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, 21 May 2010

Hello Mr Man......Mr Camera Man

Thursday 20th May

The weather forecast was for great sunny warm weather.

I was not convinced as the fog I was driving through slowed me down yesterday as I drove down the M6 towards south Wales.

The nearer I got to my destination of Tintern Abbey I began to change my mind as the sky cleared and I had to put on my dusty sunglasses.

Tintern Abbey.

I went to the desk at the hotel opposite the imposing ruins of the Famous Abbey that had been wrecked by Henry the Eighth lots of years ago but was still pretty impressive.

I gave her my name and asked to check in.

The girl on the desk stared at her computer screen and scrolled through the information on the day.

She looked a bit puzzled.

“Are you sure you have a booking?”, she asked.

I told her that I was pretty sure I had.

She looked at the screen again and moved the mouse around.

“It might be under GMTV.” I said.

She shook her head slowly and said, “There’s only one booking that I can see and it is for a Mr Man.”

“Mr Camera Man,” she said with no trace of humour.

“That’ll be me then”

She looked at me quizzically but printed off the hotel registration form that had in the name section clearly printed Mr Camera Man.

She asked me to sign it.

I did so and scored out the printed name, replacing it with mine.

I was rather hoping for a room with a view of the Abbey.

When I got to my little room I gazed out the window to a vista of a rough grass bank about two meters away.

The room was comfortable enough and I settled in for the night ready for the rest of the crew to arrive tomorrow.

Friday 21st May

Well well, the forecasters, including GMTV’’s very own Kirsty McCabe had got it right. It was a beautiful day.

It was not going to be to arduous a day.

There was a little bit of shooting to be done and some location reccces to do.

Ben one of the producers, Katie one of the runners and I went for a bit of a trawl round the local area with John Bosley a local guide looking for places to shoot some workouts, do some walks and the location for a live broadcast.

John Shows Runner Kate and Producer Ben a map of the Area.

We were doing part of GMTV’s Beach Body Boot Camp.

Fitness and dance expert Kevin Adams along with nutritionist Charlotte Watts would be putting five over weight guys through a tough weekend of exercise, training and giving them advice on eating the right thing.

On our little drive around the area we were inundated with great places to film.

First stop was at a vineyard on the south facing slopes to the north of the village of Tintern.

This would be favourite for the live broadcasts if we can get the satellite truck up the short steep winding road and under a low overhanging tree.

The owner of the Vineyard Shows Ben and Kate the View.........

.......and What a View!

We then went up hills and down by the river seeing great locations to use.

Another Map and another.......

........Beautiful View.....

,,..Certainly Pretty Enough for a Picture Kate.

The participants, Michelle, Francesca, Chris, Mark and Donna had arrived as had Charlotte with her partner Sam and their little baby.

The only shooting that had to be done now that all the locations had been sorted was a very brief bit with Charlotte checking if the guys had tried to smuggle in any contraband food.

Ben and Stuart the other producer used their Sony Z5 cameras to get the various cutaway shots as I concentrated on shooting the main bit of speech with Adam the sound recordist.

The working day was finished, albeit at after 8pm.

I had a quick shower before dinner. The forecasters fine weather was confirmed when I saw my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

I looked as if I had pulled on an orange balaclava and was wearing a similarly coloured tiny triangular bib.

Sunscreen tomorrow I think.

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