Timothy Spall

rothwell_neil 11:06pm, 14 March 2012
I must admit to enjoying the Timothy Spall series of round Britain. I also admit to having been lost a few times and understand that lights and distance are weird at night. Once got woken up off Peterhead as helmsman (normally sane) was sure an anchored oil rig was chasing us and catching up. I particularly remember the close attention of a helicopter that came to see us at 2am when we were close to the sub dock in holy loch when we thought we were somewhere else. But in my defence there were no sat navs and I didn't have 15 grand of nav kit plus an iPad or two at the time. Great fun but wouldn't let him borrow my boat.
jendave1 7 years ago
We did watch a couple of these, but I have to say I went right off Spall after he ruined Oliver Twist for the BBC; I think he over-awed the producer and got his own way, being such a big 'name', and his luvvie (and racist) mugging ruined the whole production.
However it is nice to see boaty stuff on TV so as I said we watched a few, including the last one.
I know you can get disorientated at night, I remember pointing at a green buoy and asking Jenny to steer for it, only finding out later that she was looking at the wrong light and we were heading towards a spit. However he was looking at the chart plotter, surely with a compass he could have worked out his course. Calling the CG to say you're lost, how often does that happen (not counting fog etc) not something we'd consider, I'd find somewhere safe to anchor & wait for the daylight in his position.
Other times during the series he seems to have been quite inept too, at first I wondered if it was for the cameras but not really sure.
Much preferred the Royal Navy series that was on beforehand...
blueachilles Posted 7 years ago. Edited by blueachilles (member) 7 years ago
There is a long thread about this on the Yachting Monthly Scuttlebutt forum, including comments from someone who heard the VHF conversations at the time. Apparently the CG took some time to establish his position, and it was a while before the RNLI was finally called out. Spall was sounding pretty tense by that time, apparently.

I thoroughly enjoyed the programmes. But I couldn't help thinking, during the incident in the last one, that his chartplotter ought to have shown him exactly where he was, and so where he needed to go? But then, I wasn't there.....

We saw the Spalls at the Helford River Sailing Club one evening a couple of years ago, the day they were filming there for the first series. Shane helped Di out with a shampoo bottle malfunction in the showers.
Skykomish E29 7 years ago
Yes The Princess Matilda is kept at Ramsgate Marina and I must say that when I saw Mr Spall one evening walking along the harbour wall I nearly fell out of the Ambulance (we were on a standby at the time and both pretty bored I was not aware that Mr Spall was around and remember giving my colleague a nudge that nearly broke her ribs) Mr Spall clearly noticed that he had been recognised by us and gave aus a great big thumbs up.

I watched several of the episodes and have mixed feelings about the series.
We are familiar with the area of water in which he became "disorientated" and really not sure why or how it could have happened except perhaps through fatigue and stress, however as has been mentioned I am not sure how you can get lost in a river estuary as small as that of the Medway with a functioning chart plotter... I remember the publicity on the local radio at the time and thinking some pretty uncharitable thoughts, however on reflection it was wrong of me to be too judgemental as I am not sure how I would be in a similar situation. I would have thought though that the film company would have had some sort of support vessel and or staff who could have helped.
I hate to think how much the whole trip would have cost and I give them both 10/10 for even attempting it at the moment it is an ambition to do the trip ourselves but so far we have not had time or budget.
jendave1 7 years ago
Seamanship notwithstanding, no excuse for Oliver Twist!
Skykomish E29 7 years ago
Have to say didn't see Oliver Twist but thought that he was very good in Sweeney Todd and in the film about the Hangman Pierrepoint
blueachilles 7 years ago
We thought he was brilliant in Shooting the Past several years ago, but he was not so good as Churchill in The Kings Speech.

And there was Auf Wiedersehen Pet, of course.
Skykomish E29 7 years ago
Oh yes the unforgettable episode where he comes into the hut completely lobster red with sun burn after overdoing the sun bed... magic
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