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 March 2011

Jim with Terminal Cancer proposes to his wife.

Tuesday 8th

The bosses at Daybreak had decided to dust off one of GMTV’s ideas.

Amongst the things that would be on the programme in the run up to the royal wedding would be a mass renewal of wedding vows at Blenheim Palace.

As part of that event there would be a few stories about some of the couples involved.

I was off to Kilmarnock west of Glasgow to film one of these stories.

Michelle the producer had flown up from London. I met her at Jim McAteer’s door. He was home alone. Aileen, his wife was out at work.

Jim was going to ask his wife Aileen if she would renew their wedding vows with him.

He had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer in September and was undergoing treatment that he said was designed to give him a quality of life rather than quantity.

He was realistic but, very upbeat about his situation.

He was keen that he give Aileen something good to remember before the inevitable happened.

The plan was that we would do an interview with him and get a few set up shots.

The Interview with Jim.

When Aileen came home I would film the her reaction to the surprise that Jim was going to spring on her.

The interview and shots went well.

The only thing about the surprise bit was that Jim had let the cat out of the bag. So Aileen knew that not only was he going to ask her but, that we would be there to film it.

We set things up as if it was a surprise to see if it would work and get as near a genuine reaction as possible.

When Aileen did come in through the front door and Jim got down on one knee even though we were there her emotional reaction had Michelle in tears and I was not far off.

When this short film goes out if the majority of viewers are not weeping into their Wheetabix they don’t have a heart.

When things calmed down we had a cup of tea whilst Michelle gave the couple a rundown of what would happen on the morning.

Producer Michelle chats to a still stunned Aileen.

Aileen and Jim.

Then it was time to say good bye.

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