Friday, June 1

La Vita in Diretta, Positano

I got a call yesterday from a friend asking if I could help her out. Rai (Italian TV station) was filming a live segment from Positano for their show 'La vita in Diretta'.
So this morning I headed down to the beach and was transported back 15 years in time to when I used to work in TV in England.

I was introduced to the Director and came to realise that I would be in charge of a fashion show. He seemed to think that I knew about it already, which I didn't, but I played hard could it be?

There were to be ten models, six of which were professionals and four local girls, all wearing locally made clothes. I had to decide who wore what, help them with the make-up and organise how they all walked down the steps leading to the piazza on the beach.
"What music have you chosen?", the Director asked me.

Of course, seeing as I hadn't known that I was in charge of a fashion show I hadn't chosen any music. So I bluffed.
"Um, I have a couple of songs that I think would be suitable, they're on my ipod. I presume your sound man can copy them onto disc?"

So off I went to the outside broadcast trucks with the sound man to copy the music. The TV trucks were parked in the only place flat and large enough in town that would accomodate them...the sewer works. Poor guys, think of how excited they were about a days work in Pos, then to find themselves stuck in the sewer.

The music couldn't be copied so I called Carlo who came down with a few discs. I left him with the sound man and went to sort through the clothes. The six professional models had arrived and sat sulkily in a corner. At one time I would have been intimidated by them, but not any more. I delighted in forcing them to wear outfits that normally they wouldn't be seen dead in, hurrying them when they dawdled and herding them out for various walk throughs. In contrast the four local girls were sweet and friendly and only too willing to help.

As the show went on air I stood at the top of the steps in the piazza shouting "vai! Vai!" at each pair of models when it was their turn to walk. The cameras were pointing towards us and I tried to make myself as small as possible, not wanting to be seen.

I remembered a few years ago when I was one of the local models on one of these live shows. Dressed in a lime green voluminous skirt and frilly bodice I had stiffly walked down the steps and frozen. I was supposed to sway to the music and laugh at what the presenter was saying, but I couldn't. People were looking at me! Too many people. I stood there mortified until the show was over. Much better being behind the camera.

The models sashayed down the steps, followed by the shows presenter and a marching band. Five minutes later it was all over. I looked at my watch, it was 7pm. I hadn't eaten or drunk anything all day. Skye was somewhere on the beach with her friends. I heard a wail and saw her, fallen on a path, a graze on her knee. I scooped her up and mended it with kisses and a plaster. With perfect timing the porters truck arrived and offered me a lift up into town.

I glanced around but all the TV peple had vanished. No thanks, no money for a whole days work but I wasn't really bothered. It had been fun for a day but I gave up that life ten years ago to live in Positano, and I don't regret it yet.


  1. what a nice post. you're always so full of interesting stories to tell about your life...

  2. It's a shame that you didn't at least get paid - or at the very least get lunch! Must've been fun though, to get to do something that you're actually trained to do!

  3. No money? you've got to be kidding. RAI has plenty of money to spare and they pay obscene amounts of money to people who are seriously incompetent, so you should make them pay you something. get in contact with them or with the person who asked for your help!!

  4. I am glad you enjoyed it, at least.


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