Pendiente de traducción...
Note: This interview was published online 10 August 2007 but actually took place the day before, 09 August 2007, as part of a series of pooled interviews for the UK media only. The Portuguese media were made to to wait another day.
Gerry And Kate McCann: The Full Interview
Aug 10, 2007
Sky's Amanda Walker spoke to Gerry and Kate McCann as the 100th day since their daughter vanished looms. To mark it, Madeleine's parents are launching a dedicated channel on You Tube to draw attention to missing children across the world.
By Nigel Moore
Amanda Walker: Kate and Gerry, thank you for joining us on Sky News. Over the past hundred days you've conducted a phen... phenomenal awareness campaign which has led to various possible sightings, which have later been dismissed. Just take us through the emotional experience you go through from the moment someone says 'I'm definite that I've seen Madeleine' to when it's discounted.
Kate McCann: I mean, the main thing for us is knowing if the sighting is credible or not, really. Errm... to be honest we don't go through that, errm... emotional rollercoaster with regards to the sightings, errm... you know, the only thing that we'll be happy for is when we know it's definitely Madeleine but we... we don't go through the... the ups and downs of that. I mean, the reassuring thing for us is that it implies that people are still looking for Madeleine and that's... that's really important and encouraging.
Gerry McCann: I think it's a protection really, that, errr... if you were up and down like that all the time you... you just wouldn't be able to function, so it comes back, as Kate says, to the credibility.
AW: Now, it's been a tough week for you. The Portuguese press, in particular, seem to be conducting what could be described as a 'smear campaign' against you and attempting to put the blame of Madeleine's disappearance on you. Where are they getting this information from and how do you react to it?
GM: Ehhh... we don't read Portuguese, so, I think that's the first thing to say that, errr... we haven't read the, errr... accounts first hand, errr... there does seem to be, errr... a consistency this week - and claims from police sources - but to be perfectly frank we don't know how much of that is true and how much of it's speculation. What we do know is that speculation certainly doesn't help us. We know a number of the facts and, errm... I have not seen any evidence, or know of any direct evidence, to have changed our... our viewpoint to what we have held for the last hundred days and, you know, we've said all along and... everything we have done, during the last hundred days, is focussed on, errr... the belief that Madeleine was alive when she was abducted and, errm... certainly, errr... we were encouraged in that respect and, errr... everything we have done is to increase the chances of her being returned.
KM: You know, Amanada, I mean, we've been through - and are going through - that much pain with not having Madeleine with us that anything that's written or said, really, is just a minor hurdle in comparison and, errm... we'll ride through it. We still strongly want to do what we believe's the right thing to do; what's the right thing for Madeleine; what's the right thing for us and at the minute that is to stay and we're not going to be bullied into... to going home, you know.
AW: We've witnessed the support that you've had in Luz but there is, out there, criticism, not least from your home town; the website for the... the local newspaper; the comments page; a barrage of, errr... comments that were described as spiteful, of defamatory. Were you surprised by that and how did you feel about it?
GM: I think again, I... I haven't actually read the comments and I have no idea who's written them, errm... we've used the Internet to try and raise Madeleine's awareness, errr... I don't know who the people are, or what they have specifically written, other than the broad terms that you've got.
KM: Or what the motives are because anything written like that is really unhelpful, you know.
GM: At the end, you know, whatever anyone thinks of, errm... our actions, errm... ultimately in our only focus is trying to find Madeleine and, you know, there's an innocent child missing. That's, you know - what anyone thinks - that's the key thing; Madeleine is missing and we're just doing our absolute best to maximise the chances of her being found.
KM: And anything negative that... that's written, we've had thousands to counteract that, Amanda, I mean, I can't... I mean, you've probably heard but we've had that much support from people, errm... I don't think we can say 'thank you' enough, really, I mean that's been so important and.. and that is the main thing, really, that's... that far outweighs anything negative.
AW: Luz, itself, is a very relaxed, safe-feeling resort and obviously you felt relaxed and safe enough to leave the children to sleep while you went and ate within the complex. Is that something that you'd done on other nights? Is it something you were getting a feeling that other holidaymakers were doing?
GM: I can't really comment about... you know, it's well known that we were dining at the Tapas Bar, fifty yards away, and, errr... can't comment too much, errr... in terms of our patterns and our routines given the fact that that's subject of investigation but, it... it was...
