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, 7 June 2012

Lady in red, well, bright pink! Or is it Pretty Woman?

Thursday 7th June

After far too few minutes sleep I joined Ravi in the lift going down to the hotel lobby to meet Tiffany.

As the lift doors swished open they framed Tiffany resplendent in a bright fuschia pink jacket, her hand bag slung over her shoulder looking like she should have been strutting along the Croisette in Cannes like a movie star.

Just before we arrived, a couple of guys separately arriving back at the hotel from a night on the town asked her in all seriousness, “How much?”.

Later on in the morning a few seconds before she went live on air another guy came up behind her very quickly and pinched her bum.

The guy and his mate scurried off giggling. Showing great composure Tiffany began broadcasting as if nothing untoward had gone on. 

In the pink and ready to broadcast
Our live broadcasts were in the Grand Square, not up on the roof position from where most of the other broadcasters were doing their stuff.

Early morning clean up in Krakow's Grand Square
Mike and Paul the engineers were great and in no time we had all the technical things sorted out.

Paul making sure the talkback was working
It was a fairly busy morning we did seven broadcasts, mainly in the news bulletins but with one in the main programme with three people who had been kind enough to get up early and join us and one in the Lorraine programme where Tiffany talked about what the WAGs might get up to and where they could stay if they came over to see their boys in action.

In the chill of the early morning Tiffany goes through the scripts with Ravi
Ravi using Tiffany's coat as a reflector
Three of our early risers
Once those were done without any real problems, the only slight panic was when the battery on Tiffany’s radio mic died about two minutes before we went live, we went to the hotel for some breakfast and a bit of sleep.

It was about three hours later when Ravi called with the details of what the Daybreak office wanted from us in the morning.

As we expected it was the possibility of the WAGs being here that got them excited.

Our main task was to get some shots of the hotel that would probably be the one they would stay in if they turned up.

Now the sort of hotels that are frequented by the rich, famous and footballer’s wives don’t generally get too enthusiastic about requests to film inside when the celebs are soon to be there.

So, we were going to have to be slightly sneaky in getting the shots.
Armed with a little Handicam, Flip video camera, an assortment of camera phones and trying to look as unmedia as possible we set off to the Hotel pod Roza to see what we could get.

On the way we had to take a little detour to the England media hotel to pick up our temporary FA accreditation. We will not be able to get our official UEFA one until we get to Donetsk in the Ukraine.

Sign says it all
The other little, but very important job to be done was to get Tiffany some foundation. She had run out.

The only problem was that today was a religious holiday and all but tourist shops were closed.

Tomaz, the ITN local fixer was able to help, or rather his wife was.

It might not have been the right shade but it would be better that Tiffany looking like a pale pasty ghost in the early hours tomorrow morning.

Whist we had a very nice meal in the hotel restaurant I got some shots of it on my Handicam.

Sometimes it is nice to eat the props. Mmm medallions of venison on a bed of spinach.

I got chatting to Brent our waiter and he offered to show me around the hotel, which is one of oldest and finest in the city. The only one that he thought was better is the one that the England team is using.

Even so this place had seen it’s fair share of big names, mostly Polish TV and film stars but George W Bush had been there to sleep and eat when he was president.

One of the places he very proudly showed me was a room used for private wine tasting events. It was dark vaulted room lined with lots of bottles of wine.

Brent pulled a bottle off a shelf. It would cost over £500 at the table and there were dozens of them around the gap made by the one that he had taken.

A cheeky wee £500 bottle of red
The hotel is not particularly opulent. However, it does exude a historic understated air of grandeur.

The entrance is not grand but it does look a bit posh.. fact so posh the urinals have lids!
What he could not show me were any of the rooms, the hotel was full.

The pictures of the rooms in the small glossy brochure that he gave us did look a pretty luxurious though.

The fact that the hotel was full and, he though going to remain so until the end of the tournament had us doubting whether there would be rooms for the WAGs.

Another thing that was wanted were fans to be on the live broadcasts tomorrow.

In the bright sunlit square we went on the hunt for televisualy friendly fans.

It took a little while.

Even the Middle East media are in town

We eventually found what we needed, a family and a group of kids from Liverpool here on a little football tour.

Tiffany got their numbers, gave them hers and asked if they could come down early to be with us tomorrow morning.

They said that they would. Let’s hope they do drag themselves out of bed.

Tiffany recruiting guests for the morning
The day was now starting its slow decent into night.

We took a little break. The next request from London to be fulfilled was to find and film Irish fans enjoying the Karakow night life.

We would need to wait until after dark to do that.

In and around the Grand square I got shots of the high spirited singing and antics of mainly Irish fans along with a few slightly drunken vox pops.

The atmosphere was very good. Everyone was having a good time and the banter between the various groups of fans from Poland, England, Ireland, Italy and Portugal was in very good natured.

It was then time to eat. Tiffany and I opted for a sit down fairly average pizza whereas Ravi was gagging for a kebab. Both rather different to our meal earlier in the day.

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