Last Saturday (7th May) my friend Anita Atkinson and I set off for Leicester. We were to be filmed as part of the BBC’s Reel History of Britain series which is to be aired in September.
I had printed off directions from the AA Map but Anita said, “It’s ok, Ellen, I’ve borrowed a reliable sat nav.’ Wrong! Well, not totally wrong. We managed to get to Leicester all right, which was straight down the motorway and the hotel was in Blaby, only four miles from the motorway, so it should have been easy for sat nav . . . Wrong again.
Anita’s ‘reliable’ sat nav took us into a supermarket car park first. The female voice told us to turn around. ‘Yes,’ we said, ‘we hear you, but where do we turn around?’ Sat nav couldn’t answer that one. ‘Aha! Got you,’ we said in unison. So, Anita used her own initiative. When sat nav finally said, ‘You have reached your destination,’ we looked along a street of terraced houses, and I thought, hmm, I don’t think so. I wound my window down and asked two pedestrians for directions; hence we found our hotel.
The hotel was very nice, and Anita decided to take a dip in the pool. I don’t interfere with water unless it’s in a controlled environment i.e. bath or shower.
I usually present my radio show on a Saturday night but, due to going to Leicester, I had to cancel my slot. However, thanks to the hotel’s free wifi and Anita’s Notebook, we were able to present a show. We sent out a facebook bulletin and within two minutes listeners were tuned in from around the world. Isn’t technology marvelous?
The next morning we had to be at the village hall in Countersthorpe for 9 am. I knew it was only ten minutes by car; I’d checked on google earth. Anita said, ‘I’ll set the sat nav just to see what happens.’ Actually, it did get us to the village hall, but not the car park that we wanted. It took us to a cul de sac behind the village hall. So instead of leaving the car and jumping over a fence, again we asked a passer-by. Sat nav, you’re sacked!
We got there, on time; the BBC crew were already setting up. We were given tea and biscuits then introduced to Dibnah the producer, along with Lorna assistant producer, and Nick and Chris (crew). They explained what was going to happen, then we were ready and waiting for the next move.
Anita and I were taken to the red carpet to be filmed first, and then we were asked to wait in the hallway, with a group of six other people, until they were ready for us. I said to Dibnah, ‘Are you sure we’re not filming Dr Who? Because the last time I was in this situation it was when I was abducted by aliens!’ She laughed, ‘I knew I was going to have trouble with you two.’ We had such a great time.
We watched two short films in the cinema and then Melvyn Bragg joined us on the red carpet to chat about the 1977 Royal Silver Jubilee. He is such a lovely man, and good fun too. When it was my turn to chat with him (I can’t tell you what we talked about because I’m not allowed to give too much away) we had four takes (out takes).
The crew, even though they were working very hard, had fun too. And, we met some loverly people from Countersthorpe while filming and look forward to seeing them again on the small screen.
All-in-all a great experience :-)