The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
the contact/email details
Kate and Gerry record an interview for the weekly Spanish television
programme La Noria, on Telecinco, inside their villa in Praia da Luz. Gerry storms out when questioned about a report
that traces of blood had been found in their holiday apartment. He later apologises and returns to finish the interview.
Gerry travels back to the UK at night 'to attend to a few personal matters before heading to Edinburgh'. Kate has family
staying with her whilst Gerry is in the UK.
24 Aug 2007
Gerry starts the day with some pooled telephone interviews,
for the British press, to talk about the media coverage of the case.
In the afternoon, Gerry heads up to Edinburgh in advance of his
appearance at the Edinburgh International TV Festival. He manages to get 25 minutes aerobic exercise in the gym before meeting
up with a friend, who produced the Madeleiene DVD, for a bite to eat.
Police say they still have doubts over how Madeleine disappeared
and whether she will ever be found.
Portugese newspaper Tal & Qual publish a front page headline
that reads: 'PJ believes that the parents killed Maddie'.
25 Aug 2007
At the Edinburgh Festival, Gerry is interviewed on stage at 9.30am
by Kirsty Wark. Gerry describes the event as being 'very well attended' but there appear to be quite a few free seats in the
short clip that is available.
Gerry leaves Edinburgh early afternoon but spends much of the
day travelling as he has to return to Portugal via Luton airport.
Kate attends the English speaking night service, at the
local church, alone.
Interview that was filmed last Thursday, for Spanish television,
is aired on the Telecinco programme.
26 Aug 2007
Gerry attends Sunday morning mass alone fuelling rumours
in the press that the couple are experiencing relationship difficulties. This is strongly denied by Kate and Gerry.
Kate and Gerry record an interview for Spanish television inside their villa in Praia da Luz. Gerry storms
out when questioned about a report that traces of blood had been found in their holiday apartment. He later apologises and
returns to finish the interview.
Interview recorded: Thursday, 23 August 2007
Interview aired: Saturday, 25 August 2007
Kate and Gerry interviewed on Telecinco
Gerry storms out of the interview.
Leaving Kate behind.
Gerry McCann storms out of TV interview, 29 August 2007
Mr McCann became frustrated after being asked questions about the police investigation
Gerry McCann walked out of an interview on Spanish television after being asked probing questions and left his wife Kate
alone in front of the cameras.
The 39-year-old cardiologist lost his cool during a tense encounter on a prime-time current affairs programme. When repeatedly
questioned about the police investigation into four-year-old Madeleine's disappearance, he stood up, removed his microphone
and walked off the set.
An exhausted-looking Mrs McCann briefly tried to stop him before shifting uncomfortably in her seat and defending his
behaviour. It is the first time that Mr McCann has publicly vented his frustration at the speculation surrounding his daughter's
The couple, from Rothley, Leics, were interviewed by Jordi Gonzalez on the weekly programme La Noria on Telecinco. Mrs
McCann sat holding Madeleine's favourite toy, Cuddle Cat, but the mood turned sour halfway through the interview when Mr McCann
was asked about reports that traces of blood were found in the couple's apartment.
Gonzalez asked the McCanns: "You were the last people to see Madeleine alive, is that correct?"
Mr McCann replied: "That's part of the investigation and we are not going to divulge anything that might get in the way
of the investigation."
In response, the presenter said: "The investigation took a new turn this month when traces of blood were discovered in
the room. When you heard that how did you react?"
It was at this point that Mr McCann snapped and left the room, adding: "You have to talk to the police."
Glaring at Gonzalez, he said: "Do you know what? This is all investigation, all these questions are about the investigation
and we cannot comment."
As he walked off, Mrs McCann reassured the presenter that he had not stepped out of line. "It is just pressure, don't
worry," she told him. "It is difficult for him when we are asked about the investigation because we can't talk about it. It
is very frustrating. There is so much written that is not true."
After calming down, Mr McCann apologised and returned to finish off the interview, which was filmed last Thursday at
the family's villa in Praia da Luz, the Algarve resort town where Madeleine disappeared 118 days ago.
The full encounter was broadcast on Spanish television on Saturday night.
Justine McGuinness, the couple's spokesman, defended Mr McCann. "It was a long interview in a very hot room," she said.
"They were asked a series of questions about the investigation despite the fact that all the journalists had been told the
McCanns cannot answer questions about it. They are not allowed to under Portuguese law.
"Gerry gets frustrated when he gets repeatedly asked about the investigation. He apologised when he came back in and
he is normally incredibly gracious."
But a spokesman for La Noria said the McCanns had been warned about the style of questions that would be asked.
Yesterday, the couple were also forced to defend their relationship after Mr McCann attended church in Praia da Luz without
his wife on Sunday. She went to an English-speaking service the night before but Mrs McGuinness said Mr McCann did not go
then because he had arrived in Portugal late that day after speaking in Edinburgh.
Madeleine McCann's dad rips off his mic and storms out of a TV broadcast after an interviewer quizzes him over details
about the child's disappearance.
Gerry McCann was talking to the Spanish show when the mood started to become increasingly confrontational.
He repeatedly said he was not allowed to discuss the police probe into the snatched four-year-old. But interviewer Jordi
Gonzalez persisted - forcing the infuriated father to snap.
Gerry fumed: "Do you know what? This is all investigation. We cannot talk about the investigation. You have to talk to
After tearing off his mic, he confronted the crew from Spanish channel Telecinco before leaving the room.
Wife Kate, who looked on in disbelief during the fiery outburst, said: "It's just pressure, don't worry. It's difficult
for him when we're asked about the investigation as we can't talk about it.
