Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Before the fall

This week we’ve packed foxhunting (er… trailhunting), shooting, trout on the fly, falconry and deerstalking into 30 minutes on Fieldsports Channel, on YouTube and as a podcast on Podbean. The links are punchy, the packages handy and we were starting to feel a bit smug.

This morning, it wasn't looking so hot. Just goes to show what a day's hard editing will do. Three-quarters of a bottle in to his celebration, producer David gave us all a slap on the back by email. He and editor Chris live in Kent, I live in Somerset. "I've just watched the full thing and I thought it was tight, entertaining, fun and informative," wrote David.

Pride cometh. I went out autumn hunting on one of the summer's most glorious late afternoons (this evening's show has a chat with Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance on how it used to be called cubhunting) with the West Somerset Hunt. We cover them in the programme. In that package they are in the pouring rain. This evening the view from the Brendon Hills was staggering.

'Staggering' is about the word. I lasted half an hour and fell off twice in that time. My neighbour who was out hunting with me suggests I work harder on my rodeo skills.

I had a call from Philip Ghazala - not because he's seen the programme yet (he's in it) but because of my falls. One of the top hunting traditions is that the master rings up to see how the fallers are. Foxhunting is not quite as 'Devil take the hindmost' as its lovers sometimes make out.

Philip is looking forward to seeing the programme. In it, he is extremely nice about Honda which lent him a quadbike to use out hunting. Philip's joint master and half-brother Dan Watt rang him to say he watched it, loved it and wants to know how much Honda is paying Philip.

One of our editing problems was when the screen goes black before it starts another filmclip. Like early versions of Fieldsports Britain, I 'went to black' this evening as I came off the horse for the second time.

I emailed this line to David. He replied, now a bottle-and-a-half in, I suspect: "You are a very funny man - you need your own programme... hey you already have your own programme."

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