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.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Talkbacks Gone! Cue Deanne!

Monday 22nd June

The Bikini Diet broadcasts from on board the Ruby Princess had proved so successful that GMTV asked Deanne to so some more broadcasts all this week.

The first would be “Banishing Bingo Wings” with Bikini Dieter Julia,  broadcasting from her school near Doncaster.

So, late afternoon Sunday I battered down the A1 to meet up with Deanne and Christina at a shinny new Best Western hotel on the outskirts of the town.

Getting there was relatively easy. Well I should say getting to within a mile was very easy.

The last mile took nearly half an hour. That’s not fun after over four hours in the driving seat.

Both the Sat’ Nav’s I use wanted me to go over a bridge that would practically bring me out at the hotel front door.

The bridge was there but it was one way only. 

That one way was of course the opposite way from the way I wanted to go.

I drove around in the direction that I hoped would get me to the other side of the river that went under the bridge.

The bloody stupid Sat’ Nav’s did not realise what I was trying to do and kept wanting me to turn round or go another route all of which ended up in crossing the bridge.

Obviously I did get there in the end but my sense of humour was fading fast.

However the smiling faces of Deanne and bubbly Christina the Producer got me back on track.

They had arrived much earlier than I did and over dinner spent time chatting about the next days broadcasts and making girlie talk.

After a brief chat and we all went off to our beds for a few hours sleep. It was almost 11pm and we needed to leave the hotel at 5:30am.


Five hours or so of sleep later we left the hotel.

It was a short drive to the brand new Mexborough School where Julia works.

We were well impressed with the place. 

Tiffany, the Deputy Head guided us to the room we were going to use. It was the Dance Studio. The mirrored room would not have looked out of place in a high end fitness club.

The school’s Fitness Suite was full of the type of Cardio machines that also grace good gyms.

No wonder Tiffany was proud of her place of work.

Handy Big Mirror.

Mick, the Satellite Engineer pulled in the cable. Pete the Sound Recordist got out his toys and we got set up.

Thirty pupils in smart school uniforms were ushered into the room in time for us to do a bit of a rehearsal with them.

Although, what’s with the ties tied loosely with big knots half way down their chests?

They were typical teenagers. The boys were a bit shy and embarrassed and the girls were giggly and embarrassed but had clearly spent ages getting ready.

A lot of time and care had been spent on a lot of make up.

Girls Being Girls.

Pete Fits on Deanne's Headset Mic.

Pete and His Toys.

We did a live shot of them working out with Deanne which was nice and easy.

We were set up ready to do live for the first main hit. 

There was less than a minute to go.

Deanne suddenly could not hear the programme over her talkback.

Pete dashed over to see what the problem was.

The problem appeared to be a cable fault.

There was no time to change it.

Deanne would have to take a cue from me and Christina.

I heard Ben linking to us. Thankfully he kept to the script.

I dropped my hand and Deanne started to talk.

Phew! She’d done it perfectly.

After the broadcast, which went well I said well done to both Deanne for picking up the cue and Julia for dealing with having an earpiece in her ear.

On the second broadcast when Deanne was demonstrating tricep dips on a chair with Julia, Julia’s radio mic pack fell off.

I saw it and when the time came to move over to do the main workout with the kids I tried to frame Julia out to allow her to get it clipped back on.

That broadcast went well even with Julia laying a radio mic as she dipped on the chair.

Go For It Guys.

Deanne Always Does.

After we were off air we recorded some bits and pieces with the kids and other members of staff that can be used either on air during the coming week or on the GMTV website.

The kids produced their phones and got lots of photo’s taken with Deanne.

It had been a good mornings work finished of with a hearty breakfast.

Tesco's? The Contract was Breakfast at Tiffany's!

I then headed north as fast as legally possible to meet my son Murray coming back from his school Cuba.

Schools with gyms the envy of the best health clubs and school trips to exciting places.

In my day a school trip was an outing to the zoo to see the same animals you’d seen non the previous three years of school trips.

The gym was one hall that was also the theatre, dinning room with climbing bars on the wall that you weren’t allowed to climb on.

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