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Making an Award-Winning Story

"Protecting Kate" is the story of the paparazzi press in Britain; how they'd handle Kate Middleton, once she married Prince William. It focuses the lens first on William as a young boy watching his mother both court and be hounded by the press. He hated them for it. And vowed he would not let his wife fall prey to them, as he felt his mother did.

It began as a wisp of an idea, while riding home on the London tube one night. I caught a small story about the Middletons having drawn their line in the sand years ago; suing a photographer and his agency for a picture of Kate playing tennis at Christmas. They'd won; putting the press on notice they'd play hard ball, should the 'snappers' step over the line.

CBC producer Erin Boudreau had good contacts with the paparazzi in London.She found the man who'd photographed  Diana at one of her most distressed moments just after her painful and public divorce, and who'd also photographed Kate on the club circuit. It was a wonderful voice around which to weave a story about the Royals and the "paps."

There are always memorable moments making a story. For this one, we needed access to Will and Kate at one of their only public events between their engagement and the wedding. It was in north England, and when we left by train, it was bright and sunny in London. By the time we got to the event- dark storm clouds threatened. Not wary yet to the vagaries of U.K. weather, I had no raincoat, not even an umbrella and we were headed for an open playing field to cover Kate. Security was incredibly tight which meant we stood outside, fenced in a media 'pen' for two hours in the torrential rain! I mean pouring.

In desperation, we bought large black garbage bags, punched holes for our head and arms and hunkered down. To say I looked like the proverbial drowned rat was an understatement. The moment the Royal couple did arrive, the sun came out, making it even worse as I stood greeting them in my finest hairdo.

 

The Foreign Press Association judges were unanimous in their choice of "Protecting Kate" as the winner in 'The story of the year - Royal Wedding' category. They praised its originality; in the months leading up to the wedding, there was so much coverage of William and Kate and not very much journalism. They said it was "unique" and creative. I suspect they were influenced by the storm of controversy here in Britain recently over phone hacking and the abuses of the tabloid press.

Foreign Press Assoc. Award.JPG

It was a unique honour to be chosen amongst international colleagues. For our excellent team-- producer Erin Boudreau and camera/editor Richard Devey-- the award made us proud of CBC and the quality work we can still do, on The National.


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