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BBC Outside Broadcasts to cover Pope John Paul II’s Funeral and Royal Wedding

This weekend BBC Outside Broadcasts will provide television coverage of Pope John Paul II's funeral and the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
The Royal Wedding will now take place on Saturday April 9, so that leading international figures, including the Prime Minister Tony Blair, are able to attend Pope John Paul II's funeral. There will be coverage of the couple’s journey from Windsor Castle to the Guildhall registry office and of the blessing from St George’s Chapel.
Forty different cameras will provide pictures of the Royal Wedding for the BBC News team, including eight at Windsor Castle, ten along the half-mile route to the Guildhall registry office and fourteen more in St George’s Chapel, where the Service of Prayer and Dedication will take place. A further eight studio and unilateral cameras are being provided for the host feed and three International broadcasters.
The scale of the BBC Outside Broadcasts’ operation for the Royal Wedding has increased dramatically since it was confirmed that the Outside Broadcast team would be allowed into the chapel to cover the blessing just two weeks ago. More than 100 people from BBC Outside Broadcasts are involved and the office team is working hard to reschedule craft staff with just four days to go. BBC Outside Broadcasts is working with around 300 people from BBC News and BBC Radio.
Three of BBC Outside Broadcasts’ flagship trucks are being used to cover the wedding – Units 10, 11 and 12 – all large expanding production units. BBC Outside Broadcasts’ Unit 25 truck has travelled out to Rome to cover the funeral of Pope John Paul II, which takes place on Friday April 8 at 9am.
The short-notice around the announcement of the wedding and funeral plans, combined with the heavy security which accompanies these types of events makes logistics challenging for the BBC Outside Broadcasts’ team, particularly in terms of ensuring the necessary crew can be accredited for entry.
Peter Taylor is the BBC Outside Broadcasts’ Engineering Manager responsible for overseeing the funeral. Jon Mason, Head of Project Delivery Management at BBC Outside Broadcasts is responsible for coverage of the Royal Wedding. Both Peter and Jon were involved in the Queen Mother’s funeral, which was turned around in just nine days.
Mark Tugwell, Director of BBC Outside Broadcasts, said: “This is exactly what BBC Outside Broadcasts does best – deliver quality coverage of massive high-profile live events, at very short notice. These broadcasts are frequently on an unprecedented scale, attracting huge international audiences. We covered the Queen’s Coronation back in 1953, all the Royal Weddings in Britain over the last 32 years, both Princess Diana’s and the Queen Mother’s funerals - BBC Outside Broadcasts is unique in having the capability and experience to manage such projects, plus the flexibility and back up to deal with plans which change by the hour.”
As well as covering the funeral and the wedding this weekend, BBC Outside Broadcasts is also capturing lots of sport and entertainment events including the Rugby special for BBC Two, the Grand National for Grandstand, three football events for BBC’s Match of the Day (Chelsea, Blackburn and Manchester City), the New Zealand World Rally Championship for ITV, Boxing at Liverpool, Motor GP and Master Golf in the US for BBC Sport, plus Bargain Hunt and Strictly Dance Fever for BBC One.
In total 114 BBC Outside Broadcasts camera personnel will be working this weekend. Nine large BBC Outside Broadcasts trucks are being used, plus another two large production units which have been hired in and 50 support vehicles.
BBC Outside Broadcasts is also currently involved in the build up for the general election and is providing three double crewed units over the next three weeks to continuously support BBC News.
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