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Interview with Rob, the cameraman

Friday 14th of March 1997... Having arranged to meet in a rather affluent area of West London, I was now sat in a very tastefully furnished waterside pub with the one and only 'Rob, The Cameraman'. Over a plate of Chile, pints of Bitter and bouts of consumer noise, we talked with Rob about his work with Ray and everything else that was on his mind....

How's work?

Great! I've just come back from a few weeks work in Dubai and Morocco.

Doing what?

Filming the Golf Tournaments. I'm learning from some of the older cameramen, who are quite experienced at it. I tend to do the interviews with the golfers, as well as the golf coverage.

How did you get that work?

Through a friend of mine, whose office is just down the road.

What else have you been doing?

I've been doing some DIY on my flat! I also did 6 weeks filming for Nickelodeon, I was filming their breakfast show. It is similar to Most Wanted. You know, there are so many shows now that have ripped off the ideas that Most Wanted first had! I recently sat in a foreign hotel watching a Japanese show, and even that show ripped off our ideas!

What about the rip-offs on TFI Friday?

I guess it's inevitable that with Will McDonald producing, there will be similarities, but I always feel that given the same opportunities Ray could/would do a much better job. Chris Evans appears to be a much more abrasive character and doesn't seem very sincere.

I almost took some work with TFI. I went along to see a couple of the early shows. Spoke with Will about it, but it just never happened. They tend to rehearse everything much more than we used to.

And what did you think about the Big Breakfast Show on Channel 4? (in the early days it was presented by Chris Evans)

Well, Most Wanted had been going for a few months when one morning, someone came in to work at MTV and said "Have you seen that show on Channel 4? It's ripping off all our ideas". We were amazed. It's producer openly acknowledged that hey got their ideas from Most Wanted! I almost worked there as well.

How often do you see Ray?

Quite often. We talk a lot on the phone.

What do you hope the future holds for you?

A successful career in camera work – without it taking over my life completely, which I'm worried that it could do.

Belated birthday greetings BTW.

Thanks. Two more years and I'll be 30. I can't believe it. Time to settle down perhaps? Age really creeps up on you.

What are your thoughts on religion?

Over-rated.

And love?

One day!

Music?

I really like the Lightning Seeds.

Have you met them?

Yeah, when they came into the MTV studios. I always seem unable to catch them at a live gig though.

Members would like to know the truth. Did you really date Sade?

Yes. Unfortunately tho', I was asleep at the time. If I met her – she may recognise me. (Rob admitted to being embarrassed by the attention shown to him at times)

Which 3 things would you take to a deserted island?

A camera, Ray Cokes and a 3000-people-audience!

Do you have a favourite movie?

Star Wars

A Favourite book?

Star Wars – The book

A favourite album?

Star Wars – The soundtrack

You're really into it aren't you?

Yes. I could never say 'Most Wanted Friends' was sad, because I'm a member of the Star Wars Fanclub! It made a big impression on me.

Do you still see any of the Most Wanted crew?

Most, but not all. I haven't seen Pat for a long time, but I would love to meet up with him. Craig, Andy and Ben are still at MTV. I occasionally work with them on outside broadcasts. Also, I believe Hippie Hector now presents his own show!

On what channel?

Live TV in Birmingham or Manchester I think. (Rob left MTV to work there after Most Wanted) Live TV has expanded as a UK cable channel and Hector is now one of their presenters! Good old Hector. He really wasn't happy at MTV.

What do you think about Ray's radio show on Kiss FM?

I was sat in the Heathrow Departure lounge at 7 am one morning when I heard someone calling "Rob!! Rob!!". I looked around to see Nina. We were both on our way out to Berlin. Nina was going to help Ray with the start of his radio show and I was going to film a German golf tournament. Whilst out there I took the train into Berlin a couple of times to share a meal with them. I think the shows went really well. I know Ray was very pleased with the results.

What has been your scariest moment in life?

My driving test (Rob only passed on his third attempt), closely followed by that Hamburg show (X-Ray Vision). That Hamburg show was so different from Cologne and so frightening!

I couldn't believe how long it was allowed to continue. Someone could have been seriously hurt.

Lincoln took a terrible amount of racial abuse. He was very upset. When we returned, the cameramen and crew received apologies from MTV.

Do you expect to work with Ray again?

Yes.

When?

In the next 30 years.

Two hours flew by and now it was time to part company with Rob. Once outside we said our goodbyes. Rob mounted his horse and rode off into the sunset with a girl under each arm...

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