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

Mark and Ben Together at Last and England v USA

Saturday 11th June

Dave, who works for Ben's management had been been at the opening game yesterday.

The journey to the stadium, that normally takes around 30 mins had taken him over 3 hours.

He joined us on the drive up to Rustenbug.

With the potential of a long slow trip up the road to this game he came prepared.

We were on the outskirts of Johannesburg with the traffic flowing freely, however it was time to break out the ham sandwiches.

They were not just sandwiches they were Keegan sandwiches.

Dave was looking after Kevin Keegan, who was out here working for SABC amongst others

His wife Jean had prepared the sandwiches.

The traffic was not as bad as we had anticipated so we did have time to stop for a bit of a snack lunch.

We were a tad sluggish in the combi on the rest of the journey.

A rest or sleep was needed to digest the outsized steaks that had appeared from the kitchen.

There was a choice of sauce. Two of is had a go at the monkey gland option.

It wasn't as exciting as it sounded

One of Ben's followers on Twitter sent us the ingredients.

Tomatoes, Worcester sauce, chutney, garlic with onions, and olive oil are apparently are what is in it, not a monkey's bits in sight.

We arrived at our hotel in Sun City, the Palace.

It is the sort of over the top kitsch that you only expect to see in a Disney theme park, a big blancmange squeezed through a cheese grater meets Jurassic Park designed by a lover of wild animals on speed.

Sun City's Palace Hotel.

It is very OTT in pretty much every regard.

The shoot that we were going to do in the early hours of tomorrow morning had been organised by Eric Way the South African designer credited with restyling Cherie Blair and is South Africa’s Simon Cowell.

He was wearing a tight black T-shirt, even tighter white trousers and knee length black boots. A pair of black sun glasses were pushed back from his eyes perching atop his short, almost clipped salt and pepper hair. His manicured quiff keeping them in place.

A riding crop and megaphone might not have looked out of place.

We checked in and were shown to our rooms.

I opened my door to my very grand room, dominated by a king size double bed.

I dumped my kit, instantly shattering the look of the spectacular decor with scruffy bags and equipment.

The Palace Bedroom.

Mark came in and said with tinge of disappointment, "So you've got a room to yourself then?"

We had been given three keys but were booked into two rooms.

Mark was catapulted into a position that would be the envy of hoards of women and probably quite a few guys as well.

He would be sharing with Ben.

Rather worryingly for both Mark and Ben their room only had a similar humongous bed to the one in my mine.

They were promised faithfully by the staff that by the time we came back from the game along the road in Rustenburg there would be two single beds set up for them.

We headed off to the game, dropping Ben off to meet Ant and Dec so that they could go to the game together.

For an event that had been threatened with all sorts of terrorist treats and was being attended by the American Vice President the security was not exactly tight.

We got through various roadblocks we really shouldn’t have been allowed passed, by waving our accreditation at the policemen and guards who were manning them, getting us to within 100 meters of the stadium.

When we went through the security point I put my bag through the x-ray machine.

The guys carried on chatting and handed it back to me when it came out the other side. Neither of them had even glanced at the screen.

The Security Post.

Mark and I went to the media dinning area via the main media work area to be ripped off along with the rest of the world’s sporting media.

The white truck is just one of that the BBC flew out for the tournament.

The Media Work Area.

I indulged myself with a bottle of Coke Zero and a small salad.

The large, tender juicy steak accompanied by two large soft drinks and a cup of very acceptable cappuccino at our road side lunch stop was only about £1 more expensive.

Everyone was expressing horror as they got to the cash desk. In fact Mark thought that one South African hack from Durban was gone to get physical with the utterly non-shame faced staff.

I made my own representation to the manager and was reluctantly given a handsome refund, but even with that it still cost me over £4 for my meagre meal.

Mega Meal? at a Mega Price.

Not being able to shoot the game or in the stadium for various corporate contractual reasons was a bonus.

Mark and I were able to enjoy, if that is the word, the game from what are called observer seats in the media area in the stand.

I might not have been able to take moving pictures but did have a play with my stills camera from time to time.

It was like a home game for England.

Gerrard attacks the goal....

..he slips the ball past the keeper...'s in the net..

...the boys celebrate....

German TV do the outside broadcast. Is it an omen?

Even as a fervent Scot I could not help but feel a tinge of emotion for the England keeper let the Jabulani spin out of his grasp and bobble into the net.

Although I did let out an involuntary cheer as the ball crossed the line.

Back home, well our very temporary home Ben and Mark found the house keeping staff true to their word and the bed had been split.

It was not a big deal because we were only going to be in them for a maximum of four hours.

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