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Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea

Premier :: 2010-05-05

Airs :: Wednesday 10:00PM on BBC Four

Genre :: Documentary

Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea poster


A mini-odyssey along the coast from Cornwall to Wales in the company of the actor Timothy Spall and his wife Shane on their Dutch barge.

Latest Episode

Series 3 - Episode 4 - All at Sea: The Last Splash
Aired - 13 March 2012

Episode summary:

Six years ago, Timothy Spall and his wife Shane left London to tour Britain's coast. This final episode of their journey sees them complete their circumnavigation, but not before a dramatic and frightening twist. They arrive in Suffolk where they moor in Shotley marina, the site of the former naval training camp HMS Ganges. From here they venture into the serene Walton backwaters and then out into the North Sea for a trip to Brightlingsea, Essex. Essex to Kent should have been fairly trouble free. Tim filled his boat with friends, including actress Frances Barber, before setting off on this celebratory leg. Chatham is the port were the Spalls spent months learning the art of navigation before venturing out into the sea for the first time all those years ago. They know the area well, but Tim hadn't realised how much the waters of the Medway would change in the blackness of night. After hours at sea they are close to land, but soon become lost. The lights from all the factories and power plants on land add confusion and low tide increases the risk of running aground. After hours of fretting, Tim reluctantly calls the coastguard. The lifeboat crew take them to the nearest port, Queenborough in Sheppey. The next day they safely make it to Chatham, where both Tim and Shane are emotionally drained and relieved. The final journey up the Thames into London is where he eventually realises why he did this adventure in the first place - 'It's been a celebration of life and a spit in the eye of the audacity of fate trying to kill me, so we went out and tried to kill ourselves.'.

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