Live Aid

Live Aid at Wembley
This was the first really big outside broadcast I worked on. I would have paid to see the concert had I been able to get hold of a ticket, but to be a small part of it was outstanding.
The huge Wembley Stadium was completely sold out. The atmosphere was astonishing.

Hong Kong Hand over

The massed bands on the parade ground
On 30th June 1997 Britain handed Hong Kong back to China. I was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of the BBC's team that covered the hand over ceremonies.
It rained and rained and rained Everyone at the ceremony was presented with an umbrella, wow did they need them too.
The rain on the parade ground at night added a certain flourish to the shots. Keeping the lens dry was an almost impossible job. We finished the night soaked to the skin with the warm rain.
The million $ display The ceremony ended with one of the most remarkable firework displays I have ever seen. However it was completely upstaged the next night by the Chinese letting off a 100 million dollar display.

Animal Hospital

Rolf Harris

Animal Hospital followed the life and work of the RSPCA at it's veterinary hospitals and of it's roving inspectors around the country. Presented by Rolf Harris the program was a huge success since it's first transmission in 1993 and ran for ten years, finally finishing in 2003. It was imitated by most of the other UK broadcasters during it's run.
I first became involved with the program in 1995 and supervised the OB camera operation in London until I left the BBC in 2001. I worked over 400 days in total on the series.
The OB cameras followed the work done inside the hospital. We covered the initial consultations when people first brought their pets in to see the vets and then followed any further treatments needed. We had to work closely with the staff of the hospital, making great efforts not to get in the way of their work whilst still being able to show the viewers what happens.
Every day in the hospital was different, we never knew what was going to happen. Some days could be slow with little of interest coming in, other days were absolutely frantic. Following emergencies as they come in and are seen and staying with them in real time being X-Rayed and then possibly straight into an emergency operation could be a real challenge.
The whole team at Aylesbury 1996
Using Steadicam at Edinburgh Zoo for the AH Roadshow series

Figaro Live

Kirtlington Hall

In May 2000 the BBC staged Music Live, a day of live music programming from around the UK. One of the centre pieces of the day was a live performance of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro performed in real time throughout the day.
Unlike most conventional opera productions this was to be performed and shot as a drama, rather than a stage production. Shooting multi camera drama is never easy, adding the complications of shooting in real locations and working to live music as well was a bold decision. It's difficult for anyone outside the industry to realise quite how ambitious a project this was.
Rehearsing the interior scenes went well during the early part of the rehearsal week, but every attempt at rehearsing the final act outdoors was greeted by torrential downpours of rain. We finally went into the live transmission day without ever having been able to rehearse the act from start to finish non-stop, scary stuff.
The Transmission day dawned to a wonderful summer's day. The first two acts went superbly well and the mood of everyone on the team was positively euphoric. The last two acts seem to rush past, finally finishing with a firework display over Kirtlington Hall. Everyone was agreed that it was one of the most outstanding productions they'd ever worked on. The programme was later nominated for a Royal Television Society award for the standard of it's camerawork.
The principle cast
Rehearsing the final act
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