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Helen Skelton reveals clues to our proud Northern past

Chris Jackson | 09:57 UK time, Monday, 11 June 2012

Helen Skelton outside Durham Cathedral

Presenter Helen Skelton outside Durham Cathedral

Modern TV listings are pretty much automated these days and so regional variations often get missed out of newspaper TV guides. For that reason (and a bout of shameless self-promotion) I am coming out of blog hibernation to urge anyone with an interest in the history of where we live to tune in to a special documentary this week (Tuesday, 12 June 2012, 22:35 BST, BBC One - North East & Cumbria) called The Great British Story - From the Dales to the Sea.

Helen Skelton takes us on a journey through 1,500 years of history dipping into some fascinating tales along the River Wear.

Helen is first and foremost a northern lass, but best known for her amazing record-breaking adventures for Blue Peter, such as kayaking up the Amazon.

The Wear was a little less challenging, but no less interesting as you'll find out in the programme.

I produced and directed the film and it was great to uncover stories on my own doorstep that I simply had no idea about beforehand.

Helen Skelton with underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead in Durham

Helen and Gary Bankhead

For instance, we reveal a secret that was kept in a dales farmhouse for centuries, and unlock the past by diving into the river at Durham.

Underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead has literally been immersing himself in local history and has come up with some amazing finds.

He's a specialist archaeologist of course, but Helen shows you how you can spot your own historical clues no matter where you live in the North.

Technically I am on leave at the moment, which is why my blogging has been on hold, but I simply had to get the word out on this one. I'm sure you'll enjoy watching it as much as Helen and I enjoyed making it!

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