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, 26 August 2010

The Dikshit Interview

Thursday 26th

Jet lag added to the emotional mangle that we'd been through yesterday resulted in us all feeling very jaded at breakfast.

So it took a minor feat of willpower to drag ourselves out into the Delhi day.

One of the main interviews we needed to do was with the Chief Minister of Delhi, rather humorously named Mrs Dikshit.

The entrance to the Chief Ministers of Delhi's house.

The Lady's name plaque at the entrance.

Ian and Rohit had been trying to organise an interview with her for ages but had not managed to get a firm agreement.

So, with only one day left of our short trip we had to go to her house and see if we could get her to speak to us.

Rohit, Ian and Grainne went in to speak to her people.

Things started to look promising when we were ushered into a little office to wait for the word from on high.

We waited for a while until a little man clutching a mobile phone bustled into the room.

Rohit briefly and quickly explained who we were and what we wanted and how quick we'd be.

The man who had also been talking on his phone and dealing with other people as Rohit talked then made another call.

He handed the phone to Rohit and asked him to speak to someone else.

Rohit in discussion about getting the important interview.

He then went away briefly, returning to ask Rohit, Grainne and Ian to go with him to plead the case for the interview with the lady herself.

The man taking Rohit Ian and Grainne for an audience with the lady.

Glen and I stayed put ready to join them if we got the go ahead.

When the trio came back from their short meeting they were slightly surprised when we told them that we were happy with the arrangements for the seven o'clock interview.

Had we suddenly become mind readers?


But not quite.

Grainne still had her radio mic on and even though the guys were in another building a hundred meters away Glenn was still able to hear the conversation.

Glenn listening in.

The downside was that the slim possibility of an early finish, plenty of time to have a relaxed meal, pack and have a good long sleep before the early flight home in the morning had been blown out of the water. Ho hum.

We then went off to do some stuff around the city and film at a demonstration that was happening in the centre.

It was a day of protest in the city so one of the things we were able to film were workers expressing their displeasure with the city bosses and Mrs Dikshit in particular.

There was a lot of chanting going on. There was some debate as to whether it would be possible for us to use the Hindi chanting on air.

It consisted of them calling Mrs Dikshit a bitch and all she said was bullshit.

Would the Hindi speaking viewers of Daybreak complain about the bad language?

At lunch time I was mildly stunned when we were ordering lunch in a very old established colonial style restaurant when I saw chicken tikka massala on the menu.

I just had to order it.

I was very pleased to find that it was the best I have ever tasted.

Chicken Tikka Massala on the menu here.

Inside the restaurant.

After lunch Rohit suggested coffee at the largest Indian news agency housed in the equivalent of a listed building.

United News of India's building.

The newsroom is not quite state of the art.

The coffee shop is not quite Starbucks or Costa.

We also did some shots at the games village.

We wanted to get a good wide shot of the city from some sort of high point.

Delhi is a very flat place so there is no high hill or other natural place to get the shot from.

It would be done from a high building.

The problem we had with that was that since the bombings in Mumbai the security around any building that the public might go into is very heavy.

All the hotels now have airport style scanners and all cars are checked when they drive up to the reception.

Also Rohit told us that there would be very little chance of getting on to the roof of any building to get the shots we wanted.

We did try but the answer was as Rohit had predicted.

He did know of a place where we might be able to get the shots but a bit of subterfuge would be required.

We went into a swanky hotel called Lalit and headed for the restaurant on the 28th floor.

Outside the closed restaurant were a couple of windows that gave a perfect view of two sides of the city.

There were staff and the restaurant manger busy setting up for the evening.

Ian and Rohit went to speak to the manager about organising a big corporate function. They would need to discuss the types of menus and wine list in great detail.

The manager took them into the restaurant to talk about the details of fine wine and the intricacies of canap├ęs.

As soon as they went round the corner into the smart dining area I stuck the camera on my shoulder and did as many shots of the city as I could whilst the manager was being kept busy.

At the appointed time we went back to the Dikshit residence and did the interview with the city's Chief Minister.

The interview.

The work was done.

We said goodbye to Louis who had been with us looking after the gear and helping with the kit.

Louis a great help.

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