“Forget weights and Lycra, veteran fitness freak Jack Cagney uses his brain to stay in shape after a quadruple heart bypass”
Jack Cagney is one of the more peculiar people I’ve met during my time at the Times. I arrived at his smart semi-detached home in a quiet street in Nazeing to be greeted by photographer Matt Lloyd who was unpacking his gear with an expression of grimace. I hadn’t been told much by my editor; all I knew was that Times Journalist Kaya Burgess was going to be taken through an exercise routine with a pensioner who had stumbled upon the solution to the nations weight problem, using just the power of his mind. Matt warned me that the geriatric mister motivator inside the very normal, straight laced, lace curtained detached house in Essex seemed to be slightly unhinged.
I struggled to bite my tongue through most of the first few minutes of interview with the former Czech strong man. Jack Cagney is a real character, and I failed fully to dam a streams of tears from cascading down my face as the showman played up to the camera, flexing his muscles and lifting his broom stick. Within five minutes I was sweating profusely and had a bright red-face, as Matt played furiously with Jack’s cat to distract himself from the display of lunacy which was going on in front of us. I managed to mess up recording sound on my Zoom H4N as a result of being distracted, credit to Kaya Burgess for keeping a straight face throughout the whole interview.
By the end of the morning’s shoot I’d changed my mind about “Gentleman Jack Cagney.” Cagney is a very savvy businessman, who is playing at being a loon. He’d had a BBC camera crew round in the previous week and now had three Times journalists at his beck and call for a morning. Maybe I’m crazier than Jack, driving my self mad, messing about with cameras, sitting for hours in front of a damned computer; when the pensioner from Essex has made himself a cheesy DVD and welcomes the world’s press to his comfortable home.
Captain Geriatric perhaps should be known as Captain Savvy.
I shot Canon 5D mk2 as usual and a big thanks to Matt for letting me dip into his lens bag after I traveled light with a skeleton gear bag on my motorbike.
A couple people have commented on my slightly odd music choice in this video. Maybe I should have added something to the video, or commented originally. The music is by Jack himself. He’s a singer as well as a former body builder and fitness fanatic.