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, 10 March 2010

The Matrix causes chaos.

Thursday 25th February (Morning)

Marcella Whitingdale and I were set up on the dark foggy roof of STV's Edinburgh studio.

The Castle Shrouded in Fog.

The rain, cold and wet dripped off my hood on to my nose and ran down it forming a big cold blob before it joined the other big droplets splashing on the already soaked paving.

It assaulted Marcella's face looking like tears rolling down her cheeks.

"This GMTV clean feed six for Edinburgh. Poooooo"

"This GMTV clean feed six for Edinburgh. Poooooo"

The Technical Director's voice and tone repeated loud in our ears.

It was the ident loop that played before the programme started.

I could also hear the PA in my other ear, "on air in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1".

Then in that ear I heard the sound of the title music come from the speakers in the gallery but suddenly the other ear was silent.

Marcella looked at me slightly puzzled. She was expecting to hear the programme when the loop disappeared.

Over the speakers in the gallery I heard one of the other correspondents say that she could

not hear the programme.

I spoke to Doug the technical director to let him know that we could not hear the programme either but that I could hear Erron the Director.

They were due to come to us in less than a minute.

I told Marcella that I would give her the cue and her count out of the report that she was Linking into.

News reader Helen was reading the lead words introducing Marcella.

When she finished and Erron said, "Cue Marcella!".

I waved my hand and Marcella started to talk about the death of two climbers, their lives claimed by an avalanche.

She linked into a report about the dreadful weather that Scotland was having.

Erron and Jo, the PA gave me the timing of the report which I relayed to Marcella.

When the piece of tape finished I cued her and she finished of the live broadcast talking about the road conditions.

There had been a major problem with the programme sound going out to all the many outside broadcasts.

The sound matrix had failed.

Doug got on the case and came up with a solution which got the programme sound back but neither he nor Erron could talk to the various reporters and guests out and about.

We were prepared to do another couple of broadcasts but a combination of the talkback, the darkness and more important stories meant we were not used until our final one at eight o'clock.

I said goodbye to Marcella and no sooner had I done that than the call came for me to head north to Aberdeen to meet chief correspondent Richard Gaisford to continue with the story of the weather.

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