Working Week 03.03.06

16.02.06

The day after the Brits is always a bit manic, but surprisingly today isn’t too bad. One of my reporters did a late shift and broke the back of all the footage that was being fed into the building last night, so by the time I arrive just after nine, everything seems to be ticking along nicely.

We were invited to a couple of parties, but in the end I couldn’t face it — worry this might mean I’m getting far too old. As the Multimedia showbiz department we go to events and then put the footage onto the server for the whole of the building (including ITV News and Channel 4 News) to use.

Our multimedia clients include Three, 02, Vodafone, MobiTV, MSN and Yahoo, so the mornings are always manic as we script, produce and edit three bulletins before midday.

I head off into the studio to record my links for the one I present for MobiTV and Yahoo, and then spend the morning editing it.

The afternoon is spent discussing the merits of attending the Eurovision Song Contest this year, turning around an interview we’ve just shot with Kerry Katona, and putting in interview bids before heading off for a late screening of Capote.

I like to see all the big Oscar contenders so I can have an informed opinion come the big day, and I’ll eat my raspberry beret if Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t get the Best Actor gong.

17.02.06

My train is late so I just have time to run into work and grab a coffee, my notes and a veggie sausage sandwich, before heading off to Stamford Bridge to meet my cameraman. It’s the Budweiser World Cup 2006 launch and they’ve flown over five permatanned cheerleaders, aka beerleaders (see what they did there?), to smile inanely and gyrate along to some new England chants Bell & Spurling have written for them.

Afterwards we catch up with Jamie Redknapp, who’s the Bud Ambassador this year. I used to be a sports journalist and do sometimes miss it when things like the Winter Olympics are on, so it’s a nice opportunity to chat football legitimately — plus he’s not exactly hard on the eye.

Head back to work to catch up with what packages have been put together in my absence and find we’re running a great piece on Chico doing fitness downloads on mobile phones. Quite literally from the sublime to the ridiculous.

20.02.06

I get in slightly later today as it’s the Elle Style Awards tonight and I’m on reporting duties. Being the editor means I’m often stuck in the office, so it’s nice to get out and sharpen the elbows once in a while for the red-carpet hustle.

We head off to Brick Lane at about half five to pick up our coloured wristbands, that sort your bog-standard ‘have to stand outside’ paparazzi from the important ‘I get to go to the after-show party’ hacks.

No sooner have we set up than the endless parade of celebs begins and, as always, it becomes manic with celebs being thrust at us from all directions.

It’s a tricky balance to keep as we have more than 30 clients, so need to ensure we get plenty of news angles for our teams across ITN, but also get some gossip that we can fill our showbiz bulletins with. Luckily, at an event like this all grounds are covered — from Rachel Weisz’s thoughts on the Bafta snub for The Constant Gardener, to finding out that Will Young’s car was broken into and all they stole was his Sugababes CD.

We get back to the office at 11.30pm and have to load all three of our tapes onto the server and ensure everyone is sent a full shot list and brief description of what everyone has said that could be of interest. I also cut the best soundbites to save time for our overnight team and cut a three-minute package on the Oscar hopefuls that the 0530 ITV news team want to run.

My head finally hits the pillow at 5am — a full 17 and a half hours after I got to work.

21.02.06

After my mammoth shift I spend the day at home with my fiancé — it’s the first full day we’ve spent together since mid January. My only real ‘job’ of the day is to head into town for a screening of Transamerica, the transgender film that Felicity Huffman has an Oscar nod for.

22.02.06

Still feel knackered after my late morning on Monday. This just serves to confirm that not only am I getting old, I’m also getting pathetic — I used to be out almost every night reporting in previous jobs, so clearly I need to ‘man up’, as a colleague of mine likes to say.

Today my bulletin consists of hugely important world issues such as Pierce Brosnan telling us about being filmed in his pants at last night’s Matador premiere, more ‘Chantelle and Preston come clean about their relationship’ type stories, and Jay Kay talking to us about his new helicopter obsession.

I sometimes feel slightly guilty when the news team is frantically trying to get across pictures being fed in from a bomb blast, while I debate with my team the best strapline for a story about Louis Walsh’s band Westlife doing a duet with Jacko.

I placate my inner turmoil by reasoning that our bulletins are consistently popular and that without fluff the world would be a very serious place indeed (in case you were wondering, we went with ‘Blame it on the Louis’).

In the afternoon the team heads out to do an interview with Anthony Costa of ‘Blue’ fame — he is vying for the chance to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens.

The words ‘career suicide’ spring to mind.

With the NME awards tomorrow night it’s been a great week in terms of footage, so I give us all a mental high five and get off just in time for the kick-off of Chelsea v Barcelona.

With a Chelsea-mad father and a Barcelona-crazy fiancé, I count my lucky stars that I’m on my own tonight so can watch it in peace with a glass of wine — now all I need is to transport a bubble bath in front of my Sky+ box and you’ve got all the ingredients for perfection, Pirks style…

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