GM: 'I think the first thing to say Nick is that when I actually agreed to do it we hadn't predicted what was going to happen to the degree of coverage and really, the reason I'm here was primarily to tell people that Madeleine is still missing and we're still looking for her and particularly to touch an international audience...what I didn't expect was such an intense coverage of the news story for such a long time.'
Nick: 'Why do think that is?'
GM: 'I think I, err that there is undoubtedly a huge desire for people to...one want to find Madeleine but to to know what's happening erm...but there clearly is a lot of pressure on people to write things just now because they're in Portugal when there's not very much happening.'
Nick: Do you feel in some ways you've unleashed a monster? in the very early stages you were desperate for publicity and you err, err, courted publicity effectively...now do you feel it's run away from you?
GM: I, I think that's far too simplistic. There was a huge media presence in Praia da Luz on day one before we had really done anything. All we did was to make a conscious decision to interact with the media err and to raise awareness of Madeleine's disappearance and erm I never ever expected and err I don't think it's necessarily beneficial to have constant coverage...er what we just want want is given the huge saturation, particularly in the UK
and also 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'.
Nick: '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...(Gerry is grinning at this
point) I mean clearly that is accidental but how did that come about?'
GM: 'Well it's not at all, you know we're just err happen to be a fairly ordinary family err some of whom were quite good at err speaking on television. Of course, we had advice at the beginning
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 due to this
massive media demand on us - not the other way round - not us asking for media
we were advised that we should have a family spokesperson and we asked
the Foreign Office to provide that and they did support us and that was
very, very important to protect us from the media in what has been incredibly difficult emotional circumstances.. and then we, we of course did decide that we needed someone to help advise us err longer term for our campaign and with Madeleine's Fund we decided to appoint a campaign manager...and I have to say appointed someone 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. '
Nick: '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 erm what we would ask that the, the story Madeleine's disappearance and investigation is reported responsibly and only newsworthy material being reported. '
Nick: 'So you would like much less coverage.'
GM: 'Absolutely, you know because there has been huge amounts written with no substance.'
Nick: 'How stressful have you found it and has Kate found it?'
GM: 'Madeleine being missing has been incredibly stressful..being under media spotlight erm has added to that and at times, leading up to the 100 days that did reach fever pitch and we felt very much erm badgered and erm unfairly I suppose as well...and err probably something we were prepared for in the first week or two, which didn't actually happen ...to have as it approached the 100 days, we, we weren't prepared for but things have gone back to a degree of normality again and erm some calmness has erm settled in largely as a result of the Portuguese official spokesperson...and that is 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're 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 has been written and covered...the two do not bear comparison'.