Monday, 22 October 2012

Thanks Krishnan, you were of no help whatsoever...

I had occasion yesterday to be invited to a free curry lunch by the owner of my local house of Indian subcontinental cuisine. It was a thank you to locals for spending many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds over the past ten years for his most loyal curry eating patrons and lager drinkers. Attended by local businessmen and councillors, even the Mayor, I felt privileged to have been invited.

Drinking beer and telling tales...

However, word got out that i was a TV News Cameraman, so i spent much of my afternoon fending off local news story pitches by local businessmen, people with political axes to grind and those just wanting to get on the telly.

"Is the Prime Minister really a total arse..?" People would ask. "Would you like to come and film my  collection of early 1950's war comics..?" and "You should do a story on fiscal spending at the local council... Shocking." Suddenly, between bites of Tandoori chicken and onion bhaji, this local TV cameraman has morphed into the BBC Ten O'Clock News and must display my fount of all knowledge about the state of the nation, foreign policy, political responsibility and celebrity goings on.

Salesman: "I sell this particular type of widget... You should do a story on widgets."

Salesman's wife: "My Sisters friend's boyfriend's Uncle used to play football for Ipswich..."

Left wing agitator: "Those Tories... Total lunatics when it comes to standing up for the working man. I blame Thatcher. What do you think should be done..?"

I was as polite as I could be, trying to blend in. Eventually, people began ignoring me again. As the Kingfisher beer flowed, I found myself sitting away from the others, with a group of normal working blokes from around the local area. Builders, decorators, office wonks and the like. Anything to get away from the local politicos and business types.

It wasn't long before the inevitable question that stalks anyone working in TV reared its head. "Who's the most famous person you have met..?" I tried to impress by mentioning heavyweight TV News personalities and in a panic, a journalist of high quality sprang to mind.

"Krishnan Guru-Murthy once tweeted me a thank you for some pictures i sent in for Channel 4 News." Blank faces stared back at me. I changed tack. "Err.. i had my hand up the jumper of Debbie Harry once. I've met Barry from Eastenders... and..." The eyebrows of around ten middle aged blokes rose in unison... "WHOA THERE... Back up a little... You've grabbed Blondies tits..?" That wasn't what i said no. Too late. "Hey fellas, this guy's fondled Blondie... felt her tits and everything..!" The pride i felt as a news cameraman when Krishnan tweeted thanks to me obviously meant nothing to these guys. I tried to explain. "No No No... i was fixing a mic and..."

The next half an hour saw my curry go cold as i tried to explain to those around me that i had not in any way shape or form fondled Blondies tits with a follow on to a full blown sexual relationship. I met her for half an hour or so whilst i did an interview with her backstage before a gig for the local news, that was all. Disappointed, they gradually drifted away and the normality of being ignored resumed.

A small chap, who was a little the worse for wear alcohol wise, sidled up to me and said, "So... this Krishnan Guru chap..." At last, someone who wanted to talk to me about what i do for a living. "Ain't he the one with the loud ties and funny socks... Channel 5..?"


The bloke walked away. From now on, I am telling everyone that i am a long distance van driver. Which isn't very far from the real truth. I sat back down and drank my beer in silence.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.