WHAT a memorable year 2012 has been with the Queen’s Jubilee and Britain’s success in the Olympics and Paralympics.
One man lucky enough to be at the heart of it all was TV cameraman Stephen Emerson, who hails from Hartlepool.
He has been a freelance cameraman based in London for the last 10 years working mainly for the BBC.
London was buzzing with patriotic fervour in June as the nation celebrated The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Stephen shot footage of a star-studded music concert staged outside Buckingham Palace in front of thousands of people.
He said: “I was on a platform overlooking the main stage and filmed for live broadcasts throughpout the concert on the news channel and also for the main news bulletin.
“I got to see the concert and all the stars like Robbie Williams, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey and Kylie Minogue.
“It was a really good atmosphere.” Stephen, 46, was on hand to witness more amazing scenes during the Olympics which saw Great Britain achieve its biggest ever medals haul.
He was based in a BBC studio on top of a 23-storey council flat block overlooking the Olympic Park.
“It turned into a major news operation,” said Stephen, of the Wooler Road area. “It was a good place to be because you felt part of it just because you were so close to the park.” Footage filmed by Stephen was again used on the BBC news channel and beamed around the world on BBC Worldwide.
One moment that he will never forget was the night he saw paralympians David Weir win the 800m wheelchair gold and Jonnie Peacock take the 100m gold for Great Britain within an hour of each other.
“It was probably one of the most memorable nights of the Paralympics,” said Stephen.
“The stadium was absolutely packed and the atmosphre was electric.”
Stephen, who went to Jesmond Road and West Park Primary Schools in Hartlepool, also covered the athletes parade through London when thousands of people poured on to the streets to show their appreciation.
More recently, Stephen filmed the moment they pregnant Duchess of Cambridge came out of hospital after being treated for severe morning sickness.
“We were live on air for the BBC news channel when she came out with William,” he said. “We were given about 10 minutes notice and the pictures were used on the main news bulletin that evening.”
He also filmed the resignation speach of former BBC director general George Entwistle and terror suspect Abu Qatada’s arrival home after the Government failed to deport him.
Stephen, who is also a member of Hartlepool Camera Club, added: “You get access to a lot of places you wouldn’t normally have like Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. I have filmed Prince Charles and Camilla in their garden at Clarence House.
“You get to meet a lot of interesting people like politicians and celebrities and witness events that become national news.”
Stephen became a cameraman after joining Tyne Tees television when a documentary he made on local seal pups caught a producer’s attention.
Soon after he was offered a job with ITN at their London headquarters.
He has also travelled the world filiming resorts and hotels for the Thomas Cook cable channel.