"It's very frustrating, there is so much written that's inaccurate and not true. It's awful what's written."
As the programme cut to a studio discussion, the host asked a commentator: "Do you think it is remorse which made Gerry
Kate continued the interview alone for a few minutes before Gerry regained his composure and returned. He told Mr Gonzalez:
"I made it very clear that you cannot ask questions about the investigation. Ask the police."
The interview, filmed at the McCanns' villa on the outskirts of Praia da Luz in Portugal, was aired on Telecinco's popular
Saturday night show La Noria.
Gerry had become agitated when asked if he was the last person to see Madeleine alive.
But Mr Gonzalez tipped him over the edge when he inquired: "The investigation took a new turn when traces of blood were
found in the room. When you heard, how did you react?"
The front page of Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas carried the headline, Maddy's dad blows his top on TV.
Last night the bust-up descended into a war of words.
Justine McGuinness, the McCanns' spokeswoman, said: "They were told categorically they could not ask questions about
the investigation as it would break Portuguese law."
But Telecinco said: "We told Justine our questions before the interview. She did not say that we couldn't ask them."
Ms McGuinness also rubbished rumours Kate and Gerry's marriage was on the rocks, saying: "They are very happy". It is
now 116 days since Madeleine was snatched from the apartment in Praia da Luz.
Pupils at the school where she was due to start tomorrow will say a special prayer for her. A desk and locker have been
saved for her at Bishop Ellis Catholic school in Thurmaston, Leics.
Madeleine: Strain starts to tell as Gerry storms out of TV interview, 29 August 2007
Madeleine: Strain starts to tell as Gerry storms out of TV interview Daily Mail
By SAM GREENHILL
Last updated at 11:34 29 August 2007
For more than 100 agonising days Madeleine McCann's distraught parents have managed to maintain their composure in public.
Even in the face of lurid allegations they could somehow be involved in their little girl's disappearance, Kate and Gerry
McCann bravely held on to their dignity.
But the fragile calm has been shattered by a Spanish TV presenter who asked them directly about blood found in Madeleine's
bedroom and whether they were "the last people to see her alive" - leading a furious Mr McCann to storm out of the interview.
Angry: Gerry McCann removes his microphone during the Spanish TV interview
Gerry berates the interviewer as he removes the microphone
For a terrible moment, as he rants and waves his arms before marching off the set, his wife looks bereft and stares at
the empty chair next to her.
It is the first time the McCanns, both doctors, have allowed the strain to show so publicly.
The dramatic clash happened when the McCanns gave an interview to Telecinco, one of the main commercial TV channels in
Exit: Watched anxiously by his wife Kate, he walks away, leaving behind an empty chair
Kate apologises for the walk-out, telling the interviewer: 'He is upset, give him a minute,
he is going to get some air'
The station sent its presenter Jordi Gonzalez to Praia da Luz who spent an hour with the couple in their rented villa.
After some general questions, he asks bluntly: "You were the last people to see Madeleine alive, is that correct?"
Mr McCann replies: "That's part of the investigation and we are not going to dilvulge anything that might get in the
way of the investigation."
Mr Gonzalez then turns to the matter of blood traces that were found by sniffer dogs in the McCanns' holiday apartment,
which are currently being DNA tested by scientists in Britain. It is not known whose blood the samples belong to.
He asks: "The investgation took a new turn earlier this month when traces of blood were discovered in the room. When
you heard that, how did you react?"
Interviewer Jordi Gonzalez tried his best to get new information from the McCanns during the
interview, but did not succeed
Mr McCann shakes his head and takes off his lapel microphone, which is attached to his shirt. Glaring at Mr Gonzalez,
he snaps: "Do you know what? This is all investigation. You have to talk to the police."
Then he stands up and walks off camera, before immediately returning, throwing his arms in the air and complaining: "All
your questions are about the investigation and we cannot comment on the investigation."
Picking up a bottle of water, he then marches off the set and goes outside.
Kate, 39, is visibly upset and stares down at his chair, then fixes her departing husband with an unhappy look.
But she remains seated herself and apologises for the walk-out, telling the interviewer: "He is upset, give him a minute,
he is going to get some air.
"It is the pressure, don't worry. It's very frustrating. The whole world asks about the investigation and we cannot talk
about it. Everything we read in the press is inaccurate or untrue. We would like to talk but we cannot talk, you know?"
It is now 117 days since Madeleine vanished from her bed in the Mark Warner complex in the Algarve while her parents
ate with friends at a nearby restaurant.
In recent weeks the McCanns have suffered a barrage of hurtful and outrageous allegations in the Portuguese media suggesting
they may have killed their daughter accidentally and been covering up ever since.
Under Portugal's strict "secrecy of justice" laws, the McCanns have been unable to hit back because they are not allowed
to comment on the ongoing investigation.
The Spanish interview stopped after Mr McCann stormed out, but resumed again five minutes later once he had regained
his composure, with questions not related to the investigation.
The McCanns' spokeswoman, Justine McGuiness, said: "It was a long interview in a very hot room. Gerry was asked a series
of questions about the investigation despite the fact that all the journalists had been told that the McCanns cannot answer
questions about the investigation.
"They are not allowed to talk under Portuguese law.
"Gerry went outside, then came back in and apologised, and everything was absolutely fine afterwards."
She added: "It has been three and a half months now, and they have been amazingly patient."
She also insisted that the couple's relationship was rock solid despite speculation that the pressure of their daughter's
disappearance was beginning to prove too much.
Mr McCann attended church without his wife on Sunday, while she went to an English service the night before, when he
was on his way back from Edinburgh.
Miss McGuinness said: "They are a very happy, loving family. Once a month, there is an evening mass held in English which
Kate likes to go to.
