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.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Up on the roof with Ugly Betty Star


Monday 16th


Michael Urie.


I arrived at STV Edinburgh in plenty of time to sort out any repeat technical problems. The echoes of Friday the thirteenth were still reverberating in my small skull.


I still can’t quite believe that there was no hint on air to how close the little broadcasts came to falling off air.


The difficulties of getting into the building had gone even though it was another temporary security guard. However, he expressed some surprise when I said that I was going up onto the roof.


As soon as I went into the STV office I noticed a dark haired chap sitting in the kitchen area with a cup at his lips. I said hello. He smiled back.


Alex the engineer said good morning and immediately took me aside and whispered in my ear giving me a warning.


The guy at the the table was our guest Michael Urie, one of the stars of the US hit comedy Ugly Betty.


In my brief encounter with him he had appeared happy enough but, he was not that happy and his agent, who had nipped out for some breakfast from a nearby shop was very unhappy.


I was rather surprised to see anyone else apart from Alex in the office when there was still over an hour until the time for the broadcast.


Thereby lay the reason for the displeasure. The pair were not at all filled with the joys of the morning at having been asked to be here so long before the broadcast, particularly when they had not gone to bed until around 4 am. Well it is the Festival when Edinburgh takes over from New York as a twenty four hour city.


I went over and introduced myself to Michael.


I also got straight down to an apology for the early call time. He was gracious and shrugged it off, all the time exhibiting a warm Hollywood smile.


I went up to the roof and started to get the kit rigged. I was not looking forward to the agent coming back because I had been told that she was spiting feathers.


I made a quick call to the GMTV office to let whoever had given the call time that it was just a bit too early. I rather got the impression that it had been give by an inexperienced producer.


When the time drew close to the broadcast Alex brought the pair up to the camera position.


I was pleased to see that instead of some wild multi headed hydra spewing bile about the lack of sleep that they had been allowed, the agent was a very pleasant smiling woman who sat pixy like on the roof as Mike and I got ready for the down the line interview.


He was quite excited at being up on the roof with its really great views over the city of the Edinburgh. The main feature being the castle of course but, also the less often seen vista to the north and east.


The thought of the earpiece, listening to talkback and being on live TV was also giving him a thrill.


It is something that I often forget that people that are used to being around TV equipment and spend a lot of their time making television programmes rarely have to do it live.


Their skill is refining their performance, firstly with a rehearsal and then the option of more than one take if it is not quite right.


That is not the case when it is live. There is only one go and in the type of programme that GMTV is there is little opportunity to have a rehearsal.


This week it was the turn of Kirsty Gallacher to sit in for Lorraine Kelly.


She did the interview with Michael where he talked about his show in the festival.


It sounded like a good idea. Basically the show was based on the strange stupid aspects of the autobiographies of the young and not so famous “celebrities”.


The interview went well and Michael enjoyed himself. He was buzzing when the left the roof after taking a little time for photographs.


There were no major problems to deal with thankfully.


The only downside of the morning was that it was slightly hazy with a hint of the renowned Edinburgh sea har, a mist that comes in off the north sea to embrace the city in a damp, grey hug.



6 comments:

  1. Martin little did you know but ITV presentation cocked up your Friday 13th live by cutting to adverts half way through the live chat. Mmme... gremlins x

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  2. Nice shooting location you've picked right there, sir. Well, though there may be some technical 'noise', I hope you had a great shoot. I wish you all the best on your upcoming interviews for this year!



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