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, 14 October 2009

Everyone's A Winner!

Wednesday 14th October

The dark mornings were taking hold when I joined the stream of  red tail lights heading over the Forth Road Bridge into Fife.

It was going to be a busy couple of days travelling. Fife, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Chester Le Street near Newcastle, on to Bridlington and then back north would be our schedule.

First stop,Kirkcaldy was home to one of the winners of a GMTV competition. A tall soft spoken retired engineer called Robert had won a holiday to Nice and spending money.

I arrived with the kit hired for the job. It was just a wide angle lens and monitor.

I stuck the lens on and set it up. Fine.

I went to switch on the little wireless monitor after I had set it up. Not Fine.

The thing had come out with a flat battery. There was only one spare and no charger.

Lets hope it lasts for the length of the shoot.

Ian the sound recordist and I met Charlotte the producer and Kim the researcher.

We trooped into the nice reasonable sized detached house.

I set up my lights and we recorded an interview in the dinning room. I shot it from a few different angles to allow Charlotte to edit it in an interesting way.

Out in the garden I shot Robert holding a GMTV cheque for £250000, the prize for the competition he would introduce.

Job done. 

We jumped in the cars and set course back the way I had come, to Edinburgh.

Robert and The Cheque.

In a small cul de sac off a street not far from Edinburgh’s port of Leith we saw Anne a small grey haired lady who had, like Robert won a holiday and spending money.

She gave us a friendly welcome and put up with Charlotte asking the same questions several times so that I could shoot the interview from different angles.

I also filmed her in her garden with the huge cheque. 

While we were doing it I had the erie feeling of having someone or something’s eyes on me.

My instincts were not wrong. Her big black cat was taking an intense interest in what was going on and ready to pounce should we step out of line. 

Having satisfied the feline sentinel we went back indoors where Anne extended the already warm welcome by producing scones and cakes.

Good Old Scottish Hospitality


 The Cat Keeps its Eye on us.

We left for Glasgow and lunch not feeling all that hungry.

However, when we got there a little early for the next shoot we did manage a small sandwich.

Our next visit was to another winner of a holiday. Lorraine had won a holiday for six to Crete.

Matthew her husband met us at the door and invited us in. 

Lorraine was in the lounge nervously waiting for us looking very cute, bubbly and a little bit pregnant.

But, beside her, stealing the show for cheeky cuteness was their daughter Caitlin.

She was straight from central casting, a pretty girl all sugar and spice, complete with blonde ringlets and a mischievous smile hidden behind lots of shy glances.

We set up in the lounge and did most of the filming in there. Lorraine although nervous was great. She gave lots of good answers and was very natural.

We then did the thing in the garden with the cheque.

Job done.

Lorraine, Matthew and Cutie Caitlin.

The Star of the Show!

All that was left to do was schlep down to our hotel in Chester Le Street.

Over dinner I told my Micha Barton story and Ian recounted his Sean Connery story. In my view the best TV anecdote ever. 

Sadly neither are for public consumption for fear of litigation although both and others are oh so true.

Perhaps if you want to hire Ian as an after dinner speaker at a private function for many pounds I am sure you could hear that and many other funny stories from his life around the rich and famous.

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