Saturday, 2 November 2013

Football, Strikes, Scotch Eggs, Cancer And Hedgehogs... Just Your Average TV News Day.

You may think that my last post sounded like I was out of a job, but as I said, the news ebbs and flows. Peaks and troughs, swings and roundabouts and from the sublime to the ridiculous, as you are about to hear...

Sickly baby hedgehog nearly gets mistaken for cameraman's scotch egg lunch...

 Last Thursday saw me drive a total of 168 news gathering miles in the pursuit of the following stories for the delight of Mrs Miggins watching the early evening news.

1. Wake up 06:00. Football press conference at 08:30. In which I drive for an hour to be told by security that I wasn't on the list, then listen to a coach who doesn't speak English, a disengaged footballer who speaks in cliches and the quick demolition by your author of two cold bacon rolls.

2. No break. Drive to university campus to film lecturers who are on strike, thereby teaching lazy students the art of playing kazoos, hanging around street corners, waving flags and shouting loudly about money and pensions whilst doing no work.

3. Deliver footage to studios, ingest, pick up next briefing sheet, burn lips on hot coffee whilst running to the truck... Spill coffee.

4. No lunch. Drive to 5 storey General Hospital, guess which level we were going to..? Interview with a cancer research doctor about how we are all going to die in a horrible manner. Coffee with time to feel depressed before receiving my next assignment.

4. Lunch of a scotch egg and packet of crisps whilst I drive for another hour to wildlife refuge. Film 1'30" package on rescued baby hedgehogs whilst gagging on the smell of 40 to 50 sickly hedgehogs in one room. Wait for satellite truck, take phone call cancelling the live spot. Drive home.

5. Arrive home after tea time following infuriatingly slow drive through rush hour traffic. Wife accuses me of smelling like sick baby hedgehogs... Shower. Burn clothes. Open bottle of a cheeky little Pinotage. Fall asleep on sofa. Dribble.

So, anybody reading this with a healthy interest in getting into TV news journalism or TV news camerawork, please do not dream of international jet setting assignments. Forget the glamour, celebs and the easy life. Think more along the lines of press conferences in a sweaty gym, scotch eggs for lunch, grumpy strikers, death and the sweet aroma of shitting sickly hedgehogs. For this will be your fate.

Next up: Filming bonfires in the rain and roadside news van tyre punctures, in which I cut myself and sob quietly into my steering wheel.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.