Thursday, 29 April 2010
Gordongaffe: Sky producer's 'magic moment'
Sky News producer Tami Hoffman tells on her blog how she first heard Gordon Brown's gaffe when he described Rochdale grandmother Gillian Duffy as a "bigoted woman."
Hoffman blogs: "For a TV news producer this was a dream spot - the Prime Minister revealing a chink in his carefully choreographed election campaign.
Caught on tape - and seen by me before anyone else had noticed.
I didn't spot it live as Sky News wasn't on the pictures at the time - we were still caught up in a turgid Alistair Darling speech.
So thank God for quad split TVs, that give TV producers the chance to watch multiple sources at the same time.
The confrontation between the PM and Gillian Duffy was going out on the BBC but they cut off the pictures before the crucial departure shot.
I was intrigued by Gordon Brown's body language.
Without the audio on I couldn't work out if this was a friendly chat or a hostile altercation.
The body language didn't add up.
And when I listened in, I was struck by what I felt was the very forced jolliness of the PM asking about her grandchildren and joking about her red jacket. It didn't ring true.
So headphones still on I watched him stride off to his car, and heard a very forceful slam of the door followed by a pause and then 'That was ridiculous'.
Gruff, annoyed and most definitely on camera.
And then: 'She's just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to vote Labour.'
After days and days of my nose pressed to the coalface of election producing it was a magic moment.
The day then played out like a feature length episode of In The Thick of It - Gillian's shock, Gordon's confession, the media's delight.
Watching Gordon Brown arrive later to apologise at Gillian Duffy's house in Rochdale, I swear I felt the hand of history on my shoulder."