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Lights, cameras, action... in Barbados

Kelly Ranson January 20, 2015

Introduction: Back in December when the nights were drawing in I was lucky enough to take a trip to Barbados to see what goes on behind the scenes of filming a competition for ‘This Morning’, ITV’s popular day time show. The presenter on location was Thom Evans, ex-rugby player and recent ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star.

Many of the guests quickly spotted Thom, who was more than happy to have a chat with them about his rugby and dancing days. He was great fun to be with and entertained us with some of his ‘Strictly’ moves.     
The location of the filming was the Turtle Beach Resort by Elegant Hotels, located near beautiful Dover Beach. Arriving off the nine hour flight we headed straight to the hotel that would be our home for the next five days.  With heavy bags full of camera and sound equipment, our group were certainly not travelling light so it was great to get to the hotel and be welcomed with a refreshing (and quite potent) glass of rum punch. 
That evening we got our bearings and took in our beautiful new surroundings, and after a quick bite in the buffet restaurant, we took to our comfy beds after a long day spent travelling. The plan was to get down to the beach before sunrise the next morning to be sure we captured some good shots. 
The superb Caribbean sunrise was well worth the early 5am wakeup call!  It was quiet and peaceful with just a few early risers out for walks and doing yoga, and the cameraman managed to get some great footage on day one.
I noticed quite early on during this trip is that you can’t be inconspicuous, and just go about your business, when you have a huge camera, tripod and sound equipment in tow.  Many guests came over to ask what we were filming and to meet Thom. I think a few of them were keen to be extras. Sadly we couldn’t oblige, but it was lovely to meet and chat to people. 
The filming days were so varied; from filming on the beach, dining at the exclusive Cliff Restaurant, swimming with turtles, having a spa treatment and much more.  Things definitely take a lot longer than you imagine though – making sure the lighting is just right (I even took on the role of holding the reflector – not a particularly skilled job but still very important and it required a steady hand), keeping background noise to a minimum and even prepping bright and colourful food. The dishes tasted and looked delicious, but there’s a definite art to filming food so that it looks just as tempting on camera.  
We were generally lucky with the weather, but one morning it poured down with rain so we had to quickly run for cover! Not easy, when you have so much equipment with you, but we made it, and fortunately didn’t lose too much time from our schedule as the rain doesn’t usually fall for long in the Caribbean.
Oh, and spending all day in the sun without getting sunburnt was a hard task – there were definitely a lot of red faces and necks among us. One of my most memorable duties was ensuring that Thom didn’t get sunburnt.    Yep, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
The crew worked so hard on the trip and the hotel staff were brilliant, on hand at all times to make sure things went smoothly. The finished product looks fantastic; you can catch the competition – which includes the chance to win a trip for up to five people to Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels with Hayes and Jarvis – on ‘This Morning’ all this week from 10:30am.  
Enter the competition now and you could beat those winter blues and soon be dancing your way to Barbados to follow in Thom’s footsteps.    To enter please click here