"Gerry was not back in time so he went on Sunday morning. I don't think anybody can reproach Kate for wanting to go to
mass in her own native language."
Mr McCann's mother has said the couple "adore" one another and are very much in love despite their ordeal.
Last night the interview row descended into a war of words with the producers of the Spanish programme claiming they
had cleared their questions in advance.
A spokesman said: "We told Justine our questions before the interview even started. She did not say we couldn't ask them.
"Gerry did not like the question and walked out for some fresh air. He came back about five minutes later and apologised
and we carried on with the interview and did some different questions, about how they were feeling and things like that."
The interview was prerecorded last Thursday and broadcast on Saturday, and clips of the moment Mr McCann walks out are
now being shown on Telecinco's website.
The McCanns gave a series of interviews to Spanish media because they believe there is a chance their missing four-year-old
could be there.
Since then, they have indicated they will now wind down their media campaign because it is proving to be "counter productive".
The British press has been scathing about the Portuguese media's treatment of the McCanns, but Fleet Street's
own track record isn't exactly glowing.
Michael White Wednesday 29 August
2007 11:34 BST
You may not have spotted it, but some of today's newspapers report that Gerry McCann,
father of missing Madeleine, "stormed" out of a Spanish television studio after being persistently asked for detailed
answers on the case which Portuguese law prevents him from divulging.
Kate McCann stayed on the set and explained
"it's the pressure" and her husband came back and apologised after a five-minute break. Sounds fair enough to
me. But what is striking - yet again - is the way the papers report this sort of incident as if it's nothing to do with
Before he walked Dr McCann had been asked to confirm that the couple had been the "last people to see
Madeleine alive". Something may have been lost in translation here, but that sounds like a pretty leading question given
the way speculation has developed on the case.
"Everything we read in the press is inaccurate or untrue. We
would like to talk, but we cannot talk," Mrs McCann - also a medic - told the Telecinco channel during the interview.
Well, yes, that must be true of a lot of the acreage of "Maddy" coverage during the McCanns' 120-day
ordeal. Rightly or wrongly, certainly understandably, they have tried to ride the media tiger, hoping that relentless publicity
might help rescue their little girl.
The policy seems to have failed, as was probably the case from the start.
You can see why they tried, even visiting the Pope, a funny sort of gesture given the papacy's record on child protection.
But it appeared to give the McCanns some solace in their misery.
But back to the papers. Last week the Daily Express
devoted a full page to the deplorable allegations made in the Portuguese media. They range from wife-swapping holidays in
Praia da Luz, to drunkenness, inattention, doped kids and heavy hints that, perhaps, the McCanns or their friends might in
some way be responsible for Madeleine's disappearance and presumed death. Oh yes, and Gerry McCann wasn't her real
father anyway, but doctored the birth certificate as doctors can.
I suppose it's a comfort to be reminded that,
contrary to some high-minded liberal thought, ours isn't a uniquely dreadful media. When Paris Match airbrushed Sarko's
flabby tummy in the latest Action President shots in a canoe the other day (the proprietor is a chum) most of us were on the
side of the flab. Ditto ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's dyed hair which got a German news agency into trouble. I've
seen it up close and it looked dyed to me. So what?
But the idea that poor Dr McCann is stressed out solely because
of the nasty things those dreadful Portuguese papers have been saying seems a bit rich. Fleet St hasn't exactly confined
its reporting, analysis and comment to the rigorous rules imposed by Portuguese law.
In the process it has been
pretty rude about the local coppers as well as the local media, neither of which had much previous experience of this kind
of kidnap or the Fleet St posse in action. It's quite a sight.
But self-detachment is standard practice for
newspapers in a crisis; the tabloids are worse, but not too much worse. In everything from Wayne Rooney's love life (deplorable
conduct by Merseyside police in cahoots with the tabs there) to Tony Blair's loans-for-no-peerages affair, it's nothing
to do with us, guv'nor. We just happened to be in the vicinity. We'll have a lot more of this before the weekend's
latest Diana Fest is over. At least the McCanns' sorrow has spared her memory a few tacky front-page headlines in the
The latest example is Formula 1's Lewis Hamilton, the best thing that's happened to Britain's
standing in a world sport for some time. Build 'em up, knock 'em down, woe betide that young man if he doesn't
win the title this season (at his first attempt).
At the weekend he said he might be moving to Switzerland to shake
off media hassle and snappers jumping out from behind every litter bin. He can handle the cars, it's the coverage he can't
manage, so he said. We're entitled to take that with a pinch of salt. Perhaps tax status is part of the calculation, perhaps
he'll get used to the hype. But don't bank on it. Remember, Brazilian football coach, Phil Scolari, used the same
justification to turn down the England job when Sven finally resigned. It would have meant moving from Portugal. And that
was before the McCann story brought the pack to Praia da Luz.
At the Edinburgh television festival this
week, Kirsty Wark will interview the father of missing toddler Madeleine McCann.
In an article for the BBC's staff magazine, Ariel,
she discusses the questions posed by the media's reaction to Madeleine's disappearance.
By Kirsty Wark Presenter, BBC Newsnight
Last Updated: Tuesday,
21 August 2007, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
has become the picture that nobody tears down, Madeleine McCann's angelic face on posters downloaded and printed by people
all over the world and stuck up in supermarkets, train stations, on airport jetties and in cinema foyers.
The picture is emblazoned across Jonny Wilkinson's jersey, on Premier League team strips, and on Ewan MacGregor's
bike. Madeleine McCann is everywhere, and nowhere.
I can't think of any other story, so prominent for so long, where there are so few facts.
