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, 3 November 2009

Huntly Floods

Tuesday 3rd November

Bill with the STV North satellite truck had just arrived before me at Sycamore Place in Huntly.

The small pretty little town 40 miles north of Aberdeen had been flooded.

The small cul de sac was full of obvious signs of flood damage.

The tide mark around the houses was perfectly visible. On the house we were going to feature in the live broadcasts it came up about three feet.

Cars and caravans were parked in strange places at strange angles after being moved by the water.

Raymond the owner of the house came out to say hello as Marcella Whittingdale the Correspondent was pulling up in her car.

He showed us around the devastation that had been wrought in his house.

Ray pointing out the height that the water reached.

I never cease to be amazed at the household items that float. Fridges, freezers and I have even seen washing machines bobbing about in dirty cold flood water.

The water had all but gone leaving all the furniture strewn about the rooms and layer of dark mud.

Ray opened the cutlery drawer in the kitchen. It was full of water.

He was surprisingly upbeat about his situation. I suppose he had had a whole day for it to sink in.

The state of his Lounge.

I went out to sort out my kit. 

There was no sound recordist available so it was just me. I would give Marcella a hand held radio mic.

I had a chat with Bill and he would ride the sound levels in the truck.

We would start outside showing the damage in the drive and garden. Inside Marcella would speak to Ray and I could show the horrible mess left by the stinking filthy water.

I put a light up outside and used the light on top of my camera.

We did two broadcasts at 6:10 and 6:30.

On the first one there was a slight problem hearing Ray because Marcella had not put the mic close enough to Ray but it was fine on the second broadcast.

There was then a bit of a wait to do some live shots into the weather and another live report.

The irony of the morning was that we were doing a flood story but we were the only ones in the dry. All the other crews out on lives were huddled under brollies or getting soaked with heavy rain.

Our waiting was in vain. The birth of Kai, Wayne and Colleen Rooney's baby was deemed more important than the plight of the flood victims in the north of Scotland.

So we did no more broadcasts. Time to go get breakfast and head on the long journey south.

The STV North Truck.

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