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.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Leavin' (PE) on a Jet Plane

Thursday 24th June

It is almost getting boring all these beautiful but cold mornings.

The pier in Port Elizabeth just before the sun comes up.

Another beautiful sunrise.

We did not have too much to do in today’s programme.

Bet you didn't know that there is somebody at the back working Ben all the time.

Puppet Masters and part time satellite engineers Dave and Mike enjoying the bright but cold sun.

The location was the same as yesterday’s, beside the pier in Port Elizabeth.

The BBC must have liked those broadcasts because they turned up to broadcast from the same spot.

We only had time to speak to one set of guests this morning, there was a lot of other things going on in the programme, marathon tennis games at Wimbledon and live broadcasts from Jemain Defoe’s mum’s house to name but two.

A group of 6 guys were sleeping in a van in the car park.

At least they had all the comforts of home.

(didn't show that on air)

We moved up to a cafe balcony for the later broadcasts when Ben talked about what was in the local and national South African newspapers.

Blue Water Cafe terrace.

When we came off air we had to blaze a quick trail to the airport to get back to Johannesburg.

That's a big case for a few days Ben.

The flight was only a couple of hours long.

Ben crashed straight out squeezed into his window seat on the packed plane.

The views he missed were breathtaking.

The mountains below..

..mysterious and magical.

I think that our GMTV tour is, to quote the inimitable Mr Shephard, turning in to Carry on South Africa, we have begun acting like Jim Dale, Sid James and Kenneth Williams with our innuendo and double entendre chat.

Not saying who was who though.

When the attractive cabin attendant went to look for something from her trolley for Mark and said, “excuse me I just need to go down on my knees. I’ll get it from the side.” we giggled and sniggered as Ben slept.

We got back to out apartment in Johannesburg, which seemed peculiarly like coming home.

The lapse into adolescent behaviour carried on.

I left a pair of very smelly sweaty socks on the worktop in the kitchen area.

The aroma when the fridge was opened was interesting.

The silver foil container that had the remains of a meal that Mark and I had about two weeks ago seemed now to be home to two small dead furry animals.

I knew that they must be dead because of the smell.

Ben pulled out a carton. The label said milk but it was lumpy smelly cheese now.

My two dead furry friends. Actually two bits of sirloin steak, medium rare.

The rest of what was left of the afternoon and evening was spent organising things for tomorrow’s live broadcasts which would be from the German training camp in a posh, very posh hotel in Pretoria.

We needed to get some props, footballs, German flags and other bits and pieces.

We scoured the huge Sandton City shopping mall and the Nelson Mandela one next door.

There were not many balls left but we did get some. The flags were a different story.

It got to the point where I was offering to buy the black red and yellow flags that were on display in many shops at any price.

No one would sell. We had to settle for little desk top affairs.

Mark was busy trying to get a German guest to be on the programme.

He thought that he has scored a belter from way out but the keeper made a fluke save to foil his heroic attempt.

One of the German World Cup winning team in 1990, Thomas Berthold was at first happy to join us.

The only thing was that his wife was arriving at the airport in the morning a while after we would be off air.

He might just make the programme though.

Then a few moments later his agent called to say that he had the arrival time wrong. It was much earlier.

Mark made all sorts of offers to make arrangements to get her picked up by increasingly plusher and more personal means if Thomas could just appear for us on GMTV.

He was having none of it. He was determined to go to the airport to meet her.

I think he either must have been away from home for a very long time or, they have not been married long if he’s so keen to see her.

Y’know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink.

I think Mark must have tried about every famous, and not so famous German footballer since the second world war and any other well known German we could think of, there are not that many, but to no avail.

We went to bed after 11 pm bereft of German personnel for the morning’s broadcast.

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