TV reporters have done thousands of pieces to camera eeking out the few reliable details, newspapers have
contained screeds about the McCanns whose faces are as well known as many celebrities.
The last time I typed their daughter's name on Google it offered up more than two million pages.
The McCann campaign has been unprecedented and we, the media, have been willing participants. If you were
in the McCanns' position I am sure you too would do everything in your power, and seize every opportunity to keep the story
on the screen, online and on 24 hour TV.
But how did they achieve such blanket - and on TV at least - such uncritical coverage when hundreds of children
disappear every year?
Was it because the family and their close circle of friends knew how to create massive and sustained interest
that had a fleet of satellite trucks racing to the Algarve, or was there something about this little girl's disappearance
that triggered a kind of collective sensation akin to the death of Princess Diana, and an international conversation point
on blogs and chatrooms? Or perhaps both?
There is also the fact that the McCanns are telegenic and articulate - and are doctors, and therefore regarded
as respectable members of society.
The broadcasters did not keep their distance. The BBC helped to organise the original televised statement
which was pooled to British and Portuguese television stations, probably in the absence of any input from the Portuguese police
whose rules and operational methods are different from what we are used to.
And early on, on 10 May, the controller of News 24, Kevin Bakhurst, wrote in his blog:
"We will continue to try to provide the high volume of coverage and updates that the audience wants while
respecting the family's privacy and needs and while striving to separate real developments from rumour."
Since then there have been few real developments, so the McCanns in partnership with the media have staged
a number of "events," the most famous being their meeting with the Pope.
There have been regular photo opportunities, high profile supporters and recently a series of interviews.
Even when the coverage has not gone their way I suspect that they will consider it of little importance in
comparison with the importance of keeping Madeleine's face on the front page.
They are incredibly well plugged into the media, and have a campaign organiser, a media advisor who is the
godparent of one of their children and a former lecturer in new media, and a roster of loyal friends who give their time,
energy and expertise.
They all think laterally about how to produce a new angle on the story. In that way they remind me of the
producers on Newsnight, and it's been that way from the beginning.
The morning after Madeleine's disappearance I was on my way to London to the programme, and at home in Glasgow,
a neighbour whom we'd never met rang the bell.
She was one of Kate McCann's closest friends and she was very upset. She told my husband that Madeleine had
disappeared and Kate and Gerry were frantic because the police had been slow off the mark.
They were desperate to get the story out and could I help? In fact the disappearance soon began running on
all the outlets.
That kind of direct action has been a hallmark of the campaign. Creating a publicity engine and keeping the
momentum up has given the McCanns a positive focus, and was achieved by them and their family and friends through an enormous
amount of self discipline.
Has this tragic story created a "blueprint" for families who find themselves in similar terrible situations,
or was there something unique to the McCanns?
We in the media should ask ourselves whether we would react the same way again, and again because the sad
truth is that it will happen sooner rather than later.
Gerry brings the campaign to Scotland - Day 113, 24 August 2007
Gerry McCann talks at Edinburgh International TV Festival
Father of missing girl to discuss case in Edinburgh.
By Nigel Moore
Question: Well, Gerry McCann has just arrived in Edinburgh for the International
Television Festival. It's the first time he's been back in Scotland since Madeleine disappeared in May and he's here to talk
about the publicity that has surrounded her disappearance and the campaign to try and find her.
Errm... Gerry, can I ask you first of all, at... at the start, the decision to go for publicity must have been a
very conscious one on your and your wife's behalf.
It was but I think we were faced, errr... you know, on day one that, errr... there was 150 journalists outside
the apartment, when we got back from the police station, so we had to make a very quick decision; either we didn't interact
with them or we did, and, errr... there's two reasons: One, we thought it would help, errr... in the search for
Madeleine, that was the key one, and the second thing is that, errr... to be honest, we thought it would be easier on
us as well to interact and, errr... work with them rather than, errm... go away and hide.
Q: Was it keeping you going as well - you were doing something?
GM: After the first... I would say the first two weeks we... we did very little media;
we did a few statements, errr... to try and get information into the inquiry or, errm... I wouldn't say pacify, but,
errr... dampen down some of the criticism that was going on which I just didn't think was helpful to the situation, and
our focus has always been on Madeleine and trying to find her and doing whatever we thought was best.
There's no doubt that in the first few weeks, errr... in the first few days in particular we felt particularly helpless and
then, by doing things which you had some control over, and influencing the search, made us feel better and what we... we've
said many times is that in... at six months, we don't want to be looking back saying 'I wish we had done such and such',
you know. We have done everything that we think will have an effect on the outcome, or potentially could have an effect.
Of course, we know that all of this may have no effect whatsoever, but ultimately we don't know who's taken Madeleine, we
don't know what the motive is, and we don't know where she is.
effect is the publicity now having on you because it's changed, hasn't it? There's this constant drip, drip, drip of...
of claims and reports and rumours from unnamed sources and... and the fingers been pointed at you and your wife again.
I mean, how... how has all this been for you now?
GM: I think even on day... day one and day two, errm... speculation
didn't help us, I mean, as, errr... parents it didn't help us and I have to say that our immediate reaction, errr...
we could only imagine the worst possible scenario, that someone had taken her, abused her and killed her, errr... but seeing
that that wasn't the only scenario and there was no evidence of that being the case, it actually lifted us and... and gave
us strength and hope, errr... but when the coverage continued and there was 24 hour news channels etc having to fill their
time, there was a huge amount of speculation, most of which was ended in a very negative way, and we quickly realised that
a lot of what was being said, errr... was either untrue or half true, and we switched off and, to be honest,
we stopped reading the newspapers.
