Ark Royal Pictures

  In the summer of 1971 there was a live broadcast from somewhere in the English Channel, probably off Lyme Bay, from HMS Ark Royal.
My thanks to Lionel A. Smith ( who tells me that the programme was called 'Exercise Lymelight' and was broadcast for 'Tomorrow's World', both details that I had forgotten. He says "I was there working around the presence of your huge outside broadcast vans in the 892 Phantom section of the upper hangar."
On 30th July, the scanner, I think it was Unit One, was hoisted aboard by a huge floating crane.
When we arrived on the ship we were told the original plan had been for the crew to stay on board a support vessel & be transferred to & from Ark Royal each day by breeches buoy! Fortunately, it was decided that was too risky & we ended up, 6 to a cabin, staying on the Ark Royal instead.
We spent about 10 days at sea, culminating in a (mostly) live transmission: when the link failed a couple of times, the studio cut to the rehearsals we had recorded on a previous day. I remember the Sound Supervisor was John Livingstone who would insist on a regular fag, even though it was highly illegal and dangerous on the hanger deck where the scanner was parked.
Selwyn Cox was one of the camera men.