Strictlys lead cameraman speaks out on 15-hour days on BBC show

Strictly: Dan Walker receives first 8 from Motsi Mabuse

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Lincoln Abraham, lead cameraman behind the scenes of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, has spoken to Radio Times about the reality of working on the show. The cameraman has talked about the stresses of getting everything right during filming. 

It’s brilliant to give something back

Lincoln Abraham

He mentioned the brutally long working hours, before clarifying that he doesn’t consider the hours to be at all unfriendly. 

He said: “The show can turn into a 15-hour day sometimes, but you don’t look at the hours — it’s an honour working on Strictly every weekend for the past ten years, especially as a person of colour.”

Lincoln went on to discuss how times have changed during his time working as a cameraman in the UK.

He said that he started 30 years ago, but since then, the job has gotten easier. 

“It was really difficult when I started, over 30 years ago, but over the years I’ve been able to train other people up. 

“It’s brilliant to give something back — if somebody hadn’t done it for me, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” the cameraman explained. 

Lincoln also explained how important it is to keep your calm as a lead camera operative, due to the high stress of the situation. 

He said that he would “freak out” if he thought about everyone watching at home. 

“I just have to go, ‘Right, Tess is going to walk down there, so you need to get that shot…’

“And that’s how I look at it. If I thought too much about it, I would go wrong!,” he added. 

The lead filming operative then confirmed that they used 10 cameras for the show.

These included pedestal cameras, a crane camera, steadicams and hand-held cameras for audience shots. 

“So sometimes they’ll go, ‘Your mum’s in the audience’, and a handheld camera will point at them,” Lincoln clarified. 

Because of Covid, the cameraman said, they have had to start using some mechanical equipment. 

These include “hot heads” which work remotely on columns and film side-to-side. 

He said: “We have one trained on Claudia, and one on the couples as they come up the stairs.”

News earlier today has confirmed that Motsi Mabuse will be forced to pull out of the show this weekend. 

Her announcement came when she was contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app after coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Most shared on social media that she was “gutted” to be missing out on the weekend. 

She wrote: “I am gutted to say I will have to miss this weekend on Strictly. Yesterday, I was contacted by NHS Test and Trace as being in close contact with someone on Sunday 21st Nov who has since tested positive.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday on BBC One at 6.45pm and the results show airs on Sunday.

You can read the full interview in the Radio Times, out now. 

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