My new series

So I’ve been sweating it out recently series producing a new six part series for BBC Northern Ireland. It’s called “Laurence & Jackie’s Northern Exposure” and starts transmitting at the end of July.

The idea behind it is that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife, Jackie, spend 48 hours in a different county in Northern Ireland every week. They visit places which have been recommended either by the public (through the initial series website) or the production team.

The show’s all about getting people to go out and re-discover where they live. I’ve got this idea that everyone is stuck in the same old routine every weekend, doing the same things and going to the same places. We’ve found some pretty cool things to do and see here, and it’s those that Jackie and Laurence will visit in the show.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Laurence and Jackie – they are both very, very funny and nice people, and I think that’ll really come through in the programmes. Filming has been manic though for a couple of reasons. The shooting schedule demands that we film six different locations (sometimes seven) over two days. When you take into account travelling time, time to rig lights and so on, that’s not much time at all to get a sequence shot.

Secondly, I’ve found being out on the road with a crew of 15 people a bit tiring at times as well – just making sure everyone knows what’s going on whilst trying to work it out in your own head is a bit knackering, but luckily I’ve been blessed with a great team of people who’ve made things very easy.

The third thing that has made life a bit awkward is that the car we hired in for the series, a 1966 Ford Mustang has broken down on nearly every shoot. To the point that it’s been nick-named Mariah Scarey after another break-down prone star.

We’d rented a helicopter crew to shoot some great-looking sequences from the air of Laurence and Jackie driving Mariah around. Now, because we’ve frequently had to use a back-up car when Mariah took a fit, I’m not sure how much of that footage we’ll be able to use, which is really annoying. I’m gonna have to look at whether or not we can afford to get the crew back to do some aerial shots of the back-up vehicle.

Why does nothing work out as planned?!!!

Anyway, this is our last week filming, and after that it’s into the edit, although I’ve got one show cut already.

You can read a bit more about the trouble we’ve had with Mariah in Laurence’s diary on the programme website. When the show starts going out, a new website will be launched which will feature some of the great places we’ve uncovered.