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.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Back at the maternity unit for live broadcasts.

Tuesday 7th

We were back at the Victoria Hospital’s Maternity Unit to do live broadcasts to introduce the little film that had been shot last Thursday.

Richard and Louise would come back so that we could see how the twins were getting on.

Yesterday the unit had been in the news. A couple were complaining because they said that because the midwives had been so slow to open the door when they turned up on Sunday night when it was minus four degrees Celsius that the baby had been born on the pavement.

Hilary would obviously have to mention that in at least one of our broadcasts.

Dave parked his satellite truck in the place that I had agreed with the hospital.

The truck parked out of the way on he pavement near the bus stop.

The window of the room that we had organised to use for the broadcasts was unlocked by one of the Balfour Beatty workmen.

Then what was planned as an easy rig became a potential nightmare. We had to get it done in time for the first broadcast.

The place that would be best for us to do the broadcasts from, because of where last nights babies had been born and where there were still women in labour, was a long way from the window.

It was good news that the cable on Dave’s truck was a fibre optic on rather than a much thicker and heavier coaxial cable that is on a lot of trucks.

We were therefore able to easily rig the cable up above the doors attaching it with gaffer tape.

It was going to be a busy morning. We had three long broadcasts to do along with lots of live shots.

The sister briefs Dr Hilary and producer Luke on what had been gong on in the unit.

The really good news was that the little film had been edited and ran for two minutes and forty five seconds which in terms of Daybreak was very long. The usual length for a feature piece is around the two minute mark.

We were ready just in time to do the first broadcast with Amanda the midwife.

It was quite a hectic morning for us but thankfully there were no technical problems to give us any stress.

A welcome lull as we wait for the next broadcast.

Louise and Richard with identical twins Aaron and Logan.

Louise with Aaron, or is it Logan?..

..even the new mum and dad have a little difficulty telling them apart.

Dr Hilary with Leanne and her forth baby..

...Sophie who was only a few hours old.

The staff were all very welcoming and best of all the toast and coffee that they rustled up for us was of the best quality.

The kit and cable was tidied up and taken out so that we were well out of the department before the normal business of the day.

Time then for the speedy trip to the airport so that Dr Hilary and producer Luke could catch their flights to London City airport.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's twins!

Thursday 2nd

“If only you’d been here yesterday”

That’s what the staff at the Maternity department of the brand spanking new Victoria hospital in Kirkcaldy said to Dr Hilary, Ali the producer, Colin the sound recordist and me.

We were there to film a day in the life of a Midwife.

Up until today every day had been very busy for all the staff in the Labour and Maternity wards.

The women of Fife seemed to be popping babies out like the world needed to be repopulated. That was 'til today.

There were no women in labour and there had not even been any calls from any pregnant women who thought things might be moving in the direction of a birth.

We started filming with Amanda who had been volunteered to be followed around by us on her shift.

Things were not looking good for getting a good film showing her dealing with the various later stages of pregnancy and hopefully an actual birth.

All quiet in the usually busy maternity department.

We were busy trying to make something out of not much happening.

Hilary had a little chat on camera with a woman who had given birth to a wee boy called Daniel a little while before we arrived.

Daniel and his mum.

At least we had something but it would not make particularly exciting TV.

Then Amanda found out that there was a lady, Louise who had come in to have a C section because she was at thirty six weeks with twin boys one of which was in the breach position.

We went in and saw her with her bump and Richard her husband for a little interview.

They were a lovely couple, Richard, a taxi driver already looked shattered because he had been working all last night.

After we had done the interview Ali asked if they would be happy for us to do another interview after the babies were born.

Not only did they say yes to that after a few phone calls to the theatre staff we were cleared so that I could film the operation.

We were not going to be in the actual operating theatre so no need for us to be gowned up. We were in the resuscitation room next to the theatre with a big window looking into it.

Things had suddenly gone from us struggling to have enough for a piece to the potential for a great piece.

I filmed the process and Hilary did a bit of a commentary as it was happening.

Hilary looks on as the Caesarian is performed...

..and takes a couple of photos.

We all found ourselves being a bit moved seeing the beginning of two tiny pink lives.

Hilary said that he never ceased to find the arrival of new-borns to be an emotional experience.

The first of the twins newly brought into the world.

Amanda cutting the cord.

Liz, the other midwife deals with twin number two.

Interviewing a tired but very happy dad.

When we had done that we went up to the Maternity ward to speak to some new mums and found another mum of twins.

Slightly older twins up on the Maternity ward.

The final thing to do at the hotel was to check out the possibility of doing a live broadcast from the hospital next week.

I worked out the best place to park a satellite truck and how the cable could safely be brought into the room we would use.

When all that was sorted I drove Hilary and Ali to Edinburgh airport to get their flights south to Heathrow...

..but not before Hilary posed for some photos..

..with Amanda the midwife.