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.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Murray Burgers, Banners and a Babe for Mr Arnold.

Friday 3rd July

It was going to be a busy day in Dunblane.

Nick had done a huge amount of work to drum up quite a few locals to pitch up and be with us in the wee hours.

One of the local butchers even set up a barbecue on the street serving up free Murray burgers.

Richard and The Babe!

It was going to a bit manic if there were on problems. I had suggested two paths on the satellite which would allow us to have two cameras.

One I would operate and another somewhere up high for a wide shot.

I had and idea where it would go. There was a nice handy bit of safe scaffolding I could rig it.

The mini HD rigged for the Wide Shot (a liberal use of gaffer tape to secure it).

I also set up my little Flip camera to record a time lapse shot of our morning.

See it at the bottom of the page.

There was one thing I was looking forwards to. It was the ideal location to use a radio camera because there would be a lot of people milling about and we were working on a main road.

So no cables for Colin the Soundie and I to have to deal with.

Paul, the satellite engineer started to get the dish up. 

I clambered up the scaffolding and rigged the wide shot camera.

Colin had his kit all ready to go.

That was the end of the easy stuff.

Paul pulled out the radio camera unit that was going to fit on the back of my  camera.

Then the stress started.

The fitting was the wrong one.

There are two types of connections in common use in television for kit like this, Anton Bauer and PAG.

They are not interchangeable.

The radio cam kit was PAG. My camera is Anton Bauer.

So cables it was to be.

We dragged the additional cable out and attached the camera and sound mixer.

It was getting very near to our first transmission time. We should have been hearing the programme sound on our talkback but all we could hear was a loop from ITN.

Then it all went silent. 

Paul was stumped. All his kit was set up and working correctly.

He checked and double checked.

There were frantic calls to try and find the problem. 

It was not easy because between SIS the satellite control centre, ITN control and GMTV there was a problem and no one quite knew where.

The first transmission time came and rather frustratingly went without us getting on air.

There was then a little bit of time before our next broadcast.

Suddenly our earpieces burst into the sound of the programme.

That stress was over.

Paul Double Checks... Again!

Colin Deals with that Cable.

Nick Making Sure We've got People Coming Down.

Nick had given Richard a thorough briefing on the people he could talk to.

There were lots of people who knew Andy and Jamie. Some had little stories, others had good luck messages and one old classmate had already caused a bit of a stir at Wimbledon. She slso just happened to be the current Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown.

Richard Makes Small Talk with Katharine.

Burgers in the Foreground.

Time for a Snack.

After the initial fun stress the rest of things went off well.

One of the best things was when we heard that the BBC were broadcasting from the tennis courts but they had nobody there apart from the presenter and one solitary guest. 

A little flat whereas our broadcasts were full of atmosphere.

As soon as we came off air both Richard and Nick dashed off to catch flights back to London.

Fingers crossed Andy does it!

GMTV Takes Over Dunlane High Street.

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