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.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Balloon Goes Up Before The Big Robbery!

Sunday 13th June

The long dark journey deep into the Pilanesburg National Park was bitterly cold and less than comfortable.

Lizzy and Ben wrapped up in blankets against the biting cold wind on the drive.

Mark is cold but happy.

We made up for the disappointment of the failure to get up for any length of time in the tethered balloon over Johannesburg the other windy morning.

Mark, Ben and I wet up in a large Hot Air balloon with Lizzy and Eric to show the kind of upmarket special things that the WAGs might be able to do whilst they are in and around Sun City.

The balloons take off.....

...over a magical mystical landscape...

....another land full of hope and dreams.....

Eric, Lizzy and Ben enjoy the sunrise..... does Mark... the balloons rise higher...

...shooting from the balloon....

.....all good things come back to earth...

...lest we forget there are wild animals all around us.

Did we pick up extra passengers on the way back?.... it was just Ben and Lizzy having fun. It is still cold on the interesting return drive....

....a jackal dines on the carcass of a dead hipo...

.....Temba our guide and driver...

..animals even on the road, albeit a dirt one.

Quick photo shot of the glamorous trio, Ben, Lizzy and Eric.

The Palace in the mist.

We had been up since well before dawn but after a quick warming breakfast in the plush kitsch surroundings of the Crystal Room Mark and I went out to have a look at possible locations for the broadcasts in the morning.

On our tour around we saw guys, who I assumed were security guards and they were carrying guns.

Gun slinging security!

They were certainly guards and they were carrying guns.

However, the guns did not fire deadly lead but the less lethal but certainly painful paintballs.

They were on the look out for miscreant baboons.

Paintball gun.

The location for the live broadcast had been decided.

In my palatial room at the Palace I settled down to edit the material for transmission tomorrow morning.

I was enjoying the edit.

The shots were a pleasure to work with, the music fun and with the balcony doors open to the bright blue sky and warm day, apart from being pretty knackered, it was a perfect day.

Suddenly two big baboons ran in towards the door.

I tried to head them off with yell, but they ignored me.

One leapt past on my left and the other jinked round to my right.

They knew exactly where they were going.

The one on my left deftly picked up the little sweet that was on the pillow of my bed.

His partner in crime jumped up onto the table holding the tea and coffee etc and grabbed a handful of sachets of sugar.

I tried to chase them out but I felt that they left more because they had managed to get what they came for rather than fear of me flapping, clapping, shooing and stamping in as an aggressive way as I could.

I grabbed my camera and took some pictures of the thieves.

One was happily eating the sweet and ignoring me.

The other one tried to get back in but thankfully thought better of it.

One thief makes his escape....

....the other enjoys his plunder....

...coming back for another go?!...

...Where are the guards when you need them?

I carried on with the edit and then sent it back to London from the ITN satellite truck after they had done ITV bulletin

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