Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Sunday Showdown.

Getting up early on a Sunday morning is always going to be a bitch. But when it's around -5 or 6 outside, you've scraped the ice from the car, crunched through the leftover snow with your camera and nearly slipped arse over tit, giving a good go at making yourself look like a windmill on acid, makes for a Sunday morning you would rather forget.

But having left the Missus to deal with the kid when it's your turn to cook breakfast, is a sin of the highest order. And i was looking forward to Bacon, Eggs and other assorted breakfast things served up to my families culinary delight. But i had to cancel my family Sunday morning, having been booked the previous evening to film a national Politics live into a major news programme, so i found myself outside getting ready as described above. The satellite truck was booked and on it's way, containing an engineer who had probably had the same morning as me. All systems go...

Now we all know that this is nothing new in the news business, things change, people move about, the story changes or moves on to a different level. But this was a simple live on a Sunday morning with a very influential person who had agreed to do the interview into the show. All they had to do was wake up and get dressed. Oh... and do what you agreed to do.

The story is a long running one here in the UK, about newspapers, phone hacking, the passing of illegal monies to underhand people and the arrest of many journalists on charges yet to be proved. A scandal of the highest order in my own business. Oh the shame...

Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, the principal guest cancelled and pulled out of the interview. I guess they got out of bed and stubbed their toe or something. But for reasons unknown to me anyway, my job was cancelled by a very apologetic producer in London.

"Sorry dear chap... job's gone away, guest pulled out."

"No problem," Says i... "Call me back any time..."

"Cancelled you say...? Oh well, never mind eh...?"


What i actually said having ended the call cannot be repeated here, except it contained the words, F*ck, Boll*cks and what a Wan*ker.

So to all of the influential prime time news guests and talking heads out there, listen up... We put a lot of effort and work into coming around to your house, trailing in mud and slush through your living room, draining your electric sockets and knocking valuables off shelves, just so you can give up your Sunday morning and spout forth on the telly. Do you honestly think that i want to be in your nice house, drinking your tea, mentally undressing your Missus, and teaching your sleepy eyed kids to say rude words...?

Do you think i enjoy being paid to give up my family Sunday mornings, just so that i and a few other dodgy looking geezers can invade yours..? Hmmm...? I should think not. And seeing as my now ex guest is in the print news business, i would have thought that having a journalist and cameraman rooting around in your unmentionables drawer was second nature to you.

So come on guys, when everyone's Sunday morning has been ruined, yours and ours, the least we can do is go through with it and get it over and done with. We come round, ask rude questions and generally turn your life upside down for a few hours, in exchange for you to get your ugly mug all over the airwaves and generally ruin the viewers Sunday mornings. It's a win win situation and we should all play the game.

But to pull out at the last minute means that you have sent some lowly news producer into a head spin, put the shows director into a really shitty mood, and generally upset the smooth flow of a news day, never mind the smooth flow of this particular cameraman.

So come on, play the game....

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter

www.media-attention.co.uk