Rowan timed the train journey. The cop-van journey back would take considerably less time and she still had serious doubts that it would actually fill the time slot. Rowan honestly did think that this was a duck egg of the grandest type. It had 'flop' written all over it in big capital letters. Yes she was getting paid for this, but that didn't mean she had no professional pride. The train journey took ninety minutes. the duck egg was upped to emu egg and the capital letters set to bold too. Maybe the public, and more importantly, other TV executives wouldn't notice her name attached to this. There were hundreds of Halls, afterall. R. Hall was fairly obscure, wasn't it?
Rowan was whizzed off into a private office at the police station, out of sight and was informed that 'the lads' already had the van rigged up. She accepted a plastic cup containing an evil looking beverage from a suitably impressive looking policeman called Derek.
"Jason Jenkinson is your star." Officer Derek informed Rowan, showing her Jason's records. "Chosen especially because he thinks he's been badly done by." Derek rolled his eyes.
"I bet most of them do." Rowan said absently.
"You should get quite an interesting set of comments from him, actually. He's quite intelligent for a thug." Derek commented. Rowan nodded. The man's psychological profile and his criminal history wasn't really of interest to her. His charisma and entertainment value were.
"Is that him?" Rowan unearthed a mugshot, obviously of the thug in question. Maybe his looks alone could hook a few viewers. Big, blonde and hero-looking.
"Don't let the 'marine' look fool you. He wasn't arrested for nothing, you know. GBH." Derek nodded seriously. Rowan shrugged her shoulders. That mattered little either.
"Terry Hook." The undercover camera technician introduced himself from the doorway. He was dressed in a smart police uniform that would have fit Rowan. The entertainment value would certainly increase if Jason Jenkinson decided to riot. Terry Hook was only around ten stones wet through. Luckily, the real policeman who was travelling with them looked like the King Kong and was roughly the same size. He was introduced as Alan Bell. The last member of their road trip was the van driver, also a police officer, by the name of Stewart Ward.
Rowan hooked up her laptop in the front of the police van while Stewart Ward looked on.
"Wife watches all this stuff." He nodded. "Can't be doing with it myself. I hope you don't mind me saying, but that Prison Life is a load of tripe. I swear I saw one of them waving at the bloody camera!"
"Well that's when we have to move on." Rowan smiled. She thought she'd seen that wave too, just before a display of male attitude that had more front that Blackpool. "If this pilot takes off, then the broadcasts will be moved to evening peak viewing time." Rowan ajusted the focus on her equipment.
"You think it will?" Stewart asked.
"I hope so." Rowan nodded. It would probably take divine intervention. "You never know, he could try and escape. Viewing figures would shoot through the roof."
The noise of the van doors opening, then closing, told Rowan that their show was underway. The big, moody looking figure of Jason Jenkinson sat on a side seat, opposite officer Kong and Terry Hook. He had a scowl from hell and Rowan smiled in satisfaction at her laptop image.
"You still haven't told me how long I'll be stuck in that crap hole." Jason even made the opening line.
"Your solicitor told you, Jenkinson." Alan Bell's booming voice suited his appearance.
"So 'Until your trial' is a good answer, is it?" Jenkinson snorted.
"Any time in remand is taken of your sentence if you get banged up." Alan heaved.
"Which is naff all good if I get acquitted eh?" Jenkinson snapped. "Bloody stinks."
"It's the way it works for everyone, Jenkinson. Don't take it to heart." Terry Hook decided to make his debut.
"Who rattled your cage?" Jason snapped. "Who are you anyway? Do you just drag them in from the streets or what?" He asked Alan.
"Less of that, Jenkinson. Getting shirty with us isn't going to make one scrap of difference." Alan yawned. Jason Jenkinson let loose with a string of abuse that made Rowan wince. All good for publicity. He then launched into a tirade, criticizing the entire legal system and everyone in it. Derek had been right, he was quite well educated and it contrasted well against his stinking attitude.
The back of the van lapsed into silence and the van itself slowed in speed. Rowan looked up from her laptop. The road had been cordoned off and four traffic police stood abreast it. She looked at Stewart who just shrugged and stopped the van.
"Road's blocked." One of the four informed Stewart.
"I can tell you're a policeman." Stewart said sarcastically. "Why?"
"Gas pipes. Take the right road over there and follow that. You'll hit the main road eventually."
"How very helpful. When is 'eventually'? We're expected at F1 Secure Facility in two hours." Stewart tutted in annoyance.
"Oh I'd add another hour and a half at least onto that." The traffic policeman nodded.
"Bloody marvellous." Stewart heaved. "OK. I'll radio the station." He set off towards the right hand side road. In actual fact, the road wasn't much more than a dirt track and the van bounced along it in a very alarming manner.
"Where the pissing hell we going?" Jason shouted. "Up the North face of the frigging Eiger? If I've cut my head on that bracket I'll slap so many claims in it'll fuse your computers."
"Oh shut your roaring Jenkinson!" Alan said in annoyance. "Gas pipes or something. We're taking a detour."
"Over the Himalayas. Yes I noticed. Does this detour time come off the sentence that I might not get?"
"Are you going to whine all the way there?"
"You bet your flabby great arse I am."
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