Presenters Meeting: Springwatch vs. Cup Final
It is the Wednesday presenters meeting and everybody is there. Series producers, episode producers, assistant producers, web producers, and the on-site presenters: Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games. The meeting kicks off with Chris getting a text from his mother telling him that he looks tired and asking him if there is any way he can get more sleep? We have only been on air two days. There are still two weeks to go...
Finally the meeting moves onto more important things. Roger, today's producer, says he has heard that Ronaldo may have twisted his ankle. Ronaldo is not an animal. Ronaldo is a football player. This wakes Chris up and he asks if Ronaldo is going to be out of tonight's Champion's League Final. Roger doesn't know and they both make a note to seek clarification. Nobody dares tell Chris that tonight's game clashes with another live programme called Springwatch.
For a while talk turns to the animals of the day: the remaining lapwing chicks, the bats that have been filmed in the barn, the mysterious bird that Simon has teased us with, and the chaffinches. This prompts a story from Chris in which - as a kid - he accidentally put his hand in a greenfinch nest, prompting all the chicks to scarper. He then spent the next half hour gathering them in his hat so he could return them to their nest. Is that why he is wearing a hat today, I wonder?
There are some excellent suggestions for some clever film-making, but they are put to one side when it is revealed that the editing equipment has contracted a virus and the computers keep turning themselves off. Someone wonders whether it is possible for computers to get swine flu ... which is the closest we get to discussing animals for a while.
Then Kate has a brilliant idea for a series called Nest Detectives with Chris Packham presenting. But Chris plays hard to get and says he will only be on board if he can say 'gape flanges' a lot.
At this point I notice that someone has actually made star charts for the three presenters, but for every possible shining star there is also a possible grey cloud. Who will get the first award? And will it be a star or a cloud?
Kate goes for gold with a brilliant but convoluted change to the running order. It is like something out of Manchester United's repertoire of set pieces (but with otters): "Martin goes to Gordon, Gordon throws it to Simon, Simon comes back to us, and we do the otters before linking to Martin." If Man United lose tonight they could do worse than getting Kate Humble on board next season.
But unfortunately for Kate it means making a mess of Roger's running order which was on a nice clean piece of paper.
"What a pickle!" says Roger.
"Shall I get my coat?" asks Kate.
"I should," says Roger.
It is like a conversation out of Winnie the Pooh.
In the end it is agreed that maybe Kate shouldn't leave yet but she does get a grey cloud for coming up with a brilliant but troublesome idea.
Martin brightens the mood by announcing that a crack team of film makers have gone in search of a nest perched inside a supermarket car wash. It was mentioned on last night's show and attracted plenty of discussion. Fingers are crossed that the film crew have remembered to take a water-proof camera and that we will be able to show the footage tonight.
Only time will tell...