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.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Where Are You Mr Alexander?

Friday 23rd April

It has reached that time of year when it is a privilege to be up and in a nice location as the day majestically takes over from the night.

Our location for the morning was the Mud Dock car park on the same side of the river as the Arnolfini centre.

The Still Water in the Predawn Light.

Bristol's House Boats.

The Sun Warms The Water.

There would be no problem with the sun as it would be in the right direction for us this time.

Along with correspondent Sue Jameson we would have three guests doing down the line interviews.

Sue Jameson Ready to Broadcast.

The main guest was to be Douglas Alexander the current Secretary of State for International Development.

He would be taking part on a three way debate with the Lib Dems Ed Davey and Tory William Hague at around 7:40. They would be in the studio in London beside John Stapleton who would be asking the questions.

Mary, our interviewee from last night was also doing a little live interview and arrived in style on her push bike.

Although understandably nervous she did her bit very well and after being disentangled from the talkback by Jason the sound recordist she pedalled off on her way to college.

The time for the scheduled debate was getting close but there was no sign of Mr Alexander.

Ravi was on the phone to his minder and was told that they were three minutes away.

Ravi Gets on the Phone.

It was going to be tight but should be fine as there was still more than five minutes to go.

The three minutes passed. There was still no sign of the Labour pair.

Ravi was anxiously on the phone. Sue had gone out to the edge of the road to lookout for them.

Ravi Makes Another Call Sue is by the Road.

On the phone Ravi was told they had arrived.

Well unless they were wearing invisibility cloaks we could not see them.

They had gone to the area on the opposite side of the river where we had done our broadcasts from yesterday.

Ravi was not best pleased because not only had he given the specific address of our location he had e-mailed a map.

There was a hurried discussion between Mark the editor in London and Ravi as to what to do.

By shifting things around Mark was able to postpone the start of the debate by another few minutes but only an absolute maximum of seven.

Ravi rushed off to the other side of the bridge to collect the duo.

I could hear John Stapleton link into the mini debate. He started to chat to William Hague.

Douglas and his minder appeared in the distance not appearing to be in much of a rush.

In some ways a smart move because if they were to run the diminutive Mr Alexander would be rather breathless as he tried to pick up in the debate.

Ravi was close behind intently speaking on the phone.

Ravi Hears That The Debate had Started.

No Hurry Chaps It's Only Half Way Through!

Very quickly Jason put the earpiece in Douglas’ ear. He stood up and looked to camera. Bill the technical director asked if he was happy to get straight into it.

The yes had only just been ejected from his mouth when John addressed a question to him.

He was off answering the question saying that Gordon Brown might not have won on presentation but had certainly won on substance.

None of the viewers would have been aware of the mini drama that had gone on a few seconds earlier.

When the interview was finished he muttered a thank you to Jason and I and then had a very brief chat with Ravi and Sue about the Tory manifesto.

The pair then toddled off.

There was not much more for us to do just a bit more with Sue and one more down the line guest, Colin Rallings the Professor of politics and renowned election analyst.

Once that was done we were on standby until the end of the programme.

Sue and Jason disappeared round the corner, reappearing a few moments later with very welcome breakfast paninnis and coffee.

Sue and Jason with the Vital Supplies!

A morning picnic in the sun before I began the long drive from sunny Bristol to overcast Edinburgh on roads plagued with road works and speed cameras.

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