it’s way through thick forests of verdant green trees with big tropical leaves. Little shacks and houses pop out to prevent you from thinking you’d driven into Jurassic Park. Some of which I believe was filmed on the island. 

Mr Motivator's Place

As we approached one of the many many hairpin bends the car approaching us  on the other side of the road was flashing it’s lights frantically. When we got level the driver stuck his head out telling Derrick our driver that there was a trailer stuck and we would not be able to go any further. We eased forward a bit until there were a few stopped cars in front of us. I got out to have a look. I walked up passed the static cars and round the bend to see at the next bend a huge articulated lorry with a massive container on it trying to negotiate a very very tight bend. The thing was stuck. It looked like an almost impossible job to get the thing to go either forwards or backwards. There was a group of expert drivers giving their opinions to the truck driver as how best to extricate the vehicle from it’s predicament. The famous “no problem”, “yeah mon” relaxed Jamaican attitude had melted in the morning sun and heat from the big diesel engine as the driver revved it to get the cab in a position to move the trailer. There were loud heated exchanges from the self appointed HGV gurus as they yelled instructions at the cab. As soon as it appeared there was the tiniest of gaps between the lorry and the trees a car would try and squeeze past accompanied by much shouting and honking of horns. In our bus Michelle the Producer and Michael our Jamaican Tourist board man were making calls to find out what alternate routes we could take. The options were limited. We gave ourselves a limit of fifteen minutes before Derrick would have to try and turn out bus around and take the very long way round. The impromptu entertainment ahead of us continued. It did look as if there was a chance we could get the bus through. A short time later there was a gap wide enough for us. The crowd started to wave and yell at us. Derrick steered the bus round the bend passed the blockage. We gave him a round of applause.

Big truck with nowhere to go.

Up in the Lycra Man’s estate we recorded some workouts and various pieces with the Oliver family, Dr Hilary and Amanda. Also this was the opportunity to introduce Mr Motivator’s own family, his lovely wife Palmer and their smiling but slightly shy daughter Abigail.

On the estate Mr M has a few zip lines, a rather large swing called “The Screamer”, a quad bike circuit and paintball areas.

The other day I had been down the zip line with a camera to do a point of view shot. This morning it was Dr Hilary’s turn to have a go for the purposes of recording a piece to camera. Michelle the Producer took a few moments off while I attached a “Mote’s Beach Club” banner to a tree to throw herself down one of the zip lines. 

The subject of Amanda’s dietary talk this morning was fish. We had some fish on the barbecue to illustrate  things. These fine little specimens had come from the fish port we filmed at yesterday. The hotel had kept them in their fridge overnight. However, the bus journey back to the hotel and this morning’s trip up the hill had given them time to make their tiny presence felt. It would not have been a good idea to eat them. Thankfully the fish that we had for lunch along with some tasty Jerk Chicken was all fresh and skilfully barbecued by Mr M’s chef.

Our schedule for the afternoon was to film some material at a market in Brown’s Town not too far from H’evans Scent.

It was not very busy but there was enough fruit there for Amanda to be able to illustrate the points she wanted to make about the colour of fruit and how to mix them up in your diet. Even in a place with all the good things to eat we could not get away from the sweet smell wafting past us as many of the men smoked things that were wrapped in cigarette paper the size of A4 sheets.

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