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.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Why so quiet?

Monday 26th April

I was on the roof of the STV office in Edinburgh again.

The usual shot with the castle in the background.

The usual sound set up.

All very relaxed and easy.

Well that was until a few seconds until Richard’s first broadcast.

Richard was all cabled up with a microphone and talkback.

I was all cabled up with talkback.

When the programme went on air I heard the title music clearly in my left ear.

My stress levels jumped when Richard said that he was having greadt difficulty in hearing anything through his earpiece.

We were just about to go on air for our first broadcast.

Quickly l swapped the talkback cables over giving Richard the benefit of mine, which I knew was working perfectly.

He still said that he could not hear very well even when he twiddled the little knob on the box the earpiece cable came out of.

I did not have time to check anything else. The presenter in the studio was on the link to him.

I told him that I would give him a visual cue if he did not pick up the audible one.

A few seconds later he launched into his report and linked onto a clip of Nick Clegg that I had shot last night.

I could not understand why Richard was unable to hear clearly.

After the broadcast all became clear when I went to check the earpiece.

There is a little round transducer that produces the sound at the end of a cable clipped to the presenter. Attached to this is a thin flexible bit of curly tube which goes into a moulded piece of plastic that fits right in the ear.

I pulled the tubing off the transducer. The sound of the programme blasted out of the little disk.

I asked Richard to check the bit in his ear.

When he took it out it almost came away in two parts. There was a huge cut in the tubing.

Mystery solved.

My stress levels sank back to normal when I gave Richard another tube from the talkback kit and he could hear the programme.

All the other broadcasts went off with no mishap.

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