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Archives for May 2012

On the trail of the Great British Story

Chris Jackson | 17:25 UK time, Friday, 4 May 2012

Chris Jackson and Helen Skelton at Killhope Lead Mining Museum

Helen Skelton and Chris Jackson on location in Weardale

If I had been a spy behind enemy lines you might think I was showing off at how good I can be at maintaining radio silence.

I have not posted a blog entry for more than a month - not because I haven't been doing anything, rather I have been doing so much!

As soon as Inside Out finished its last run I was straight into a project making a history documentary with Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton. My role was not just producer, but researcher, writer, director and general dogsbody so I literally haven't had a moment spare until now.

Helen Skelton rowing along teh River Wear at Durham

I'm delighted to say we've had great fun filming with Helen. As a Cumbrian legend she's more used to record-breaking treks along the Amazon by kayak or South Pole by bike, but we had her rowing along the river in Durham.

She's the presenter of our special half hour documentary charting 1,500 years of our history. We cover the entire stretch of the Wear from Killhope all the way down to Sunderland.

In fact Helen's schedule was even more hectic than mine and the only time we could all get together was by working over the whole Easter break

I bought the crew an egg each which we devoured in solitary mode in our hotel rooms during the bank holiday shoot.

As I write, we haven't got a transmission date, but it should be later this Summer. We thought it would be fun to not only row along the river in Durham and cross over the stepping stones in Stanhope, but to zip up and down Weardale in an electric car. It proved quite a challenge as there are no charging points beyond Bishop Auckland.

More on that in a future blog.

We are putting the finishing touches to the documentary this week and then I am going to be away from the office for a couple of months. After a quarter of a century at the Beeb I'm taking some extended leave, but you'll be able to catch me at Woodhorn Museum on Saturday, 9 June 2012 where we've a public history event, and Inside Out should be back on your screens in the Autumn.

So this may be my last blog for another little while - it's back to radio silence until my next mission.

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