Saturday, 23 July 2016

North of the Border and the day job ..

It's been a long while since I have visited Scotland as a tourist .. the last few times have all been for work .. The Today Show for NBC, Portrait Artist of the Year for Sky Arts, Greyhound racing and the Ryder Cup for Sky Sports. 

The trouble is when you travel for work you don't really get to see much of the place you're working in, specially given the hours that we have to work. There is rarely enough down time to find a good restaurant to eat in let alone having time to go and see the sights! 

This trip was no exception either. Although we stayed in Glasgow, our place of work was about an hour's drive away in Troon, Ayrshire - at the Royal Troon Golf Course for The Open 2016. We were there for a total of 9 days to do preview shows and build ups to the main tournament which started on the Thursday and finished Sunday. This travel time added 2 hours per day to our already long days. Oh the glamour of 2.30am starts!

The weather was changeable - four seasons in one day on some days with winds gusting at 30mph and rain pelting down at a 45 degree angle but when it was sunny, seeing the beach and the ocean alongside the course was breathtakingly beautiful. It's a pity we could not get time to walk along that stretch of coastline. Every day we would see people walking their dogs and on the windy days a few kite surfers took advantage of the perfect conditions and location for that sport.

We even had a visit from the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon who was interviewed by 2 children who had won a competition through the Sky Academy.

The pictures below show our backstage make up and hair area, the main studio which overlooked the 18th hole and the Open Zone which was located right next to the practice area and driving range. 

We had a smaller open backed studio for the Sky Sports News reports which was particularly susceptible to the elements like wind and rain but benefited when the sun was shining.

For the television viewer it was probably a seamless, effortless transmission but for those of us 'on the ground' it was the most grueling few days

I find that jobs like these can be the most rewarding because of the time and effort you put in - mostly running on adrenalin towards the end. The relief when its over makes you almost forget what you put yourself through!

The new 2016 Champion - Henrik Stenson from Sweden

Next year The Open will be at
Royal Birkdale Golf Club Southport, England