|Having just read 'BBC Tie wearing 101 for TV news cameramen,' I folded it up for future reference...|
It's not often that you hear me complain bitterly in the pages of this esteemed publication, (Shut up.) but we here at the ukcameraman institute of TV news studies believe that freedom of expression must be allowed to run free and to feel the tightening noose of shirt and tie or the cold steel of a razor blade no longer.
Now it must be said that my employers have given me free reign to a certain extent over what i wear whist representing them on the streets, but in the past few weeks i have been obliged to wear a shirt and tie not once, but twice, and it has caused me concern on a deep, personal level.
I hate wearing ties and shaving, it brings back memories of my former life...
You see many years ago, as a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, the Queen personally forced me to wear a tie and shave daily for ten years via her employment of a series of particularly brutal Senior NCO's who were invariably called Crusher, Gripper, or Mad Killer McMad. They would sit you down on the Regimental Sergeant Major's couch with tea and biscuits, and gently persuade you that Queens Regulations stated that formal No2 Dress was to be worn with a tie fashioned just so, below a clean, freshly shaven face. For those wondering, here is my (young) freshly shaven face...
|Having just joined up, your author is unaware of the tie and shaving hell that awaits him for the next ten years...|
Failure to adhere to my employers regulations would result in my tea and biscuit rations being withheld forthwith, followed by a course of headlong aerial acrobatics along the corridor and down the HQ's staircase, courtesy of 'Mad Killer McMad.'
Let me tell you, the Queen is a fair, but firm employer, and regulations are only waived during 'hot' campaigns where your head parts company with your shoulders and your tie slips off. Even then 'Mad Killer McMad' would charge you a weeks wages for having the 'wrong attitude' of a British soldier, and getting shot in the first place. I have such fond memories.
Now don't get me wrong, i will not turn up at a filming job all 'Gangsta style,' with my trousers showing the under garments of a refined gentleman, even if i am wearing cargo shorts. Nor will I ever sport a mankini on the court steps of Winchester on a hot and balmy day, I do still have a certain standard when it comes to turning up for work. Also, i begrudgingly carry a tie in my news van for unexpected occasions, should my former Royal employer decide to visit my patch and catch me sans tie. However, a cameraman wearing cargo shorts, shirt and tie is a funny spectacle to behold, but i'm sure she wouldn't mind after all these years... I think she owes me one...
So I will see you on the road. I may not be cleanly shaved or be wearing a tie, but my lens will be clear, batteries charged, my camera card formatted and my time code set to 00:00:00:00.
Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter, and asks you not to laugh at the picture of his 17 year old self.