Visit Coast for the third time with The Open University and BBC TWO

Tx: 8pm, BBC Two, Sunday May 13 2007

 
The BAFTA and VLV award-winning series Coast, co-produced by The Open University, returns to BBC TWO for the third time with eight brand-new episodes which will take in even more wonderful sights and stories from the length and breadth of the UK, Ireland and islands.

For the first time, the team will be visiting the northern-most tip of the British Isles – Shetland, the continental charms of the Channel Islands and the fiercely independent Isle of Man. They will explore the spectacular south west of Ireland for the first time as well as returning to some favourite old haunts to tell new stories such as the south of England’s fabulous Jurassic Coast which features some of the most expensive coastal property in the world and the south coast of Wales including the Gower Peninsula, the first area of outstanding natural beauty in Britain. The team travel to East Anglia and the east coast of Scotland where the team investigate Edinburgh’s many links to the coast.

Neil Oliver remains the main presenter for the final series and will again be joined by Nick Crane, Dr Alice Roberts, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Mark Horton. The team will also be joined in the latest leg of their journey by Hermione Cockburn of The Open University and engineer Dick Strawbridge.

Hermione Cockburn says: “Working on Coast has been absolutely brilliant – the reception from the public wherever we were filming was so warm and friendly, there’s a lot of goodwill towards the series. In Blackpool, we needed to cross a building site with no entry signs everywhere but one mention of Coast and we were personally escorted through by the site manager!

“One of the stories I present is about secret WW2 listening stations on the Norfolk coast. It was fascinating to experiment with the technology behind these stations with the help of scientists from the OU.  But it was even more enthralling to meet an elderly woman, Joy Hale, who’d actually worked there and hear her stories firsthand. Like Joy, my grandmother had been a WREN but had worked as a cipher officer – the next link in the chain of intelligence gathering. It was a poignant story to present and I’m pleased that almost forgotten pieces of history like this will be heard by a wider audience and preserved by Coast.”

Dr Alice Roberts says: “In the new series, my favourite story is the excavation at Sandwick Bay in Shetland. I camped on the beach in my camper van, and was privileged to take a look at the Iron Age skeleton that had been discovered on the site.”
Miranda Krestovnikoff says: “My favourite coastal location from filming series 3 has to be the Guliot caves in Sark. These gems are something I might explore as a diver – rocks encrusted in jewel anemones of all different colours – but on a few rare days a year when the tides are exceptionally low, you can – with great difficulty – access these sunken treasures for a few precious hours.  I went with a scientist who has been visiting them for the last 50 years or so and we were accompanied by a four-strong team of local firemen – such was the difficulty of accessing the caves.  It took a few hours to make our decent down a sheer cliff and across the rocks and we only had a short hour in which to film.  It was like being inside a sweet shop – the walls were dripping with brightly coloured anemones with barely an inch of exposed rock. A truly memorable experience.”

George Revill, Senior Lecturer in Geography with The Open University and lead academic for the series said: “Our enduring fascination for the sea, seaside and shoreline is clearly reflected in the tremendous popular success of Coast series one and two. The coast has been economically, socially and culturally vital for many generations living in the British Isles and it presents us with a wealth of ecosystems and habitats on which we are all dependent.

“The coast line harbours many stories which shed light on how we live, how we use and value our environment and how the land in which we live has been created through millennia of physical change. Coast has drawn on this rich heritage and in the process, we hope that it will encourage and energise interest in the fragile nature and contested uses of coastal environments.”

There are a series of essays on some of the issues surrounding the coast in the UK and Ireland with more to come at http://www.open2.net/coast

The Open University has also produced a free map for viewers to follow the progress of the series as it traverses the UK and Ireland. It also has interesting facts and useful information for anybody inspired to go and explore their own piece of coast!
 
The map can be obtained by calling +(44) 8700 900 7788.

There will also be a series of interactive Coast events at the following venues on the dates show. Please check with the venues or Open2.net for further details.
•    BELFAST        Castle Espie    July 24/25
•    PLYMOUTH     National Marine Aquarium    July 30/31
•    CARDIFF        National Museum of Wales    August 4/5
•    ABERDEEN     Maritime Museum        August 9/10
•    GREAT YARMOUTH    Time and Tide Museum    August 16/17
•    HULL             The Deep            August 23/24
•    SUNDERLAND National Glass Centre        August 30/31