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Local TV

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20 years since the Real IRA bombing of BBC TV Centre

Talking of Northern Ireland, it was recently the 50th anniversary of when 5 BBC engineers got killed by an IRA landmine:

A very sad story with too many innocent lives lost.
It ultimately delayed the opening of the Brougher Mountain UHF service I believe.

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2000 Today

I have some fairly grim memories of it all.
I was working for the BBC 1 programme and was looking after the radio links with a colleague who was so ill he could barely speak.
We were one of the main London hub sites, next to the new (and not yet working) London Eye.
The London Eye team were trying to blame our links for some of the cabins going upside down as the wheel went round.
We needed a 103 foot hoist to see the main hub site near Southwark, but only had a 100' hoist, so ours was on the maximum reach of its jacks.
The days were long, the kit was all pressed into service, including some of the less reliable stuff.
Watching the Prime Minister and the CEO of British Airways open the London Eye, on a very dodgy 5GHz link live to the nation and beyond with everything crossed.....
Colleagues and former colleagues, and anyone else we could employ who knew what a sync pulse was getting locked in and out of buildings.
Not leaving site for hours on end, and nothing to eat for 18 hours on the day itself.
Someone from production giving us a Mars bar which we cut in half and a small bag of Mini Cheddars, which we shared.....
The Scottish rigger producing a bottle of scotch that we drank on the roof of the nearby building having climbed a ladder that was about 2 feet shorter than it should have been.
The other rigger spotting someone in the crowd stealing some of our kit and boucing their head down the side of our Bedford links truck. Quite loudly.....
With no toilets anywhere on site, men were pissing everywhere, women were going underneath our hoist on its tippy toes.
Broken glass everywhere.
Leaving site to walk the mile to our digs through the crowds, finally getting there about 3am, with nothing to eat when we arrived.
Getting up again at 5am to go back to site.
The genny op not having any means of getting back to site, and the Unit Manager who was acting in the post, starting up the genny.
The electricity going off 20 minutes later, with a lot of shouting when the genny op arrived, and spotted the ventilation flaps weren't open and the genny was overheating.
Despite the technical crew being back on site, nobody else arriving for our breakfast commitments, no production or talent.
Eventually giving up and deriging in the broken glass and piss while slightly hungover, tired and very hungry.
Finally going home and ready for bed.
I have said, based on that, that I will never work another millennium ever again.