ITV Westcountry News, England / by Alastair Wiper

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I spent a day at ITV Westcountry news in Bristol in June this year. I always imagined that the studio would be full of people with clipboards and headsets pointing at each other in silence and making throat slashing signs, but actually there is nobody in the studio except the newsreader and the person operating the teleprompter. Everyone else sits in a control room called the "gallery" about twenty meters down the corridor, where they operate all the cameras, direct, edit and do everything else by remote control. Cordelia, the newsreader, sits alone in the studio as she has cues and information spoken to her through an earpiece, often while she is actually reading the news. Sounds pretty off-putting to me, but she insists it's not that hard - except when the people in the gallery do what ever they can to try to get her to laugh, just for the fun of it. The news is usually broadcast live at 6pm, but the day I visited was the same day that England was due to play Sweden in Euro 2012, and the match was to be broadcast before the news. Rain in Poland delayed the match by hours, meaning that everyone at ITV had to sit around not knowing if they would go on air or not. Eventually they went on air at about 11pm, and they weren't that happy about it.

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