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Glasgow West End: Pat's Guide (Home)

John Owens and Friends at the filming of VeeTV at Cafe Costa

John Owens and Friends - Vee TV filming at Costa Cafe, Great Western Road, Glasgow - 21st February 2001

Wednesday morning: This was the day I would be filmed. I knew I would not be interviewed and that was fine by me as I get nervous if a camera points my way. I also wanted the opportunity to watch the film being made as I have never seen this first hand.

On Wednesday morning I met my friend Derek at the train station in Paisley and we travelled together to Glasgow and then took the Underground from Buchanan Street to Kelvinbridge. We were lucky to get there in one piece as Derek kept sticking his head out of the door at each stop.

Anyway we arrived at Kelvinbridge in one piece and had only a couple of minutes walk to the Cafe Costa where the film was being made. The cafe looks very big from the outside but smaller when you go in. It serves a good selection of snacks and coffee and there is an array of tables and chairs. However, the outstanding thing was the rigging; tall with round white sheets and tall light stands with lights were covered by coloured cellopane.

There was a hubbub of people talking about how the place should be set out and how the the furniture and tables should be arranged. Aside from the cast and crew, Derek and I were the first people to arrive (it was around 9am). We watched the cast and crew and waited for our friends. We met Heidi McAlpin, who had contacted me about Vee TV being filmed at Costa Cafe and we explained about ourselves and what we do.

Soon everyone had arrived and it was good to see our friends again - we had not seen them for a long time since I went to the Deaf Club in Glasgow. There was Scott and Katrina. later on, Scott would be one of the three people interviewed about Subtitles and Signing on Television; the pros and cons and which is better.

The filming was supposed to start at 9.30am but the furniture had to be rearranged to allow the interview to take place. Also, to make sure the lighting was in the right place. Derek and Katrina were asked to be extras - surfing the Net on the computers in the background. As it is Vee TV, the VeeTV had to be visible on the computers. Derek was okayed to have a conversation with Katrina while the filming took place.

The director noticed that in the background, Derek and Katrina were signing to each other and felt that this iwould prove distracting for the viewer. So the director called a halt to filming and told Derek and Katrina to sign small to aviod distractions. Oops! So the filming continued and there were no problems.

Later on, I saw a deaf man come into the cafe and the first thing I saw about him was his golden ear moulds! My friends saw this as well and I joked that he could get mugged for his moulds. I don't know his name but he was interviewed by one of the presenters. I think it may have been about films.
I'm unsure about this <strongbut all will be revealed soon. If you are the man with the golden ear moulds, please get in touch with me because I woud be interested in finding out what you were being interviewed about.

Another scene was set for filming, this time, the interview was with Scott, Frank and a third man regading the preference of Subtitles on television. I was in the background for that scene. You probably can see me (I wore glasses and a pale green jumper). I was also in the background scene for the interview with The Man with Golden Moulds (that sounded almost like a James Bond title). So watch out for me!

All of the extras (including me) were warned to be careful what we were talking about in the background as the wanted the whole conversation to be low key and clean to avoid distractions and upsetting the viewers.

In between filming, some of the cast and crew were smoking heavily among the No Smoking signs. This made me feel ill and I went outside for fresh air. Derek, Scott, Katarina and I walked up Great Western Road, it turns out that the three of them are looking for fake blood for their mock Jerry Springer show at the Glasgow Deaf Club. That's another story...

I went home feeling ill and I had a cold for the following three days. Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing the recording of Vee TV first hand and it was really interesting. It provided a good insight into the process of filming and I can always say "Oh yeah, I met that presenter" and "I did actually meet the blonde presenter whose name escapes me..."

Vee TV can be seen on Saturday mornings on Channel 4 and I'm not sure when the Costa Cafe recording will be aired. I will ask the people responsible for the programme.

Thanks to Pat Byrne for putting up my article on the Vee TV recording.

If you wish to contact me, then e-mail me at

17th March 2001 Update - After watching Vee TV this morning, the presenters announced that they will be hosting the Vee TV programme from Glasgow next week (24th March 2001). This is the very programme I was talking about in this article. The Glasgow Costa Cafe will be used as the location for Vee TV for the next four weeks or so. So set your video recorders!

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