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, 11 April 2013

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania and a swimming time

Wednesday 10th April
Selkirk & Newcastle

Ryan Mania, the weekend's Grand National winning jockey had been in a race at Hexam on Sunday and had a spectacular fall. He had been taken to hospital by the air ambulance helicopter.

Fortunately he had sustained a relatively minor injury.

Our assignment for this morning's Daybreak was to go to his home and set up for a down the line interview.

Independently Alex with his 4x4 satellite truck, Colin the sound recordist and I ended up at the same farm in the midst of the Scottish Borders near the small rugby town of Selkirk.

We had followed our sat' nav's that had confidently guided us there using the post code.

Once we had reached the nice white farmhouse it was clear that this was the wrong place. There was no sign of life either in the house or around the outbuildings which were obviously designed to be homes for all sorts of animals.

The other clue was that the sign at the start of the very long road come track had the name of another farm on it.
It might have the same post code but, it's not the right place
In the grey post dawn light we could not see anywhere around that might actually be the place we were looking for.
On the hunt for the right farm
Trying to find an address in the country with just a post code is usually not the easiest of tasks. At least for the next six months or so there'll be daylight to help. It is ten times worse in the winter when it is pitch black in the early hours when we are about.

I called Ryan to ask if he could talk us in.

Normally I would be reluctant to call because at our normal arrival time most people are still in bed.

This morning we did not have to be on site until six thirty am. It was getting close to six forty five when I made the call.

His little farm turned out to be just up the road over a hill.

When we got there Ryan came out to greet us with a broad smile.

We saw the nice new stables beside the house. I asked him if he would mind doing the interview outside so that I could use them as the background.

He happily agreed although, like us I am sure he would rather have done it in the warmth of the house rather than outside in the cold. We were well into April but, there was still a bit of snow  in the air.
Set up outside the stables..

..with the horses in shot but,..

..the boistrous foxhounds are not

Alex got the truck set up in the shadow of the Selkirk television transmission mast.
Not often the two ends of the transmission circuit are so close together

The satellite dish might be less than a mile away from the transmission mast but, the signal from it will have to travel about 45 000 miles to get there.
Alex points the dish towards the satellite 22,250 miles away up in space

Before we went on air Ryan made us a cup of coffee which we gratefully drank in the warmth of his kitchen.

After it I needed to pay a visit to one of the smaller rooms in the farmhouse.

A little while ago Edwina, his girlfriend had bought him an amusing gift.

I do not make a habit of photographing in toilets but, I could not resist it this time.
Very appropriate!

2013 Grand National winning jockey..

..Ryan Mania set and ready for his first ever live TV interview
The interview went very well. Ryan came across as warm, humble yet self assured with a  sense of humour.

Job done.

He went off to do another interview and get on with his day. I went further south for a job in Newcastle.

I had to stop off and take a quick photograph when I saw the calm water of Catcleugh Reservoir.
The mirror of water

Next week Daybreak will be dong something about encouraging children to learn to swim.

As part of that I met Emma one of the producers from London at Central Station to do a bit of filming with a swimming club at Newcastle City Pool.
It's about to be closed

The local council are being forced to close it down because the Victorian grade two listed building is too expensive to maintain in good repair.

It is currently closed to the public but, still used by the swimming club.

Padlocks on all the doors..

..Emma with Anne, the lady with the key to the padlocks 
The council hope to find a buyer for the place that will be able to renovate it and keep it as a pool.

I did some GVs of the main pool and the smaller pool. Emma did a short interview with Tony the head of Leisure Services for the council.
The main pool..

..the smaller one

Nigel and Tony form the council talking to Emma
When the boys and girls came in for their swimming training I did some shots of them at serious training and also doing some more fun stuff in the water.

I had some fun too, getting to play in the water with a little GoPro camera.
Doing my thing with the GoPro
After we wrapped I dropped Emma at the station and got back on the A1 for the drive to Edinburgh, breaking the journey in Berwick for a kebab and coffee. Oh the glamour of telly.

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