Interesting TV Interludes

by Jack Keegan


During the Republican Convention in Kansas City I was assigned to the Today Show.

My job was to mike up the celebrities that appeared on the show. One of our first guest was William Buckley the noted conservative writer. I approached him and explained that I was going to mike him for the broadcast. He gave a slight grin and said OK, as I miked him I talked about his column. I told him that I read it when ever it was available but that I had to have a dictionary with me when I read it. He kind of chuckled and said "But you are improving your vocabulary aren't you"? I had to agree.

Another guest was Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. I went up to him and explained that I was there to mike him up for the telecast. He replied in his thick German accent with a Yah. When I finished with the miking he asked," Whether I was going to screw one of those things (an ear piece) in his ear". I assured him that I was not, he replied thanks and seamed pleased that he was not to get a earpiece.

At the Johnson Space Center in Texas during the splashdown of the Apollo 14 TV coverage I was with the Foreign Broadcast Service. TV Broadcasters shared air time as it was available. It was Rai's (Radio Audizioni Italiane) turn on the satellite, their well known news presenter Orlando appeared on camera. On cue he started his delivery in his right hand he held a microphone as he spoke his left arm began to gesticulate as he read the news. Shortly the earpiece fell out of his ear grabbing it in his left hand and holding it to his ear. At this juncture his legs began to replace the arm gestures, which resulted in him doing a jig. When the people in the TV van saw this, they exploded in gales of laughter.

Apollo Eight from Kennedy Space Center -it was my job as chief in charge of Foreign Broadcast Service to install and connect forty four nations to the space center. Many long hours were spent in the radio racks at the cape doing circuit connections. All went well as we approached launch day. Speaking to London. Berlin, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv and many other capitals around the world was no problem as I was always able to speak to a person that understood English. However Madrid, Spain was a different problem, getting on the mike I began calling Madrid in English, the answer came back in Spanish. I asked if there was someone there that could speak English. The answer came back in Spanish at this point Kevin from the Radio Telefis Eireann approached me and asked if I was having trouble conversing with Madrid I said yes and he said may I help you. I said I sure could use the help as I did not understand Spanish. Now Kevin sprang into action taking the mike he began to speak in Spanish, it was fascinating to hear Spanish done with an Irish Brogue. When contact was established I inquired of Kevin how he was so well versed in Spanish, he explained that many Irish on Holiday spent their time in Casa Del Sole in Spain and became very conversant in the language. Another great moment in TV Broadcasting.


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