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The Channel

Coast, Series 9 Episode 1 of 6

Coast returns with fresh discoveries both around home shores and far beyond. In this first adventure, the team explores surprising stories on both sides of our shallowest, narrowest and busiest seaway - the English Channel.

Nick Crane is on the Channel's French coast to experience the secret life of Mont St Michel. This incredible rocky outcrop attracts over a million tourists a year, yet, high in a hilltop monastery, how do the monks still manage to live an elevated ecclesiastical life? At the historic walled citadel of St Malo, Nick discovers how a remarkable network of sea forts foiled repeated raids by the Royal Navy. Nick also witnesses the fearsome power of the Channel's tides, whose daily rise and fall sets the clock for coastal folk on both sides.

Neil Oliver uncovers the tragic tale of the wreck of the troop ship SS Mendi. Why did no-one save more than 600 black South African soldiers who drowned in the Channel while heading to France during the First World War to fight for the British Empire? Neil explores how the wreck of the SS Mendi in British waters would become a potent symbol of racial inequality in Nelson Mandela's South Africa.

Mark Horton reveals how, some two centuries ago, French mapmakers unwittingly gave birth to Britain's Ordnance Survey. How did an Anglo-French project, undertaken in the 18th century to measure the exact distance across the Channel, result in the accurate maps of the UK that we rely on today?

Miranda Krestovnikoff is on patrol with the 'referees of our seas' - the sea-borne inspectors who, backed up by the Royal Navy, must police the international fishing fleets who compete for catches in the Channel.

And on the D-Day beaches of Normandy, Coast discovers a poignant memorial to all those who lost their lives during the campaign to liberate Europe just 70 years ago - The Fallen.

1 hour

Last on

Wed 20 Aug 2014 09:00

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterNicholas Crane
PresenterNeil Oliver
PresenterMiranda Krestovnikoff
PresenterMark Horton
Series EditorSteve Evanson
Executive ProducerWilliam Lyons
Series ProducerJessica Colman
PresenterRuth Goodman
PresenterNick Hewitt

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