Murray Mania

In the heady days of Tim Henman reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon a few years back, it seemed unthinkable that a Brit would actually win it. But here we are in 2013 with a mortal from this great nation holding aloft the men’s singles trophy as we laugh in the face of adversity.

Having worked at the All England club as a shoot edit cameraman for BBC Nations & Regions for the past 3 years, I’ve been lucky enough to see two great years of British tennis success. Last year we had a doubles champion in Johnny Marray, this year the big one. It has been amazing to be part of. As I sneaked into centre court commentary box to watch part of the 2nd set of the final, it felt like everything was falling into place for Murray. And it did.

The Dream Ticket!

The week had started with plenty of British disappointment though. My job was to cover any British interest for the various regional news bulletins across England, and the national news for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Week two of Wimbledon is where the juniors start, and I spent the day frantically running between courts, grabbing snippets of action and then interviewing mostly downbeat youngsters whose Wimbledon dreams had ended in the first round.

On centre court

As the week progressed though, some glimmers of light shone though. Kyle Edmund, who hails from my region of East Yorkshire was doing particularly well in the boys’ singles. The excitable Hull-based reporter Simon Clark had decamped to SW19 to tell the story of “Tickton’s finest” (Kyle’s home village in East Yorks). Laura Robson won through to the 4th round of the women’s singles, and a young lad from the Isle of Man called Billy Harris had had the honour of winning the island’s first ever match at Wimbledon.

Simon Clark reports on Kyle Edmund’s progress in the boys’ singles

The usual smattering of celebrities were appearing on the broadcast roof to feature on various TV channels. I caught glimpses of Bear Grylls, Jude Law, Amir Khan and golfer Jack Nicklaus, who was amenable enough to allow me to have my picture taken with him.

Bear Grylls having his lunch. I expect it’s not kangaroo testicles this time

Jack Nicklaus on the broadcast roof

Occasionally i would nip over to the training courts to film the top players practicing. It is always a thrill to see how amazing they are close up. Below are videos of Andy Murray serving and women’s singles champion Marion Bartoli doing a brutal back hand exercise. After I saw that, she was my tip for the win!!

Filming Murray on the practice courts

Marion Bartoli training at Wimbledon from David Cheeseman on Vimeo.

Andy Murray serving on Wimbledon practice courts from David Cheeseman on Vimeo.

The big story though came at the end of the week. BBC Scotland reporter David McDaid follows Andy Murray around the world to let the nation know how Dunblane’s most famous son is getting on. As he went 2 sets to 0 down to Verdasco in the quarters, heads were in hands right across the office, including David. But as we’ve seen almost every year, Murray fought back to get through. I still didn’t think he would ever get past Djokovic in the final.

For match point I was filming to faces of the crowd on Henman Hill. The last game was excruciating, but the celebrations were brilliant. Only later that evening did I get to actually watch the tennis. To get through that game was outstanding from Murray – hats off to him.

Excited fans on Henman Hill…. it was heaving and mega hot out there. Worth every minute though

After the game I edited and filed a package for BBC Reporting Scotland before being summoned down to the interview rooms to chat to Andy himself. He was very humble as usual but gave some great comments about Scottish pride and his hope to come back to visit soon. I’m sure he will be more than welcome up there.

Murray talks to Italian broadcasters shortly after we had interviewed him for BBC Scotland

To top off a surreal day, we managed to secure a brilliant interview with the actor Gerard Butler. He was great value and was thrilled with Murray bringing the Wimbledon title to Scotland. Here’s hoping for many more wins in the coming years.

Interviewing the actor Gerard Butler on the broadcast roof

Tool of the trade

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