The current level of activity, you know, I think you're absolutely right,
there is a huge amount of innuendo which is being presented in various ways, suggesting that there may be evidence or
facts behind it and there are none, and our opinion of what happened that night has not changed. We know certain facts,
unfortunately because of the criminal investigation, we can't divulge them, and I want to make it absolutely clear, the reasons
why we're not divulging the information; we will not make it easier for the perpetrator to cover their tracks. The police
have all the information and we have bared our soul to them, and we'll continue to assist them in any way possible, but, you
know, we have to keep silent.
And, in fact, one of the slight positives in... in all of this is that there is so much rumour about what
did and didn't happen, it's actually very difficult, if you're reading the newspapers, watching TV, to know what is true
and what's not.
Q: Will there be a time when you'll come home from Portugal? Have you
thought about when that might happen?
GM: I... we've always, errr... thought we would come home, that the
difficulty we've got is emotionally coming home as a family of four, as a... and coming out as a family of five. Errm... What
we need to do is to weigh up what is in the interests of the search for Madeleine, that's the first thing, and then our secondary
consideration is our own, errr... wellbeing, and particularly the twins, and, errr... you know, we... we will look
towards long term stability for them as well. Errm... We haven't made any definite decisions just now, but these are the factors
that we're considering.
Q: Will there be a time when you'll draw... withdraw altogether from the...
if there isn't any news about your daughter, will... will you withdraw altogether from the public gaze?
GM: Well, from our perspective, and this goes back to day one and day two, we could not avoid
the publicity; we never asked for it, we never wished we were in this situation. What we've done is to try and use it, errm... in
a positive way to affect the... the outcome. In terms of the campaign, you know, we said 60 or 70 days ago that
we would be stepping back from it, and we have done very, very little, errr... offensive media in terms of us coming
out to campaign for Madeleine; we want Madeleine's image to be the face of the campaign, errr... but the situation's
changed now, it's about the news story; errr... what Kate and I do feel is that we will have some role in the future, errr...
whether that's public or private, but we will continue to, errr... champion the cause of child welfare issues.
Q: Okay, Gerry McCann, thanks very much.
GM: Thanks, Dave.
The following article originally accompanied the video, although it is essentially a transcript,
Gerry brings the campaign to Scotland - Day 113 STV.TV (article
no longer available online)
24 August 2007
He has not been out of the public eye since his daughter disappeared 113 days ago and tonight Gerry McCann has brought
his campaign to trace Madeleine to Scotland.
This weekend he is in Edinburgh talking about the controversial
case and the publicity surrounding it. He spoke to stv for the first time on home soil.
Gerry McCann has just arrived in Edinburgh for the International Television Festival. It's the first time he's been back
in Scotland since Madeleine disappeared in May, and he's there to talk about the publicity that's surrounded her disappearance
and the campaign to try and find her.
Mr McCann said that at the start of the investigation, the decision to go for
publicity was made consciously. He said: "I think we were faced on day one that there was 150 journalists outside the apartment
when we got back from the police station so we had to make a very quick decision; either we didn't interact with them or we
did, and there's two reasons: one, we thought it would help in the search for Madeleine, that was the key one, and the second
is that we thought it would be easier on us as well to interact and work with them rather than go away and hide."
went on to say: "I would say the first two weeks we did very little media; we did a few statements to try and get information
into the inquiry or - I wouldn't say pacify - but dampen down some of the criticism that was going on which I just didn't
think was helpful to the situation, and our focus has always been on Madeleine, trying to find her and doing whatever we thought
"There's no doubt that in the first few weeks, first few days in particular we felt helpless and by
doing things which you had some control over and influence the search made us feel better and what we've said many times is
that in six months we don't want to be looking back saying 'I wish we had done such and such'. We have done everything we
think could have an effect on the outcome, or potentially could have an effect. Of course we know that all of this may have
no effect whatsoever, but ultimately we don't know who's taken Madeleine, we don't know what their motive is, and we don't
know where she is."
Asked how the publicity has affected him and his family, Mr McCann said: "I think even on day
one and day two, speculation didn't help us as parents. I have to say that our immediate reaction, we could only imagine the
worst possible scenario, that someone had taken her, abused her and killed her, but seeing that that wasn't the only scenario
and there was no evidence at that being the case, it actually lifted us and gave us strength and hope. But when the coverage
continued and there was 24 hour news channels etc having to fill their time, there was a huge amount of speculation, most
of which ended in a very negative way, and we quickly realised that a lot of what was said was either untrue or half true,
and we switched it off, and to be honest, we stopped reading the newspapers."
He went on to comment on
the finger being pointed at the McCanns themselves: "The current level of activity, there is a huge amount of innuendo which
is being presented in various ways, suggesting that there may be evidence or facts behind it and there are none,
and our opinion of what happened that night haven't changed. We know certain facts but unfortunately because of the criminal
investigation, we can't divulge them, and I want to make it absolutely clear, the reasons why we're not divulging the information;
we will not make it easier for the perpetrator to cover their tracks. The police have all the information and we have bared
our soul to them, and we'll continue to assist them in any way possible, but we have to keep silent."
Mr McCann said
they have to think about coming home at some point. He said: "I have always thought we would come home. The difficulty we've
got is emotionally coming home as a family of four, instead of a family of five. What we need to do is to weight up what is
in the interest of the search for Madeleine, and then our own wellbeing, and particularly the twins, and we will look towards
long term stability for them as well. We haven't made any definite decision just now, but these are the factors we're considering."
