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, 5 May 2010

Bad Hair? Beach Body?

Tuesday 3rd May

Yesterday in the late afternoon my days holiday came to an abrupt end when the calls started coming from GMTV.

The Ash Cloud from the unpronounceable volcano in Iceland was once again drifting towards Irish and Scottish airspace.

It looked as if there would be more airport closures.

I would be doing live broadcasts with Elaine Wilcox somewhere, probably one of the threatened airports. That would be if there was a satellite truck available.

Paul the programme organiser was busy trying to get one organised.

So, on a grey cloudy overcast, how appropriate, morning the pair of us ended up on the roof of the STV office in George Street Edinburgh with once again the beautiful castle as the backdrop, because even throwing lots of money at various satellite truck companies GMTV could not persuade them to provide us with a truck.

Consequently Alex the STV studio engineer had come in to the office to make sure that everything worked technically, which it did, became the beneficiary of GMTV’s financial largess.

Elaine Wilcox at The STV Rooftop Camera Position.

The story was fairly straightforward for Elaine and the shot was very straightforward from my point of view.

Windswept? Maybe Slightly?

It might not have been the best of weather but it was not too wet, cold or windy, which makes the morning on the roof bearable.

Elaine did here first broadcast with no hiccups and looked pretty good as far as I could see.

Phil the output editor thought that the content and delivery was fine but her hair looked a bit wind blown.

Coiffeur Consultation?

It was slightly breezy and Elaine decided to tie it back.

One of the things that I do not generally carry in my little run bag of essential bits and pieces are hair bobbles.

There then began a hair tie up accessory hunt.

Alex won the prize for finding the treasure even if it was only a rubber band.

So now with the mildly unruly hair taken care of we did the other broadcasts.

The Rubber Banded Look.

Our reports were quite close to the weather reports from Kirsty McCabe in the studio.

She must have been taking Icelandic language lessons because she reeled off the name of the volcano as if she used it all the time in everyday conversation.

Having said that who would know if she got it wrong.

Elaine went off back to her hotel to prepare to go to back south and I had to get the car to the garage to get the tyres sorted.

With my gear, well most of it squeezed into a Ford Mondeo Estate hire car I set off to collect producer Stuart from Edinburgh airport, if it was still open to do a bit of a pre-shoot for a fitness and diet thing GMTV would be doing in a few weeks.

I was glad that I was not in a rush.

It took me almost half an hour to work out the menu on the car radio to get the bluetooth activated with my phone so that I could use it handsfree.

Sometimes with no instruction manual, who reads them any way, only as a last resort, it is not exactly obvious how to navigate through layers of menus.

Stuart’s flight arrived safely. We entered Susan Boyle territory to see a lady called Michelle who was a bit larger than she wanted to be and was keen to join a bit of a boot camp to kick start her on losing a few excess pounds.

She lived just a few streets away from the Blackburn phenomenon.

All we needed to do was a bit of an interview with Michelle and some shots of her to be used in a short film to introduce her and the other participants in the weight loss programme.

Producer Stuart Chats to Michelle.

For once it did turn out to be lacking in drama and stress.

I set up simple lighting in her lounge and Stuart did the interview.

I then did a few shots around the house with the giggly blonde.

I even got Stuart back to the airport in time for him to have a coffee before his Easyjet jaunt to Luton.

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