Monday, 7 August 2017

Southport and The Open Championship, Royal Birkdale

In my day job role as a TV make up artist, I occasionally get to travel and I recently went up to Southport to work on an outside broadcast for The Open Golf championships at Royal Birkdale for Sky Sports. 

I don't know the area very well - the closest I had been before was to Liverpool and that too was for work. There is usually little time to see and do much outside of the working environment on these jobs although this time I was lucky enough to get an afternoon free on a beautiful sunny day to explore a little of the town and get a sense of it's Victorian heritage. There are many buildings still intact from days gone by - I felt as though I had stepped back in time.

"Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte lived in exile on Lord Street, the main thoroughfare of Southport, between 1846 and 1848, before returning to France to become President and subsequently Emperor of the French. During his reign, he caused much of the medieval centre of Paris to be replaced with broad tree-lined boulevards, covered walkways and arcades, just like Lord Street. On the strength of this coincidence, it has been suggested that the redevelopment may have been inspired by memories of Southport's town centre." Source Wikipedia

Having worked on The Open at Royal Troon last year, Royal Birkdale golf course was similar in that it was situated on the west coast with views of the seemingly endless beach and the sea. The Golf Club is over a hundred years old and has a beautiful Art Deco clubhouse built in 1935. Our studio was situated on the 18th fairway with gorgeous views of the 18th hole and the Clubhouse - the perfect location to witness the winner take his prize at the end of the championship.

Our first few days were occupied with set ups in the studio, The Open Zone and preview shows, finally kicking in the long hours on set from day 1-4 of the main event which started on air from 6am. Our call time was 3am for transport to the ground where we would grab a quick breakfast and head to the studio where make ups could be anytime from 4.30am.

Glamorous? It really isn't! However, the upside of early starts is getting to see the sunrise every day .. and we didn't have much rain to contend with either.

We were so lucky to have such a great team of people who all worked well together to create a fantastic job. Teamwork is everything in these situations and makes a huge difference.

Last year we won the BAFTA for best Sports Production - can we do it again?

Just some of the many people it takes to make this happen

Next year's The Open championship will be back in Scotland in Carnoustie 45 minutes away from St. Andrews. Tickets are already available!

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