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, 5 May 2011

David Hasselhoff at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Wednesday 4th

David Hasselhoff at Nickelodeon Land.

The call had come in quite late yesterday afternoon. I was needed on Blackpool to do a shoot with David Hasselhoff. There were no more details, in fact it took a wee while before I even found out what time the shoot was likely to start.

I drove down enjoying the the fading evening sun to The Big Blue hotel right next to the entrance to the Pleasure Beach.

Peering out of my room window into the darkness I could see the angular shapes of the thankfully silent roller coasters.

The last time I had stayed in the hotel sleeping had not been an easy job because Richard Rodriguez was in the process of breaking the world record for riding a roller coaster for the longest time.

So, all night long the coaster had kept on rumbling and roaring round the track.

At least this time that would not be a problem.

My Big Blue room.

The daylight view from the room window.

In the morning still with few details about the shoot apart from knowing the start time and that I would be filming with Gavin Ramjaun I went for breakfast.

In the restaurant I got a bit of a hint that it might not just be us meeting the big man. There were a lot of young media types wandering around with clipboards trying to look important and busy.

It was becoming clear that the visit by the Baywatch boy was to open a new part of the Pleasure Beach, NIckelodeon Land.

So at the appointed time a rather tired Gavin, he had been doing live broadcasts from Old Trafford prior to the Manchester United Champions League game, and I registered at the media meeting point desk and were given large passes on bright yellow lanyards.

We assembled with the rest of the media to be taken into the park and then await not just "The Hoff" but, a British big boy, Christopher Biggins.

He would have the job of Master of Ceremonies and be introducing the participants in the opening ceremony.

Waiting to go in to the Pleasure Beach.

There was, as can be imagined quite a crowd to see the celebrities.

Some of the crowd waiting to see the stars.

First glimpse as David Hasselhoff waits for his cue to come out.

As part of the event the cartoon channel was making a programme about it. A couple of old GMTV friends were doing the presenting job. It was nice to meet the lovely Anna Williamson and Jamie Rickers now doing there great stuff for Nickelodeon after the sad demise of Toonattik.

Jamie, "The Hoff" and Anna enjoying a laugh in the sun.

It was a bit of a scrum when David walked down the red carpet chatting to the kids and signing autographs.

In these situations the pack moves as one, backwards and blind. All the cameramen and photographers are concentrating on are the subjects in front of them.

Any object or person in the way of this moving mass has either got to be strong enough to be immovable or sensible enough to get out of the way.

I am never keen on these rucks when there are children involved because there is always a risk that one of them could get hurt.

On at least one occasion when I was getting a cut away shot of the pack rather than being part ot it I told some kids to be careful because none of the lumbering snappers or cameramen had eyes in the back of their heads.

Once all the moving madness was over it was time to do the interview. It was not going to be the intimate chat that I think the folk in the Daybreak office in London had envisaged.

Jamie manages to get a chance to get David's autograph.

Our piece would not be going out on the night of the event so Gavin and I were well down the waiting list.

The guys with the more pressing deadlines were given priority.

The only folk behind us was the crew from Blue Peter.

The Blue Peter crew interviewing the Baywatch star after we had done our bit.

The Nickelodeon crew were doing little chats and bit with him all the time.

The Nickelodeon crew at work.

I suppose they were allowed to do what they wanted when they wanted as they had paid the fee to get the Hoff here.

As far as I could gather that fee was not quite the fools ransom he had wanted but, could not be considered chicken feed either.

It would be nice to earn around half my salary for one days work.

Gavin and Anna chatting whilst we waited for our interview slot.

Make up time for Anna.

Christopher Biggins being interviewed.

The photographers at work.

When the fun and frolics had calmed down it was time to indulge in a very nice launch lunch.

It was then time for Gavin to say good-bye to Anna, Jamie, the folk from Nickelodeon and the Pleasure Beach guys.

I departed clutching a free gift from Nick Land, a build your own Sponge Bob.

Our work was not finished.

On the Blackpool sand we did a piece to camera and the predictable pastiche of the slow motion running sequence made famous in the Baywatch titles with Gavin running fully clothed clutching a small green rubber ring.

After that portion of cheese I recorded a short piece of commentary from Gavin.

He left to take the tape to ITV Granada to be sent to Daybreak in London and try and get a little bit of sleep before the game.

I set course north once more.


  1. There must have been a lot of people who wanted to take autograph from the most famoous bay watch in the world. :)
    I bet that the park was full of people.

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