He went on to say that they will remain part of the campaign, but perhaps not in the public eye: "We could not avoid
the publicity; we never asked for it, we never wished we were in this situation. What we've done is to try and use it in a
positive way to affect the outcome. In terms of the campaign, we said 60 or 70 days ago that we would be stepping back from
it, and we've done very very little offensive media in terms of us coming out to campaign for Madeleine; we want Madeleine's
face to be the face of the campaign, but the situation's changed now, it's about the news story; what Kate and I do feel is
that we will have some role in the future, whether that's public or private, but we will continue to champion the cause of
child welfare issues."
Gerry McCann has given his verdict on his family's media coverage at the Edinburgh Television Festival.
Transcript by Nigel Moore
Interview recorded on 25 August 2007
Nick Higham: Gerry McCann, why did you want
to come here, to a conference of television executives?
I think the first thing to say, Nick, is that when I actually agreed to do it, errr... we hadn't predicted what was going
to happen to, errr... the degree of coverage, and really the reason I'm here was primarily to... to tell people
that Madeleine is still missing and we're still looking for her, and particularly to touch an international, errr... audience,
errr... what I didn't expect was there to be such intense coverage of the news story for such a long time.
NH: Why do you think that is?
GM: I think,
errr... that there is undoubtedly a huge desire for people to: One, want to find Madeleine, but to know what's happening,
errm... but there clearly is a lot of pressure on people to write things just now, because they're in Portugal, when there's
not actually very much happening.
NH: Do you feel in some ways that you've
unleashed a monster? In the very early stages you were desperate for publicity and you, errr.... courted publicity, very
effectively. Now do you feel it's run away from you?
GM: I... I think
... I think that's far too simplistic. There was a huge media presence in Praia da Luz on Day One before we really had
done anything. All we did was to make a conscious decision to interact with the media and, errr... to raise awareness
of Madeleine's disappearance and, errm... I never, ever expected and, errr... don't think it's necessarily beneficial
to have constant coverage, errr... what we just want is - given the huge saturation particularly in the UK and also in Portugal
- what we really just want to do... I mean we hope it never gets there, but if Madeleine is still missing we just want
to remind people, from time to time, infrequently now, that she is still missing and we're still looking.
NH: From the outside, it appears that you've been running, candidly, crudely, a very professional
campaign with a lot of very experienced public relations professionals and so on; I mean clearly that is accidental but how
did that come about?
GM: Well it... it's not at all, you know, we're just, errm... happen
to be a fairly ordinary family, errr... some of whom were quite good at, errr... speaking on television. Of course, we
had advice at the beginning, errr... from the PR people brought in by Mark Warner, Alex Woolfall, who gave us some excellent
advice, you know, "What are your objectives and how's it going to help your search for Madeleine?", and then the... due
to the massive media demand going on us, not the other way round, not us asking for media, errr... we were advised that,
errm... we should have a... a family spokesperson and we asked the Foreign Office to provide that, errr... and they
did support us and that was very, very important to protect us from the media and what has been incredibly difficult emotional
circumstances. And then we... we of course did decide that we needed someone to help advise us, errr.... longer term
for our campaign, and, errr... with Madeleine's Fund we decided to appoint a campaign manager, and I have to say, we appointed
somebody to plan our strategy sort of medium and long term, if it was needed, but actually her job has been full-time handling
NH: Would you like the media then now to go away? What do you
want to happen over the coming weeks and months apart obviously from getting Madeleine back?
I think the key thing is that, errm... what we would ask is that this... this story, Madeleine's disappearance and investigation,
is reported responsibly, and only newsworthy material being reported.
So you would like much less coverage?
GM: Absolutely, because, you know,
there has been huge amounts written with no substance.
NH: How stressful
have you found it and has Kate found it?
being missing has been incredibly stressful, errm... being under a media spotlight, errr... has added to that and
at times, leading up to the 100 days that did reach fever pitch and we felt very much, errr... badgered and, errr...
unfairly I suppose as well, errr... and probably something that we were prepared for in the first week or two, which didn't
actually happen, to have, errr... as it approached the 100 days we... we weren't prepared for, but things have gone back
to a degree of normality again and some calmness has, errr... settled in, largely as a result of the Portuguese police
official spokesperson, and that's what I would ask people to look at, is what is being said officially: That we
are not suspects, that there is no evidence that we are involved in Madeleine's disappearance, and, if there was, that the
police would have to declare us as suspects. That's Portuguese law. And compare that to what's actually being written and
covered. The two do not bear comparison.
Richard Dunn interview with Gerry McCann, 25 August
Richard Dunn interview with Gerry McCann
Gerry McCann speaks at the Edinburgh Television Festival.
Transcript by Nigel Moore
Interview recorded on 25 August 2007
Kirsty Wark: Okay, raise the lights now, and we'll take, errm... Gerry's
agreed to take, errr.. some questions, which I think is important in this...
Question: Do you dread the day that the media interest and the public interest
Gerry McCann: It... It's not dread, errm... I... errr... as
I said, even in week three or four, and what happened, errm... in about the middle of June, after about five or six weeks,
things were going really very, very quiet and I was actually, errm... quite glad of that and I thought we would start
to get back to a sort of more normal existence and a... a quieter form of campaigning, errm... you know, using the
internet, viral... raising, errm... broadening the issues, the political issues, which have been highlighted to us and I saw
that as the long term focus and, as I have already alluded to, I don't think necessarily having newspaper headlines of the
image of Madeleine, errr... being thrust to people every single day actually may help, so not particularly. What we dread
is the worst news that, you know, Madeleine is not alive.
Gerry's face at the moment he says "Madeleine is not alive"
Gerry McCann Speaks About The Media, 25 August 2007
Gerry McCann Speaks About The Media
Aug 25, 2007
The father of missing Madeleine McCann spoke to Sky's Chris Roberts about his experiences of the massive media interest
in his daughter's disappearance.
