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, 18 January 2011

Big Buck Shelford and an Americas Cup Yacht

Monday 17th

Early but, not too early we went to the venue for the Rugby World Cup final, Eden Park.

I hardly recognised it from my visit last year with Prince William. It was no longer a construction site.

It is now a fully finished stadium with a capacity of 60000.

There is a cricket match due to be played soon.

I was getting shots of the nice new stands when the main reason for us being there arrived.

This was the day Pete from the tourist office had been looking forward to. He was going to meet an All Black legend, Wayne Shelford, known as “Buck”.

We had been warned that he was not a particularly good talker and could be grumpy and taciturn.

He is certainly big with a face filled with character, probing brown eyes and a crushing handshake.

Big Buck.

In the event the interview he gave Dan was really good. He was erudite and enthusiastic about everything.

Dan and Buck having a chat.

Pete with one of his heros. Somehow I don't think that it is Dan.

However, it did appear from the way that the interview went that England was the only team from the UK to be coming out here to play.

The other three countries, Scotland, Ireland and Wales were only mentioned once in the collective term of home nations where as there were many references to England, the Bammy Army and Swing Low Sweet Chariot etc.

I felt compelled to point out that Daybreak is broadcast all over Britain and not just England.

We then had to do a couple of pieces to camera with Dan.

It is unusual to be allowed walk on the pitch of a stadium.

I remember being given a bollocking for bending down to touch the perceived sacred turf at Old Trafford when I was on the track.

The only part we were asked not to go near was the area that was being prepared for the cricket wicket.

Having a ball on the pitch was another matter. Lance, the security guard who was with us as our minder was surprised that we had even been allowed to bring one at all.

It was a prop for one of the pieces to camera.

We did have to get special dispensation for Dan to be able to kick the ball at the end of the piece to camera.

He could only do it if it was a drop kick and did not touch the short cropped grass and he kicked it away from the pitch.

Once we had done that it was time to head to the Viaduct area for lunch.

On the way what had been a bright sunny day with a clear blue sky changed, as predicted by the weather forecast to a flat grey rainy day.

When we were having lunch the staff in all the bars and restaurants started bringing down the plastic weather screens.

Oh Dear! Rain water in the wine!

We needed to get some general shots of the smart harbour area and some vox pops after lunch before the next planned job, a trip out in an America’s Cup yacht.

Between the heavy showers we did manage to get some vox pops with a few hardy souls that were out and some general shots of folk in bars and restaurants.

Luckily the rain almost stopped when it was time to board the massive sailing yacht.

The sky was still a heavy grey.

We were joined by some girls from the Auckland tourist office to help us crew the boat.

Dan, Stuart, Fraser and Pete were be needed to help grind the sails up and down, and assist when the boat was turning, or tacking as it is called in sailing circles.

Nigel and I were exempt from being draughted in as crew members. We had reserved occupations having to film the action.

Fraser and Stuart help out with the grinding.

Standing up when the boat was blasting through the water at a fair lick was not easy.

The deck tilts up to quite an impressive angle even at the non-racing speeds that we were doing.

Once I was happy with the shots from on the yacht Nigel and I were put on to a tender so that I could get wide shots of the boat in the water.

I got some lovely shots as the boat sailed past the Auckland cityscape.

Nigel's great shot of the tower between the buildings on the quayside.

These shots were similar to the ones I had done almost exactly a year ago when Prince William had been at the helm.

The shots were good but, if the sky had been a nice deep blue they would have been fantastic.

Shooting from the tender.

Coming back into the quay.

Back at the hotel we bumped in to our new friend Israel. He and all the All Black squad were staying in the hotel because they were doing a variety of promotional things in Auckland.

I took the guys out for a Teppanyaki dinner, which is as much a show as a meal if you get a good chef.

Steam from an onion volcano.

Ours was pretty good coming up with one or two surprises.

A slightly bigger eruption!

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