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Thursday, 26 July 2012

London Tonight

We won't lie, the team were feeling subdued.  We had cycled over 1400 miles, we had stuck to the task regardless of Jake's injury, the onslaught of the British summer weather and the fatigue of a five and a half week adventure.  We had achieved many of our objectives but we had spectacularly failed to reach our sponsorship target.

We had received great support en route, fantastic media coverage and raised money with help from our main sponsor Hornby and the brilliant support of our charities.  It just didn't feel enough.  So, imagine how thrilled we were to be invited on ITN London Tonight!
Jake being filmed by the Olympic Park &
being interviewed by Louise on her first day
for London Tonight.
A filming session in the morning was attended by Lucy & Dave from Access Sport, who had arranged this opportunity.  We were then taken, by taxi, to the ITN studios near King's Cross.  What an incredibly surreal experience.  A hive full of worker bees all busy and focussed on their role to meet the demands of the Queen Bee (the 6:00 pm deadline) - it was fascinating.  It was just as well that we were absorbed with all that was going on - not much time to panic.

The added bonus was getting an opportunity to met and talk with Anne Wafula Strike, she was the first Kenyan woman to compete at a Paralympic Games and has since competed for Great Britain.  She was on London Tonight to raise awareness about the plight of people with disability in Haiti after the earthquake.
Anne Wafula Strike and Jake at London Tonight Studios.
Discussion over tea and chocolate hobnobs.
Philip was not allowed into the studio, their excuse was that there wasn't enough room on the sofa, you can make up your own minds!  Anyway, he got an opportunity to view Nic and Jake's panic from the calm surroundings of the production gallery...  Not exactly!  The programme hinged on live reports from the 'red carpet', Leicester Square and the opening of The Dark Knight.

Queen Deadline needed to be fed!  There was a 'no show' on the carpet, there were raised voices in the gallery; Phil, the studio manager, went to turn down the volume to his earpiece thinking he had turned it up - wrong!  "Ahh, you are shouting," he said, realising there was a degree of nervousness emanating from the room of massed TV screens and stressed production managers.

Suddenly, we were in the studio, Phil was tripping over cables and Ben Scotchbrook had a quick pre on-air chat with a non-communicative Jake, "Now is not the time to be silent," was the general gist of his banter.
Still from the London Tonight interview
What a fantastic experience!
Jake was not silent, he was great.  Ben, if we can be so informal, introduced us mentioning our 2 charities.  There was footage of us from the morning, a couple of still photos from our journey (including one from Lee Valley with Jake holding his Hornby mascot and wearing his cap) and best of all a link to the Tour de France and Bradley Wiggins -wow!  True, we didn't get a chance to remind people to donate but what a brilliant experience.

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