We drank coffee and ate our body weight in doughnuts. We sat in discreetly parked cars packed with camera equipment. We were on a stakeout, no doubt about it. But something wasn't right.
In the movies the undercover reporter turns up and, half-way through eating his first doughnut, takes a photograph of the dodgy guy doing something dodgy, then hurries back to the newsroom for a front page spread.
In reality time passed, technology failed, voices became strained, frustration bubbled and more coffee was consumed. The team held its nerve but after days in a cramped vehicle some were unable to hold their bladders and had to pee in a bottle.
The task was nowhere as easy as you might think. Picking our target was problematic. One was jailed before we got to him, another had the ability to ghost in and out of his house.
As Britain's most convicted driver Jamie Manderson was our prime target. He was naturally suspicious as he had only been in court a few weeks earlier and avoided a custodial sentence. It made it all the more eye-boggling to see him out flouting the law again.
He has been banned from driving every year of his adult life, but it seems he can't help himself. He lawyer described him as a "likeable idiot" who was "addicted to driving."
From our sightings it might be more accurate to say he was addicted to driving fast. That proved to be another problem, keeping up with him for long enough to get the shot.
In the end we learned his habits and got him coming and going from a car park where he stowed the vehicle away from his house. He has had over 200 convictions including 48 bans. It seems another one is in the pipeline. (Source: http://news.five.tv/natashas_newsroom.php?id=66)