Friday 4th June
Over night I must have become immune to the whiff but not to the cold.
I got out of bed and was dressed as fast as I could.
In the dark outside the front of the England training camp in Rustenburg Paul and Steve were already starting to get the satellite dish set up on the trailer.
Paul Setting Up the Satellite Dish.
I wandered down to the gate to set the camera on the tripod for the shot.
Immediately a small smiling security lady came out and told me that I was not allowed to take pictures from where I had stuck the tripod.
I waved my FIFA pass at her and she retreated off to the security hut.
A few moments later she came back with one of her rather larger colleagues. He was quite insistent that I could not be on their land and I would have to move further away.
There was no point in taking the argument any further so I wandered off towards the truck and set up.
The shot was not as good as it could have been but was still acceptable.
It was Penny Smith’s last day presenting the GMTV programme, something that she has done for the last umpteen years.
Mark the producer and I had planned to say good-bye to her over the satellite feed during one of the commercial breaks.
Unfortunately circumstances meant that we could not do it.
Not that I worked with her very often but she was great fun with a somewhat skewed and quirky sense of humour which I liked. She will be missed.
Once we got the camera set up and all the cables plugged up and were ready to go Gabriel Clarke from ITV new pitched up along with his producer Pete.
We were happily getting things sorted for the live broadcasts when the big security guy wandered up with another security chap and after a short but fruitless bit of negotiation we had to move yet further back off the pavement and on to the red dusty verge.
The Camera's got to go! Again!
Gabriel did a couple of broadcasts into the GMTV programme giving his insight into the team selection and Fabio Capello’s choice of numbers for the players.
He appeared slightly nervous and it did not help when just before the second broadcast a really loud and painful buzz assaulted the talkback.
He took out his earpiece and I told him that I was listening in on gallery talkback and would give him a cue if the problem was not sorted. There was less than a minute to go.
Fortunately Steve and Paul sorted the problem and talkback was restored
Also as we were about to do the second broadcast I was aware of a small mini bus pass beside us full of men who were obviously members of the England back room team.
They looked at us intently and I could see that they looked a bit bemused and unhappy about something.
It did not take long before we found out what their problem was.
One of the chaps who happened to be Head of Security for the team came out and politely explained that we and the satellite truck were parked exactly where there first security chick point was going to be fro vehicles going into the training camp.
So we were going to have to move again. This time not just the camera but the truck as well.
There were still two more broadcasts to do. The second one was planned to be done from inside the training camp anyway if we could get set up in time.
The next was was done as a pre-record which we did very quickly before having to move.
The original plan was to do the last broadcast from the edge of the training pitch where in an hour or so the England team would have their first training session on South African soil.
However, the FA said that we would not be able to do any live broadcasting from the pitch until the training started.
It was getting very close to out transmission time.
The BBC Truck Queue up for Their Security Check.
When Steve and Paul arrived after having gone through their security check they had to set up really quickly in the improvised car park to get our broadcast done, which they did.
The Dish Arrives After the Security Check.....
...The Boys Get to Work....
Mark Keeps in Touch with Base as we Get Close to Transmission.
The only problem I had was that I was shooting a bit too much into the sun for my liking.
Pete the ITV Sport Producer held the reflector for me and I think I got away with it.
Then Mark and I had a chance to catch our breath in the England Team Media Centre along with the rest of the press and media that had already arrived to cover the training session.
Inside the Media Centre.
It was not just English media that were there. Interest was obvious from all over the world.
Brazilian TV .........
....and Costa Rican TV Come for a Visit.
Outside the Media Centre Waiting to go to the Training Pitch.
There was just time for a gulp of free juice before we were herded up to the training pitch with its grass that had bee mown to a precise 25mm.
Following the BBC.......
...as we Head to the Training......
.......with Just a Little Delay.
It did look absolutely perfect.
Cameramen like me were setting up to get shots of the players when they arrived.
"Milk Tray Man" Mark Delivers the Tripod.
Fabio Capello was already there with his coaching staff. He was handing out instructions and gibbering away in Italian.
It was a rather surreal vision with them all dressed in bright red shirts emblazoned with the three lions of England.
Shooting the Training.
The players arrived in their black strips and were immediately down to a bit of a warm up and stretch after a team talk from Capello.
I was getting a shot of Rio Ferdinand when I noticed that he was not doing the same stretches as all the other players including David Beckham, who although wearing the red of the coaching staff was joining in with the exercises.
We all got busy getting as much material as we could get because we knew that there was only a limited time.
Some TV crews were, like me getting shots of the players and others were also doing pieces to camera with their presenters and reporters.
C'mon Boys Get the Ball Out.
The shots that we all want are the boys kicking balls around.
True to form on these occasions as soon as the balls came out we were told that our time was up and we had to leave.
At Last! A Very Quick Pic as we are Ushered out.
Mark and I went back to join Samson the driver who had been waiting outside for us because he did not have any accreditation for the drive back to Johannesburg.
The length of the journey between Johannesburg and Rustenburg is a rather unpredictable thing because if the volume of traffic.
It can take anything from two to four hours.
This time it took us a little more than three hours.
On the way we heard the reports of Rio Ferdinand's injury that had happened after the media all left.