KM: I mean, I... as I said before, I mean, we have both said, if we'd had to think for one second that this was taking a risk, it wouldn't have happened. I mean, that... I think that says how safe we felt, you know.
GM: I mean, it was incredibly quiet, errm... family orientated, errr... incredibly close and, errr... you know, we did feel incredibly safe here.
KM: And I don't... I mean, judging on the letters that I've had, I mean, I've had so many supportive letters from families; from other mothers and they've said: 'Kate, you know, we've done that; we do that, you know. Who'd have ever thought that something as horrible as that would happen, you know'.
GM: It is incredibly rare what's happened to us but, errr... I think, you know, way... the way that we've talked about it before it felt very similar to dining in your garden and I know that, you know... have you ever left a child li... unattended for any length of time, whether it be you're downstairs or the child's upstairs or you went to the garage? You know, errm... if we could turn back the clock, you know, and... and rewind, of course, we would.
KM: We're just sorry we weren't there at that minute.
AW: In terms of staying in Portugal, you've both said from the start that you're not going home until Madeleine is safely back with you. Are you both equally as adamant about that because there have been some suggestions that Kate, you're the one that really wants to stay, and Gerry, perhaps not so much? What do you see as the benefits of staying and is it true that, perhaps, you want to stay more?
GM: I think we both want to find Madeleine and we want to do everything possible to... to help and we felt staying close to the investigation and trying to move that on, errm... and cooperate, errm... was a good thing and that's, you know... this week and the week before highlights how important that is. It would have been a lot more difficult to progress things if we'd been back in the UK. I think from some practical aspects, errm... in terms of efficiency, I could see benefits of going home but emotionally until we've done everything and we need to know what's happened.
AW: Is it difficult for you seeing... because now, you know, Luz itself is a very... it's in full swing for holiday season. Is it hard to be in your situation surrounded by people on holiday?
KM: I just think everyday's hard, to be honest. I don't... I don't think that's really made it any harder for me, I don't think. Everyday without Madeleine is, errr... is very hard.
GM: I... I think earlier on I was very conscious that, you know, perhaps our grief, misery was... may have been affecting other people and I was not trying to force that on them; was conscious of that, errr... but, you know, the... our own kids help us, errr... keep our feet on the ground and they give us a lot of joy and we have to give them love and attention that they deserve as well, so... and, I... you know, I... I'm not... seeing other people enjoying themselves, I don't... you know, that's the way it should be.
AW: Now, your campaign has been unprecedented. What's next?
GM: Well, to mark the hundred days, errr... we'll be launching the YouTube channel, errr... called 'Don't You Forget About Me', errr... which is a channel for missing children and, errr... it's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes on that and I think it's a fantastic idea and we're launching it in collaboration, obviously, with Intenational Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Google themselves, who will be hosting it via YouTube, and, errr...
KM: And both of whom have been incredibly supportive and just welcome the idea, so...
AW: Is this an indication, going on at a wider scale like this, that, perhaps, you... your hopes are fading for Madeleine, in any way, in that you're giving it... you know, putting it on a much wider scale rather than this just being about finding Madeleine; it's about finding other missing children?
KM: Naah... I mean, I... I think, you know, from quite early on we've obviously wanted to know a little bit more about the scale of the problem and, errm... I mean, it's massive, actually, I mean... I didn't realise how little I knew, really, and I think knowing that it's very hard to turn a blind eye to it, you know, errr... and we just felt if there was anything, obviously... you know, obviously at the minute our priority's Madeleine but we just felt if there was anything we could do that might help other children; that might make the world that little bit... you know, just a tiny bit safer for children then something good has come out of it.
GM: I think it's a real... something tangible that could benefit other people and give renewed interest to other missing kids as well in a medium that younger people use, errr.... very use... you know, tens of millions of people use YouTube. There were over two hundred and twenty nine videos of Madeleine, errr... on it already.
KM: About six weeks ago.
GM: You know, so it's incredible.
AW: And Kate, finally, if Madeleine could hear you now, what would you say to her?
KM: (laughs) Huhh... I mean, 'I love you'; she knows that. She knows, how much 'I love you'... how much we both love her.
GM: And we're still looking for her.