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

Snow Joke

Thursday 25th February (Afternoon)

I was thrashing my way up to Aberdeen expecting to be confronted by the dreadful snow that had been forecast.

Schools were closed, roads were closed and thousands of homes were without power.

It never came. Instead heavy rain lashed down and blinding spray was kicked up by big trucks as I overtook them.

Where's the Snow?

I arrived at a dreich Aberdeen airport at around the same time as Richard's flight from Heathrow landed.

The snow appeared to be a little bit further west so we set off to find it.

Rather than taking the direct route to where we were confident the white stuff was making it’s presence felt I lead us on the less used roads in the hope that we might come across some interesting sights.

The rain continued falling heavily but as we drove it slowly changed into grey mushy sleet. A few miles on and up it carried on its metamorphosis into big white flakes gently wafting down thickening the layers that had already overstayed their welcome since December.

Ah! Here it is!

The narrow roads began to get a bit more difficult to drive on. We were on the verge of having to turn back as neither of our vehicles were four wheel drive when the shots I was hoping for appeared.

A house cocooned in snow with almost a tunnel leading to the door, a big round thermometer hanging on a bracket beside it and kids gazing out of icy windows.

We slid our cars to a halt. I got some pretty shots. Richard did an interview with the chap from the house.

At Least it Looks Pretty.

I was putting the gear back into the car when I saw two chaps with big wooden things on their shoulders.

“They look like feeding troughs.”, I thought.

I pulled the camera back out of the case.

The guys were kind enough to let me film them as they fed a flock of sheep that hurried down a ploughed lane made in the snow to devour the pellets of food poured into the troughs.

We had the basis for a nice short little report showing how the snow could cause disruption but could also be very pretty.

We managed to negotiate our two wheel drive cars to Ballater, the village nearest to Balmoral.

It looked like the perfect Christmas card image.

The houses and church were covered in thick snow looking more like perfectly iced cakes than real buildings.

Life was pretty much going on as normal because the roads and streets had been well cleared by the large and small snow ploughs that patrolled up and down.

I got the camera out to do a few more pretty shots when Richard got very excited.

A car had pulled up and two people were getting out in full highland dress.

They were obviously part of a pipe band.

Their heavy kilts and large dangling sporrans looked fantastic against the white snow.

Richard was rather taken by the whole thing of folk wandering the streets in kilts. So we did a quick interview with them as well as a few shots.

Pity one of them had to admit to not wearing it in the traditional manner. He was wearing a pair ot cycling shorts.

The report was getting better.

Richard got the final shot using his camera as I drove my car up the drive of the hotel.

The drive of the Craigendarroch hotel was only just a car width with the sides walls of snow almost the height of the car.

There was a layer of snow still on the ground which made it a bit of a difficult drive.

The wheels of my Ford Galaxy fighting to get traction as I slowly slithered up the sloping drive gave Richard the opening shot of the report.

Job done, well almost.

The top car park of the hotel was now virtually inaccessible. there was one car, a red Alfa Romeo that had its roof just visible through the snow.

I did a shot of that and we did a little interview with the hotel manager as the light faded.

Now, job done.

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