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.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Cumbria Floods Day 4

Tuesday 24th November

Our live broadcasts this morning were to be beside a collapsed bridge that was pretty much in the dark. So GMTV called in the big lights. They hired lights and a generator from Arri to help us see the bridge. 

Neil and his truck arrived during the night.

The Lighting Truck in the Hotel Car Park.

We had a mini convoy as we wended our way to the north side of Workington to our location at the bridge with our lighting truck.

The rain was starting to agree with the forecasters as it began its relentless downpour.

That was handy because my windscreen wipers started playing up.

Added to my wiper problem the day was not shaping up well because with about forty five minutes to go to transmission the satellite truck was on the wrong side of the closed bridge.

It was now a good thirty five minutes drive away from us.

Neil the lighting man was busy getting as much cable as he had on the truck out to allow us to the lights as close the the downed footbridge as possible so that it would be lit as well as it possibly could be.

The Convoy Parked Up (including the tardy sat' truck).

We did not stress too much about getting set up because the truck would not get to us in time any way.

Suddenly, with enough time left to st up to make the six o’clock bulletin Steve arrived with the truck. 

I think the warp drive must have been working wonders.

Very quickly we dragged the long runs of cable out to the edge of the river.

Neil had the bridge lit. Pete had his waterproof lights set up. I had all the cables connected. Richard was all mic’d up with talkback working.

The opening titles were playing on our ears. We were ready.

The programme didn’t take us.

The local minister Reverend Ian Granger, who was going to be our live guest was a bit shell shocked at all the running around we were doing.

He was even more flabbergasted when we all rushed down to set up when we got a panic standby from the Technical Director in London because it was looking very likely that a guest in Millbank was not going to turn up.

We were ready to go when at the last second the guest turned up.

The Lights as Close as Possible to the Bridge.

Bit wet pete?......... too Richard?

The Gap that Now Divides the Community.

Half an hour later we did manage to get on air with the reverend and a lady with her son.

Richard did his introduction. I zoomed in on the doomed bridge. Richard talked to the lady. He was just starting to talk to Ian when we heard the news reader say that they had lost our signal.

We all looked at each other quizzically. I immediately asked Steve in the truck what had happened.

Technology again was up to its evil tricks. The system for sending the signal to the satellite is an automated one and it had decided that it needed to rearrange things. So right in the middle of our live transmission it temporarily cut the signal to do a little internal reorganisation and then put it back up again.

Soggy Steve gets the Cable Stowed.

We were wet, cold and not very happy with how things were going on this mornings job. Surly there wasn’t much more the gremlins could throw at us.

At least they kept their ammo dry during our last broadcast at eight o’clock.

They kept it dry so that they could single me out for target practice.

I had to nurse my car back to the hotel through the heavy rain with wipers that had now just given up altogether.

The Static Wipers.

No comments:

Post a Comment