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 Thanks, Pamalam

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 campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Telecinco Interview / Gerry in Edinburgh *

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The Telecinco interview
Gerry McCann in Edinburgh

Gerry storms out from Telecinco interview

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Gerry speaks at the Edinburgh International Television Festival

Date
Brief overview of events
23 Aug 2007
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.
 
They spend the afternoon with the twins.

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
Gerry McCann storms out of TV interview Telegraph
 
By Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz
Last Updated: 1:58AM BST 29 Aug 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann interviewed by Telecinco, 23 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 disappearance.
 
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.

Maddy father cracks on TV, 29 August 2007
Maddy father cracks on TV Daily Mirror
 
Martin Fricker in Praia da Luz
29/08/2007
 
Gerry walks out over Spanish host's grilling
 
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 the police."
 
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 leave?"
 
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

Angry: Gerry McCann removes his microphone during the Spanish TV interview

Gerry berates the interviewer as he removes the microphone

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 Spain.

Exit: Watched anxiously by his wife Kate, he walks away, leaving behind an empty chair

Exit: Watched anxiously by his wife Kate, he walks away, leaving behind an empty chair

Kate apologises for the walk-out

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

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".

What the papers say ..., 29 August 2007
What the papers say ... Guardian

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 them.

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 Express.

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.

Gerry McCann arrives back in the UK, for the fourth time since Madeleine was reported missing, in order to attend the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.
 
He undertakes a number of short TV interviews and appears onstage with Kirsty Wark - although no transcript or video footage of that interview has been made available.

McCann to address TV executives, 03 July 2007
McCann to address TV executives BBC News
 
 
Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
 
The father of the missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann is to address TV executives about the media's role in the hunt for his daughter.
 
Gerry McCann will appear at the UK's leading media industry event, the Edinburgh TV Festival, in August.
 
TV has played a key role in the search for Madeleine, who disappeared in Portugal two months ago.
 
Mr McCann joins a festival line-up that ranges from Jeremy Paxman to Sir Jimmy Savile and Jade Goody.
 
Festival advisory chairman and BBC Newsnight editor Peter Barron said the McCanns' campaign to find their daughter had been "a new and moving phenomenon in 2007".
 
"We are very pleased to welcome Gerry McCann to Edinburgh to share his thoughts on how harnessing the power of the modern media can be used to help others in similar situations," he said.
 
Mr McCann will be interviewed on stage by Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark.
 
Paxman will give the keynote MacTaggart Lecture at the event, which begins on 24 August.
 
Other sessions will see executives and stars mull over issues including the state of current affairs, children's programmes, comedy, reality TV and new technology.

Madeleine and the media, 21 August 2007
Madeleine and the media BBC News (Newsnight)
 
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
 
It 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.
 
Sustaining interest
 
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."
 
Media 'events'
 
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.
 
Direct action
 
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 arrives in Edinburgh, 24 August 2007

Gerry McCann talks at Edinburgh International TV Festival 
 
Mr McCann has been speaking about the role of the media in the family's campaign to find Madeleine.
 
*
 
Gerry McCann brings Madeleine campaign to Scotland
 
Father of missing girl to discuss case in Edinburgh.
 
Transcript
 
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.   

Gerry McCann: 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. 

Errr... 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.

Q: What 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, as above:
 
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."

He 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 was best. 

"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 in Edinburgh, 25 August 2007

Gerry McCann at the Edinburgh International Television Festival

Gerry McCann in Edinburgh BBC News video
 
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?

Gerry McCann: 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 the media.

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?

GM: 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.

NH: 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?

GM: Madeleine 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 2007
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 does disappear?

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 speaks at the Edinburgh Television Festival
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.
 
(00:02:09)
 
Transcript
 
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 sell newspapers.
 
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.

McCann attacks media speculation, 25 August 2007
McCann attacks media speculation BBC News
 
 
Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
 
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."
 
'Wild speculation'
 
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 had happened.
 
"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 their apartment.
 
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 McCann added.
 
"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
'Press could force us out of Portugal' The Scotsman

"'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.

But 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.

Dismissing 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 possibly imagined.

"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.

"Kate 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 difficult.

"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 ordeal.

McCann said he and his wife, a GP, had been urged by police not to show emotion in public for operational reasons.

"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".

The 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."

Asked about 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".

"The 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."

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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