We’re a noisy bunch at 5 News, but just for a moment, at 5.24pm on Monday, there was silence in the gallery.
The first ITN-produced 5 News programme in seven years had just finished – it was good – and months of people’s unbelievable hard work had paid off. Then another quick glance at the clock told us we were on air again in an hour and 6 minutes. And off we went again.
I’ve never worked on something quite like this before. Since the end of last year, the hiring, the training, the rotas, the equipment, the rehearsals have all been done at lightning speed but we now have a top team who should be proud of what we’ve done. Everyone’s still learning something new every day, but that’s half the fun.
If I only had a handful of words to summarise the week, ‘challenging’ would definitely be one of them. The gallery team getting a cab from the newsroom at Channel 5 to the studio at ITN on Gray’s Inn Road an hour and a half before we go on air is in the challenging category.
Shouting questions from the back seat to the phone plugged in to a car charger so one of our reporters can hear what questions we’re going to ask her when she’s live at the Brits isn’t what I’m used to. But, oddly, it works.
Editorially, we’re really thrilled with what we’ve done. We’ve put together some great VTs on eating disorders to mark National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, told some really moving stories, and shown we are no slouches on breaking news either.
A difficult court case on Tuesday in Rochdale only started at 2pm, we had our piece ready to go for 5pm that looked like we’d had triple the time to work on it. And we haven’t lost any of what makes 5 News, 5 News – the range and mix of stories – from a great looking explainer VT on Greece to Posh talking about being a tired mum; dodgy clampers, heckled MPs, Kylie on the red carpet all made it onto the show for week 1.
‘It’s only the start, but as starts go, we are thrilled. And tired.”