Climbing Great Buildings

10th Oct 2010

A few of you may have been following a series on BBC 2 recently called "Climbing Great Buildings" It was on every week day night for three and a half weeks of September. It was an interesting series where Architecture meets extreme sport in the shape of a Rock climbing kind of a theme.

Imperial War Museum North

Imp 5When i originally heard about the idea, probably 9 months before filming even started, i have to admit i was pretty sceptical. Another pointless exercise in trying to "Jazz up" some boring (at least to me) programme. You know the kind of thing - Take "Time team" interesting if you're into scratching around in the dirt and say drop Jordan or Victoria Beckham right smack bang in their lap, stand back and watch the fireworks. It would have very little to do with Archeology but for at lest one episode it'd probably prove quite entertaining and get your viewing figures up!

As the weeks and months progressed i got drip fed little tidbits of information from a variety of sources, including at least two people who where in "Negotiations" for the part of the Climbing expert.


It all seemed to hinge on who the BBC got as their main presenter. If it was a guy then they wanted a woman co-star. If the presenter was female then it had to be a guy. In the end "The guy got the girl" that would be Dr Jonathan Foyle BA (Hons) MA Dipl Arch (Riba Pt 1& 11) PhD. which in good "Ol English" translates to one top banana in the field of Historical architectural and archaeological history of buildings - did i say English! His lady in waiting, or as the credits at the end of the show liked to bill her was "Climbing Expert" and 7 time British Champion Lucy Creamer, all 5'2" of her.

The general idea was a shoot schedule of 8 weeks. that equates to 2 buildings a week and a day in between for travel, hectic by anyones standards and allowing a great big fat 0 for incliment weather - ouch!

I was lucky enough to be hired to work on the series, not as a cameraman or photographer, but as an "expert" in the "getting our intrepid duo into difficult places" guy. Yep the years of hanging on ropes to get myself into inacessible places on the side of cliffs and mountain faces had finally paid off, now i was an expert, its official ITN said so! As well as my newly found title i got to work with a whole bunch of great guys, in particular Chris Milford at Wallwalkers and award winning cameraman Ian Burton as well as the stars of the show Jonathan Foyle "JF" and Lucy Creamer, who just happens to be my partner of 11 years. I think its probably the most we've seen of each other in a while, our hectic schedules usually mean we're at least opposite ends of the country, often europe and ocassionally the world!

For once i left the "Big" camera at home, i did'nt even bother with my excellent point and shoot, no for this job i just had my new best friend, an iPhone 3G. So all the photos you see here where taken on my old phone and edited on the fly using either PSmobile or The best camera apps which produced some excellent results - i hope you enjoy seeing them as much as i enjoyed taking them.

More Imperial War Museum North pics

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Chris Milford on the Final Day of Filming looking stressed and the lovely Amy Tookmen (ITN)














Bristol Suspension bridge - A big hit with the team and my personal favourite of the show














The Alta of the old Coventry cathedral and Jonathon and Lucy "heading on down"
















Lloyds Building, London. My "access all areas" pass, The logbook for major disasters and looking down from the atrium















The Liver Building, Liverpool and my gloves after the dust had settled!