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, 9 October 2009

Forgotten Anything?

Sunday 4th October

On my right the red glow on the horizon eased into a dark blue. The sun was edging upwards.  On the left  the still full moon was brightly playing peekaboo behind the Pentland hills.

It was early but beautiful. I was enjoying the drive south to Manchester for the Conservative party conference.

I had given myself plenty of time to have an easy journey.

That was until a horrible vision began to fade into my mind.

My bag with vital conference pass in it was obediently sitting in the hall at home.

I did something Maggie never did not because I wanted to but because I had to.

My extremely understanding wife got into her car with the precious bag and we met up back towards my home.

My leisurely tootle down the road had become a race against time to get there on schedule.

I managed it without, as far as I am aware without triggering any cameras or suddenly seeing flashing blue lights appearing closer than they should in my rear view mirror.

I then found out from Ravi the producer that I would not be needed for a couple of hours.

I gathered myself and checking into the hotel I got a taxi to the conference venue.

I was through the airport style security complete with a frisking in very quick time.

That was because it was like a ghost town. Hardly any of the delegates or media types had arrived.

That made it a little difficult when we tried to get vox pops with delegates.

We wanted them to tell us what David Cameron needed to do or say in the coming week.

We also wanted opinions from women delegates about how Sam Cameron would compare with Mrs Brown in the supporting role.

Once they were in the can after a little while of wandering around I shot a couple of pieces to camera with Gloria de Piero the GMTV political correspondent.

In the main hall I was setting up my large TV camera on the tripod.

Ravi was standing next to me looking after my little stills camera by wearing it round his neck.

I was looking in the viewfinder to frame a shot of the work being done arranging the stage.

"I am sorry but you can't take any pictures in here."

I immediately lifted my head to see a girl talking to Ravi and pointing to my Nikon.

"Don't worry." Said Ravi "I'm not taking any still photographs. We're just doing stuff for breakfast telly."

"Oh. OK." She said and wandered off.

I was rather surprised that we were even allowed into the hall while it was still being set up.

I was even more surprised when a rehearsal of the opening address started.

It went off without a hitch and I recorded it.

Ravi thought it would be a good place to do another piece to camera with Gloria.

I got her mic'd up and we prepared to do a take.

Suddenly one of the chaps working on the stage ran across to us saying, "this is a closed hall I'm afraid you can't film."

I wasn't surprised by the order just at how long it was in coming and anyway I had lots of material on tape if it was needed.

In the end it did not make the final edit.

I am sure we'll find another way to upset the Tory party before the upcoming election is over.

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