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

Glasgow Airport Closes


Wednesday 5th May


The ash cloud was still giving the airlines and the CAA cause for concern.


The lack of a satellite truck was giving GMTV cause for concern.


It was not until late last night that it was decided that Elaine and I would not do live broadcasts from the Edinburgh rooftop position, but go through to Glasgow airport at silly o’clock to do a series of recorded pieces that would be sent down to GMTV to run in the news bulletins.


Although not live they would be done in the style of a live broadcast.


When I arrived at Glasgow airport terminal 1 Elaine was already there as were a small crowd of unhappy prospective travellers.


Travellers not Travelling.


Going Nowhere Fast.


Elaine was somewhat tired. She had the pleasure of a hotel bedroom that faced on to the High Street in Edinburgh opposite a couple of pubs well known for live music and a busy taxi rank.


As a result she had managed to get even less sleep than me.


We got straight down to work.


Whatever we shot would need to be short for two reasons. Firstly it needed not to take too long to send back to GMTV and then be easy to edit quickly to make it in time for the news bulletin.


Elaine Talks to the News desk at GMTV.


We did three short interviews with disgruntled passengers not moaning about the imminent closure of the airport but the lack of information they'd been given.


I filmed some general views of the activity in the check in area.


People were milling around not looking happy but there was no sign of great emotion.


Whilst I was doing that Elaine was trying to get her weary brain around her little piece to camera.


Through a fog of fatigue she got her words sorted and we recorded the piece to camera.


The tape was then handed to a taxi driver who took it into the Glasgow city centre to be sent to GMTV.


The airport was not due to close until 7 am so there was still a chance that some flights could get off before the airspace restrictions came into force.


On The Phone Again!


We were getting ready to film the next report. Elaine was on the phone when she discreetly indicated that behind me that there were some tears.


I turned round to see a couple chatting to an airline lady. The girl was wiping tears away from under her glasses.


Keeping my distance I rolled the camera.


For a few moments I filmed her.


When the conversation ended Elaine went up and had a quick chat with the pair.


I had the camera rolling.


They were a honeymoon couple who were hoping to fly off on a trip that they had postponed from a few months ago.


I f they did not get away today it would not happen at all because of the flight schedules to where they were going.


Great story.


Great pictures.


Great pity.


They were adamant that they did not want to be on TV.


To prevent the shots being used I rewound the tape so that I would record over them.


We went upstairs and had a quick coffee. Elaine was checking to see if there were any updates.


We saw the couple looking very happy heading towards a very quiet departure area.


The airline had pulled out all the stops for them and got them on the last flight that would leave before the shut down.


They were now happy to be on TV.


I rolled the camera and Elaine did a quick interview before they sprinted through to the gate.


My heart sank as they spoke through broad grins not even trying to conceal their pleasure and relief.


To my relief it was a very short chat.


They were disappearing through to security.


I checked to see how much of the emotional shots that I had recorded over.


Phew! I had shot enough for the interview not to have covered it all.


The producer back in London might be a bit confused with the order of events on the tape.


She’s first see a happy couple talking about how thankful and lucky they were followed by a close up of the girl in tears and then the pair saying how unhappy they were that there once in a lifetime trip was not going to happen and then being very insistent that we do not use the material.


We did another set of short interviews and piece to camera. This tape was then taxied bak to Glasgow.


We repeated the performance for later on in the programme this time to report that a stack of passengers were being bused to Manchester to catch their flight there.


By the time we finished and sat down for a relaxed coffee Elaine looked how she said she felt.


Her normally sparkling blue eyes were heavy with tiredness.


I set off along the M8. She had a short but weary walk to see if she could check in to the airport hotel to get some sleep.



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