Last week I was invited to be part of the Good Morning Britain filming team to record an exclusive interview with the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska and Susanna Reid. Susanna had previously interviewed the First Lady in Ukraine so this was a follow up.
Olena Zelenska together with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal were visiting to represent Ukraine at the coronation of King Charles III but first they wanted to meet the Ukrainian troops who are undergoing training in Wiltshire.
These types of shoots can be challenging and this was no different. The MOD took us in a bus to the top of the hill.
I filmed the troops training while Steve (main camera) recorded trails and promos with Susanna. We were told we would have 20 minutes with the First Lady and were keen to prep for the interview. We set up outside with a nice backdrop and just as she was walking over to us the heavens opened so we had to rush to a military tent. I quickly set up two small panel lights I had taken but due to the bright background we couldn't shoot out into the light. We had less than a minute to rig the lights and move the First Lady and Susanna into position. It was far from ideal but with the First Lady stood waiting we didn't have many options. I was on Susanna's camera for the interview.
The first group of Ukrainian defenders arrived at the training ground near Salisbury in June 27, 2022 as part of Operation Interflex. This was launched by the UK to train soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine overseen by the 11th Brigade of the British Army on the territory of the country with the participation of instructors from nine more partner states (Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Lithuania, Canada, and the Netherlands).
UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace was also a the meeting and met the First Lady and the Prime Minister in the training area. This meeting was not filmed.
First camera was Stephen J Brand with Glenn Street on sound. After the filming, my rushes were sent back to London via my LiveU.
The footage aired on GMB on ITV 1 on 9th May 2023. It was broadcast in short clips throughout the programme.
You can watch it below.