RTP video May 2, Sandra Felgueiras Interviews the McCanns
“Five minutes,” says a clipboard-carrying assistant, sticking a head around the door, before adding tellingly: “A showbiz five minutes.”
Waiting to interview the McCanns these days is to bear witness to a well-drilled media circus: a luxury suite in a London hotel; trays of croissants, pastries and jugs of coffee; a revolving cast of journalists asking variations of the same questions.
“The doctors will see you now,” the same assistant quips as three more reporters shuffle through. It is a setting and a schedule tailored to the whims of film stars or musicians, in town to promote a summer blockbuster or a brand new album.
Of course Kate and Gerry McCann - both medical doctors — have nothing to sell. They are here to raise awareness about the ongoing campaign to find their missing daughter, Madeleine, who vanished without trace from a Portuguese beach resort during a family holiday a year ago this Saturday.
The McCanns have been criticized in some quarters for using the media to raise awareness about Madeleine’s disappearance, notably since they were named by Portuguese police as formal suspects, or “arguidos” in the case.
That criticism has clearly hurt. They are defensive about their use of the media, arguing that for 99 percent of the time they try to lead a normal family life, focusing their energies on their young twins, Madeleine’s younger brother and sister.
This 48-hour blitz has been carefully planned, they say, to capitalize on the inevitable coverage that the anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance would have generated. Kate admits that her daughter has become iconic of the plight of missing children over the past 12 months.
Twelve months since they first stepped in front of the full glare of the world’s media, the McCanns appear relaxed and comfortable in front of a camera. Articulate and composed, the couple naturally pick up each other’s sentences and thoughts. They have sacrificed “normal life” in the belief that their daughter is still out there, waiting to be found.
“This is not about Kate and Gerry McCann,” Kate says. “This is about Madeleine.”
If the emotions of the case are still raw, it is hard to tell.
Source: In the Field - a CNN blog, May 2008
Gerry McCann blog in May 2008
Day 374: 11/05/2008 Sunday
It has been another busy week. We have been inundated with mail that we are working through. Kate and I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us over the last twelve months. It is the support we have received from family, friends, and the overwhelming response of the general public that has sustained us. Special thanks to everyone who has contributed to Madeleine's Fund, which has allowed us to continue the independent investigation to find Madeleine.
Following our renewed appeal there has been a tremendous response to both the call line (+44 (0)845 838 4699) and the e-mail addresses (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). Hundreds of calls and e-mails have been received and each and every bit of information will be assessed and followed up. We would encourage anyone who might have information to contact us in confidence. We would like to hear from everyone who was staying at the Ocean Club at the time of Madeleine's abduction or from anyone who may have experienced a similar incident in the Iberia peninsula.
Tomorrow is Madeleine's fifth birthday. It will be one of the hardest days of the last 375. We will be marking it privately and quietly. We will do everything to try and ensure Madeleine does not spend another birthday separated from her family.
Day 366: 03/05/2008 Saturday
It is a year to the day since Madeleine was abducted. A heinous crime that had the potential to destroy the strongest of families. Without doubt it has been the longest year of our lives, yet it does not seem like a year since we last saw Madeleine. She is still a large part of Sean and Amelie's life and this gives some comfort to Kate and me.
The research we have done this year has encouraged us to believe that there is a very good chance Madeleine is alive. Ernie Allen, president of NCMEC for the last 25 years, has reiterated that and the fact there are a number of scenarios in which Madeleine could be alive and well. We just need to find her.
The documentary we made on an EU wide Amber alert and the last year was screened in the UK on Wednesday night, in Spain on Thursday and last night in Portugal. We have spent most of the last 3 days promoting our new hotline number +4 845 838 4699 (calls are charged at local rate) and our e-mail addresses for information: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org .
We have always said we will leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine. To do that we need to know what has and has not been done- unfortunately we know very little about the investigation to date. This is why we are appealing to everyone who may have come forward previously to do so again. Every piece of information is important to us. We are also appealing to people who may not have come forward for whatever reason to do so. We are only interested in finding Madeleine and will guarantee confidentiality and anonymity if requested. We are also families asking with children to think if something similar may have happened to them. It is unlikely this is the first time that the abductor has struck.
Today we will be attending one of the many services to pray for Madeleine and other missing children. We would like to thank everyone, of all faiths, who has prayed for Madeleine over the last year. The Helping to find Madeleine group have also organised a 'lighting the way home for Madeleine' event where, they will release lanterns in Rothley around the time she went missing. Others will light a candle and we greatly appreciate the support and symbolic gestures.