Tuesday 26th January
The four of us on the “glamourous” assignment to South Africa to do some filmed reports and live broadcasts in the run up to the World Cup later in the year, tossed and turned, watched bits of films as we tried to sleep and found strange body positions to maybe induce some form of unconsciousness.
Feeling like we had just finished a hard night shift Michelle and Stuart the producers, Nigel the sound recordist and I arrived in Johannesburg airport in the morning after a long flight from London.
The arrival paper work was done easily. They are obviously gearing up for the influx of hundreds of TV crews that are about to descend on South Africa from now until the World Cup comes to and end in July.
Philimore our Jo’burg driver met us and the boxes of kit were loaded on to his Combi.
We had a couple of hours to unpack and get our gear together and have a little bite to eat before hitting the road and doing some work.
Michelle and Nigel went off with Frank a local cameraman who had done a lot of work for GMTV in the past to do some shooting.
Stuart and I got back into Philmore’s combi and went to Soccer City to shoot general views of the country’s main stadium.
We were meeting Clifford, an official from the World Cup at the site.
There was a bit of confusion about which entrance and which building we were to meet at. We drove to one gate to be told to go another.
When we got to that one we were told to go back to the one that we had come from.
So we went to another different building and spoke to the people there. They directed us back to both the places we’d just been to.
After a few confusing phone calls we did meet up after having to wait for a rather heavy rain shower to pass by.
The mix up in the meeting place had been a slight blessing because had we met at the correct time we would have been in the middle of shooting when the rain came.
Instead we sheltered in the combi watching a DVD of a concert given by Ringo, one of South Africa’s stars.
When the heavy grey skies passed over to be replaced by broken clouds and the occasional flash of blue sky we went to work.
The Stadium that will host the first game where South Africa play Mexico and the final is an impressive sight.
It is supposed to look like a huge cooking pot with flames licking up the sides and bubbling liquid coming out the top.
It does indeed look like that but, I think it is a bit like the Star ship Enterprise as seen in the movies with it’s vast curved surface and hundreds of rectangular windows.
Stuart and I were guided around the outside and inside of this huge stadium filled with orange seats once we had donned the now obligatory hi viz vests and hard hats.
I shot loads and loads of tape, not just for the reports but also for the library and future use.
It was a pity that the sly was not a bit bluer and the sun shining because I am sure the building would sparkle.
We finished at the same time as the building workers.
In droves they climbed into and onto all sorts of vehicles to head to their homes in the townships.
We went back to the hotel looking forward to a good dinner followed by a good nights sleep in a bed and not an uncomfortable economy seat on an aircraft.