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, 18 June 2009

Keep Her Steady M'Hearties!

Thursday 18th June

Santorini and the surrounding hills look really spectacular from the ship’s position.

What A View!

The massive beast is too big to get into port today. In fact even the pretty small ships have to stay out at sea.

Getting ashore is by means of a tender boat.

This ship stays in position by using its thrusters to keep it as steady as possible.

Deanne Chats to Mr M. and Simon.

This ship stays in position by using its thrusters to keep it as steady as possible.

Still, with a couple of hours to go before transmission things looked difficult because it was windy enough to make even this huge lady move about slightly.

This worried us. The satellite dish fires a narrow beam up to the satellite. 

That beam only needs to move a matter of a few degrees to miss the transponder on the satellite. 

We got ready for the first shot tease. Things were looking not too bad. The ship had settled down a bit and Ian was not having to make much delicate correction to keep the signal.

The first tease went well technically, visually and had the content correct.

Deanne said that she had never been as nervous before in her life because she was having to take the cue from the presenters in the studio.

It was at times difficult to hear in our earpieces because the wind noise can sometimes blot a lot of the sound out. It was pretty gusty.

However, she did well and showed lots of energy.  

The pace was made a little slower today to allow for more instructional points to come through.

Things were still looking not too bad when it acme to the start of the first main broadcast.

Deanne was really nervous because she had never had to take a cue over talkback on live TV before.

She took the cue and did her bit with great enthusiasm.

Once the little “Bingo Wings” workout was done she handed over to Mr Motivator on the deck below.

He had just started his workout with the crowd when I heard the voices of the presenters in London. The wind and sea had done their stuff and the signal was gone.

There were still a few planned live bits to do but the satellite dish could not be relied upon to stay locked on the the satellite despite Ian’s skilful efforts.

If we did not do something to get the material back there would be a black hole in Lorraine Kelly’s part of the programme.

What we decided to do was to record the items locally and send them back.

If the signal dropped out, which it did, several times the material could be resent and edited together in GMTV.

There was a lot of time pressure on us now because time had to be allowed not only for the material to be sent and turned round to transmit, but for the then inevitable breaks in the signal.

We got things organised as quickly as we could.

Today had been a real taste of live TV and the things that can go wrong. Not really what you need when it is one of your first times.

Deanne did a good job quickly getting to grips with the changing scripts and having to look at ease.

We all heaved a communal sigh of relief when we knew that all the stuff arrived in time and it was OK.

Simon Tries to Send the Material to London. 

A Gentle Touch is Needed by Ian.

Concentration is Everything.

Time for a very quick snack before going ashore to shoot in Santorini. 

Going ashore on the tender was much easier than yesterday getting on and off the Pilot boat.

Bye Bye For Now.

At the quayside we met Lynne our guide and boarded another bus.

This time it was more of the sort of size we needed and a lovely colour.

All Aboard A Bus...Again!

On the twisty drive up to where we were going to shoot Rachel suddenly started searching frantically in her bag. Sharon joined in.

Lynne in full guide talk flow stopped and asked what the problem was.

Rachel had left her phone on the tender.

Lynne made a few hurried phone calls to get the crew to have a look for it.

Some time later Lynne's phone rang at about the same time that Rachel rather sheepishly said, “I’ve found it.”.

The phone call was from the ship to say that they hadn’t!

Rachel's Found It!!!

Mr Motivator Keeps the Two Simons in Line.

Santorini is a stunning place.

I shot Mr Motivator and Deanne showing some examples of exercises that can easily be done at home.

I was very pleased with the shots. I just hope that they run in the programme tomorrow.

It's Just Breathtaking!

"Steady Simon!"

Mr M. Collects the Photographic Evidence.

Lynne Gives Mr M. the Low Down on the Highlights of Santorini.

Mote Shoots His Boat!

There are times when it is handy being a TV crew.

The way back down to the quayside was via the cable car.

There was a huge queue od people waiting to get back to the various ships out in the Lagoon.

With over 3000 onboard ours, a large proportion of them ashore and at least three other fairly big ships with passengers ashore, it was going to be a lengthy wait.

Lynne had a chat with the cable car people and we got permission to queue jump.

The Start of a Very Long Queue. (and one philosophical passenger as we pass)

No Queues for VIPs.

A Cooling Drink as Sharon and Deanne Wait for the Tender.

This time we were back on board with almost all of the days work done by around five.

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