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.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Fog 'n Technology. Don't You Just Love It?

Wednesday 24th June.

I was up at sparrow fart again. This time not for a live broadcast, but to embark on the long drive from Edinburgh to Hull.

In the summer mornings it can be a delight to drive in the early morning light when the roads are quiet and there’s the chance of catching a glimpse of the odd wild haggis cavorting in the heather or perhaps a badger wandering home after a night out in the hills.

There was no chance this morning. The good old east coast sea harr was at its best. Almost until Newcastle all I could see was a small patch of moving tarmac just in front of the car.

All the rest was an impenetrable grey shroud.

The Foggy Quiet A1

From Newcastle the journey was in pleasant sunshine.

Here Comes The Sun.

All I had to contend with were a few stretches of roadworks.

More Cones Coming Up!

I met Miranda at her hotel and we went off to film a story about the Hull floods two years on.

Some of the people made homeless by the rising water are still not back in to their houses.

Firstly we saw a very nice couple, Jan and Dave they are living in a tiny caravan on land at the back of their house.

The house is still very much a building site with the floors not yet laid and plaster off the walls.

I filmed Jan talking to Miranda in the house. She gave us some good sound bites, at on stage she got a little emotional.

We all squeezed into the little caravan and did another little chat.

Dave had said that he was kind of OK with being on camera but on no account was he going to speak. So, I did not mic him up.

I had used a radio mic on Jan in the house so I left it on for the interview in the caravan.

I should have known it. A little way into the conversation Dave started to chip in. 

I did not want to stop anything because not only would it break the flow but Dave might clam up. 

I was fairly confident that the radio mic would pick his voice up albeit not perfectly. I also had the back up of the camera mic which was pointing straight at him not too far away.

There was very little ambient noise so if it was needed his sound should be ok.

We then went to another flood victims house. Marlene and her family were in a much larger caravan in the back garden of their house.

The house was almost finished after a few escapades with dodgy builders and other so called skilled tradesmen.

When I drove up the their place I saw the familiar sight of a Sky satellite van.

They were just finishing doing some shots inside the house.

We had a very quick exchange of pleasantries. They left and we did our stuff.

It was early evening by the time we got to the hotel. 

I recorded Miranda’s voice track.

All that needed to be done was, to send the tape to be fed to GMTV to YTV in Leeds and e-mail some of Marlene’s photographs of the flooding to the News Editor.

The tape would go by taxi and the photos over the GMTV internet. 



There was the issue of paying for the taxi. It took a bit of gentle persuasion to get the taxi bill put on to Miranda’s room bill. Neither of us has the £70 in cash to pay for the taxi.

That was sorted.

I retired to my room to quickly send the photo’s from the disk Miriam gave us.

I fired up my trusty mac and shoved in the disk. Up popped all the photo’s as expected. So far so good.

I had been given the password for the wireless network in the hotel. So far so good.

I searched for and found the network. So far so good.

I tried a few of times to connect but failed the signal was not very good. So far not so good.

Rather than muck about wandering around the hotel looking for a better signal I connected up my own Broadband dongle and got connected to the internet. So far back at so good.

I was getting a little tired after the early start, long drive and days work.

I clicked on to the GMTV e-mail system. It asked me for my password. 

“That’s unusual.” I thought.

My mac is set up not to need the details repeatedly put in.

I typed the password.

The computer said it didn’t recognise it. So far, once again not so good.

I made several more attempts, closed and reopened the browser, but it would not let me in.

I called IT at GMTV.

We tried for ages doing various things like resetting the password, changing browsers and re-inputting the user name and password. 

It made no difference. I was still locked out.

I gave up and said that I would try doing it with my personal e-mail account.

This time it worked and the photos arrived at their destination. 

So far the extra little things that should have taken a few easy minutes to sort ended up taking nearly an hour and a half of unwanted stress.

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