It was supposed to be a marvel of live television and technology, but Ita Buttrose’s appearance this morning on Studio 10 was all at sea -towed to shore after a water taxi broke down in choppy waters.
Buttrose had been guest-tweeting at Wake Up‘s Manly studio and was then supposed to be whisked away by water taxi to TEN’s Pyrmont headquarters. According to pre-publicity the plan was to transport her “in ultimate style across beautiful Sydney Harbour to Studio 10. And what better way to follow her journey live on television than with a chopper.”
But distance and weather got the better of those plans.
First the 71 year old took a limo to the water taxi, but that also entailed an umbrella all the way to the water’s edge in the first rain-soaked segment, ably escorted by roving reporter Sam Mac. It looked like a queue to get down the pier before reaching the tiny water taxi.
But worse was to come en route, when water got into the fuel, resulting in the engines being stopped and the skipper Michael had to phone for help.
“Sam and I were muttering in the back, ‘it’s a joke,'” she said later. “They’re just pretending. It’s Rob McKnight again, our executive producer. This is his idea of being funny.
“Then he got the anchor out and we thought ‘He’s not joking, it’s real.’ It’s really quite a strange feeling to be in a little craft on quite a rough seas and you’re not in control of the boat.”
Live crosses to Studio 10 from a camera crew showed Buttrose was putting on a brave face, escorted by Sam Mac.
Eventually they were towed by a ferry to Chowder Bay where they hitched a ride in a Commodore back to Pyrmont where an apologetic McKnight was waiting with a bottle of Moet champagne.
What should have taken an hour took almost two, none of it filmed by a live chopper.
“I’ve never been so happy to see Channel TEN’s building in my life!” Buttrose said.
I suppose it’s possible that such a comedy of errors will endear the show to a new audience, but the timing and the metaphors could hardly be worse. Well done to Buttrose for smiling through first-world problems like a trouper.
“It’s the best thing we’ve done yet,” joked Joe Hildebrand.