Story Developers: The Cray-Z-Gang
There are, I reckon, three kinds of Springwatch fans and the way to tell them part is to ask them this very simple question: "Who's your favourite on Springwatch?"
In the first group are those people who will reply with the name of an animal. The otter perhaps. Or the kestrel. In the next group are those people who will reply with the name of a presenter. So Kate, Chris, Simon, Martin or Gordon.
And then you have the third group who have a favourite but don't know their name, and the reason they don't know their name is that these are the die-hard Messageboarders. These are people, who - despite having to eat, drink, work and sleep like the rest of us - manage to spend 26 hours of the day in front of their computer screens, watching the live pictures on the Springwatch website, and commenting. For some members of this group, it's the story developers who are the stars. But nobody knows their names... until now.
Kristina, Gemma and Robert are on the second shift today which means that they start at 2pm and go on until midnight, but it has its rewards:
"What I love," says Robert, "is the fact that we get to be film makers. We have no real camera training or anything but when I watch the show later on I can see where I've panned or pulled focus. We're making little films that get seen by thousands and thousands of people."
And there are all sorts of people out there.
"At the moment there's a discussion going on called Little Chris's Fanclub," says Gemma. "Some of the people watching the otter camera at night have seen a white-clawed crayfish doing its thing and have started a crayfish appreciation club called the Cray-Z-Gang. At the moment they are debating whether anyone can join or whether you have to have seen it first."
But it isn't just about watching and listening to the animals. In the first week someone told the story developers that they could hear a party going on in a nearby field. Then someone watching the blackbird stream heard the crew singing Happy Birthday all the way over in the production tent. Rather than asking for quiet they sent in a birthday message. And it's not all one way traffic either.
"The other night things were going a bit slowly so we asked if anyone could help us with a crossword clue. Sure enough, they got the answer and sent it back to us. After that they were asking us is there was anything else they could get us: wine, pizza, the Welsh rugby team."
And did they get any wine, pizza or Welsh rugby players?
"No, but it's nice to be asked," says Robert, tucking into his bag of birdseed.