By Nigel Moore
Gerry McCann: Clearly there has been, I think, errm... a line crossed in
many quarters where, errr... there is wild speculation being reported, irresponsibly.
Chris Roberts: Well, I have to ask you this, I mean, I think it's fair to
say that the vast majority of the media in Britain have been overwhelmingly sympathetic to your plight but that hasn't been
the case in some sections of the Portuguese media, they're writing the most terrible things about you. Why?
GM: That's a difficult question, errm... I think there are, errr... there
is a lot of speculation, innuendo, there's clearly some absolute outright smears and, errm... it may be a backlash against,
errr... Portugal, in terms of some of the criticism, which has really been unhelpful, I think, also, errm... in terms of the
search for Madeleine and we always looked forward and felt that the criticism is not helpful, errr... and our... our focus
is always on the search for Madeleine and what can still be done. Errm... I think, errm... culturally there is a lot of differences,
errm... but I... I don't really understand, errr... some of it but, you know, these sort of sensationalist stories probably
CR: I mean, Gerry, I was reading this piece in... in the Portuguese media
earlier this week which was specifically suggesting that you and your wife had... had killed Madeleine with some kind of overdose
of sleeping tablets. I mean, where does this stuff come from?
GM: That's a very good question. What I would like to direct all of your
viewers to are the official statements from the Portuguese police, which bear no resemblance to the wild speculation and,
you know, the police yesterday made it very clear. First of all, we are not suspects; two, that there is no evidence to suggest
that we are involved in Madeleine's disappearance and, if there was, they are obliged by Portuguese law to make us official
suspects. So, you know, they just... they do not bear resemblance and Kate and I learned, very early on, only to listen to
information that's coming through official channels.
Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 11:43 GMT
The father of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann
has asked the media to end the constant speculation about his daughter's whereabouts.
He said there had been "huge amounts written with no substance" and that it was not necessary to "bombard people on a
daily basis" with Madeleine's image.
Gerry McCann told the BBC the media campaign to find her would be scaled down and take on a "low-key format".
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared in the Algarve on 3 May.
Mr McCann, who is originally from Glasgow, described coverage of the abduction from his family's Algarve apartment as
being "10 times greater than we ever possibly imagined".
Although he acknowledged that he and his wife Kate had initially sought publicity, there was now a "lack of control"
in the coverage, he said.
He told the Edinburgh TV festival his family had deliberately "tried to withdraw" from the public spotlight and signalled
the coverage of the campaign to find his daughter would be scaled down.
"The compromise has always been do we do something because it will help Madeleine," he said.
"Unfortunately the human interest side of this is enormous now and that's been very difficult."
It was not necessary for the media to "bombard people on a daily basis with Madeleine's image" and the couple did not
expect to sustain the same level of coverage throughout their campaign, he said.
Everything the family did was being scrutinised, he added, and this had become "very unpleasant".
Police in Portugal have dismissed press allegations that Mr and Mrs McCann were involved in their daughter's disappearance,
saying the couple were not suspects in the case.
Mr McCann said that although the British media and photographers had been "very respectful and kept their distance" from
his family in Portugal, the pressure on journalists to find a story was leading to "absolutely wild speculation" about what
"Even early on, there was saturation coverage with nothing to report, and there are commercial decisions being made with
filling column inches and time on TV," he said.
"Particularly in the last six weeks, other than the recent searches, there has been nothing."
He said it was the responsibility of TV producers and editors to make it clear when reporters were "talking about speculation".
Campaign 'scaled down'
Mr McCann, interviewed by Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark, said he first realised the scale of media interest when he
and his wife returned from the police station soon after Madeleine's disappearance to find "about 150" journalists outside
However, he said in order to fill a "void" in details from the police investigation, he and his wife had conducted a
series of interviews to raise awareness of Madeleine's disappearance.
But Mr McCann said he now wanted the story to be "reported responsibly and only newsworthy material" used.
"Staying in Portugal may be counter-productive because of the attention on Kate and I, and that generates pressure on
people to write things," he said.
He added that he had now started thinking about returning to the UK and his job as a consultant cardiologist in Leicester.
"I've spent such a long time training and I have got a lot of sub-specialist expertise, and there aren't a lot of people
who have that.
"The difficulty we have is leaving Portugal as a family of four, when we arrived as a family of five."
Madeleine disappeared from her family's apartment room in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz while her parents were
eating with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Madeleine McCann's father: much media reporting 'completely erroneous', 25 August 2007
Madeleine McCann's father: much media reporting 'completely erroneous' Guardian
The father of Madeleine McCann has criticised reporting of her disappearance, describing "how much is completely erroneous".
Posted by Richard Wray
Saturday 25 August 2007 12.33BST
The father of Madeleine McCann has attacked the UK media's reporting of his daughter's disappearance, expressing frustration
at "how much is completely erroneous".
"Inevitably there's a large amount of speculation that ends up being dressed as fact and a lot of it is not true," Gerry
McCann told the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. "Very, very quickly we turned the TV off and we
stopped reading the newspapers."
Mr McCann said that this wealth of speculation is being reported as fact in total disregard of the ongoing police investigation
in Portugal and was particularly scathing about yet another "wild theory" in Saturday's Daily Express.
In an interview with Kirsty Wark, he talked of a news recycling process by which the Portuguese press have been reporting
what he described as speculation from unnamed sources that is being picked up by the tabloid press in the UK.
Those subsequent stories in turn are being picked up by the Portuguese press again and given even greater weight, Mr
"Clearly they are feeding each other," he said. "It's absolutely wild speculation with no foundation."
Wark then presented Mr McCann with Saturday's Daily Express, which reproduced a story from a Portuegese magazine accusing
him and his wife Kate of having killed Madeleine by giving her an accidental overdose of sleeping tablets.
"This is a classic example, these are nothing more than wild theories," he said, pointing out that very early on in the
process he and his wife were excluded as suspects.
"I think there have been many things in the course of the story both in the papers and on TV where absolute speculation
has been presented as fact and sensationalised without regard to the investigation."
He told the packed audience of TV executives, producers and a fair number of newspaper reporters that he had always trusted
what he read in the papers or saw on TV, but is now not so sure because of the amount of speculative material he has seen
about his own case, presented as fact.
"I think there is a responsibility as a journalist and producer to present facts or too make it very, very clear what
they are talking about is speculation," Mr McCann said.
Asked by a member of the audience whether the press should exercise restraint he added: "we have no real control over
the way the news story is covered but it is clear for everyone that there has been irresponsible reporting."
Finally, asked what advice he would give to the family of 11 year old Rhys Jones, shot dead in Liverpool on Wednesday,
he said he and his wife Kate were "shocked" at the news, adding: "The parents have got our deepest sympathy, I hope they are
given time to grieve.
'Press could force us out of Portugal', 26 August 2007
"'I don't think it is necessary to bombard
people with Madeleine's image daily'"
By JEREMY WATSON Published date: 26 August 2007
THE FATHER of missing Madeleine McCann conceded yesterday that staying in Portugal while the search for his
daughter continues may now be "counterproductive".
In the clearest hint so far that he and his wife Kate
and their two other children may soon return to Britain, Gerry McCann said no final decision had yet been made.
it had become clear to the family in recent weeks that remaining in Praia da Luz, where four-year-old Madeleine disappeared
in early May, was not necessarily helping the police investigation.
McCann, from Glasgow, told delegates at the
Edinburgh International Television Festival that although it would be emotionally heartbreaking to return to their Leicestershire
home without their daughter, moving back might help dampen the "wild speculation" that had grown up around the case.
Newspapers quoted allegations in a Portuguese magazine yesterday that Madeleine's parents may have had a hand
in her disappearance after accidentally overdosing their daughter with sedatives to get her to sleep.
the stories as "irresponsible reporting", McCann said: "We have made no final decision yet [about returning
home] but from the experience of the last few weeks we have seen that staying in Portugal is counterproductive."
He said in the absence of solid facts, some journalists were under pressure to write up speculation as fact. "The problem
for us is the emotional pressure to stay," he added. "Leaving as a family of four when we went out there as a family
of five is the sticking point."
McCann said that the family had initially welcomed the huge media coverage
given to Madeleine's disappearance but it had gone too far. "I don't think it is necessary, personally, to bombard
people on a daily basis with Madeleine's image but we cannot control that.
"Initially, without a doubt
we wanted lots of coverage. But we never, ever anticipated the scale of it. The coverage was 10 times greater than we ever
"The way that it's been held up there as a high-profile story, we never, ever predicted."
The couple had now embarked on a scaled-down media campaign. "I have been asked 'how are you going to sustain
this level of media coverage?'
"We're not. We don't expect to. We will do events intermittently,
trying to raise awareness and remind everyone if Madeleine's still missing, that we're still looking.
and I have tried to withdraw in terms of the campaign, apart from events to raise Madeleine's profile."
Defending the campaign itself, however, McCann, a heart specialist, said: "Whatever the motive for taking Madeleine,
raising international awareness is stopping Madeleine being used for whatever the abductor had in mind, or it makes it more
"Her abduction has also done more for missing children than anything that has gone before. It was
part of the campaign to raise these issues."
McCann said he was likely to return to work in "some degraded
fashion" after spending "such a long time training" to become a specialist.
McCann was speaking
to BBC presenter Kirsty Wark and remained composed throughout the hour-long interview as he has throughout the four-month-long
McCann said he and his wife, a GP, had been urged by police not to show emotion in public for operational
"We would never divulge something that might help someone cover their tracks. That's been frustrating,"
he said, "given how much has been written that's erroneous".
"People have lost sight of the
fact that Madeleine may still be alive and we will do nothing that allows them [a perpetrator] to cover their tracks."
The investigative procedures and style of the Portuguese police made it "very hard" for the couple.
"The Portuguese police do things very, very quietly. They like to do things quietly and not for people to know. That's
hard for us as well.
"The way the investigation is being handled is very different to the UK where the police
like to give out information."
He added: "Early on people really wanted a happy outcome, wanted Madeleine
to be found" but now information was "being published without regards to the investigation".
couple were not giving in to their emotions as a means of "self preservation".
He said: "Of course,
we both feel very emotional but nothing can be worse than that first night. You can't be an emotional wreck for 24 hours
a day. You have to function.
"We have two other children [two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie] and there has
to be a balance between looking back at what happened and giving love and attention to them."
He added: "I'm
very, very confident that they [the twins] will grow up to have a normal and productive life."
criticism of him and his wife for leaving their three children alone while they ate with friends in a nearby restaurant on
the Mark Warner resort in the Algarve, McCann said what they had done was "perfectly reasonable".
chances of her being abducted were hundreds of millions to one. Nothing was further from our mind. Did we let Madeleine down?
I am not sure but as parents we are bound to feel guilty," he said.
McCann was asked what message he had for
the parents of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, who was shot dead in Liverpool last week. He said: "We were incredibly shocked
by what happened and offer our condolences to the family.
"The difference between us is that we are still
in the middle of an ongoing trauma. They will at least get some closure if the perpetrator is caught."