4 years ago I chased a dream after being made redundant

BBC Life of a Mountain Scafell Pike
A selection of reviews pre-transmission for ‘Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’

It’s been a mental few days for me and my family thanks to the network premiere of my Scafells film on the BBC the other night. My phone has been red hot with calls from the press, I’ve had TV crews round and all the wonderful reviews from the national press of the film continue to roll in.

I’m thrilled to reveal that a smidge under one million viewers tuned in live to watch the transmission on Wednesday night too! Astonishing! BBC Four averages about 300k viewers. ‘Ole Aunty’ will consolidate and reveal the total figures including iPlayer et al in due course. I have to admit I’m still in a daze about it all and really have been quite moved by the public’s response to the film.

I’m no fan of the TV version either! I mentioned it on the odd radio interview and even here the other week. It was extremely difficult under pressure from the Beeb to put more and more of the film into a 60 minute edit. It killed a lot of the poetic fell scenes I was keen to keep for TV. Alas, it would appear on the face of it, I hadn’t any thing to be too concerned about. C’est la vie.

I was also reminded today that four years ago this month I was officially made redundant from my previous deskbound role in I.T! I’d have guessed five years to be honest. Anyway how uncanny is that given the current circumstances?

If one told me I’d be where I am today all those years ago, I’d have laughed and laughed and laughed. On reflection it’s been a crazy few years too – especially for my family. I’ve made some great friends along the way and been humbled to the core with the support from so many of you. I’d be a nobody without the support of many of you and that’s the truth.

Many folks are now asking me what’s next. Needless to say recent events have contributed towards the coming year’s plans for me.

I can reveal that I will indeed be producing a sequel to the Scafells film. ‘Life of a Mountain: Blencathra’ which I hope to begin filming next winter. I had originally intended to do Helvellyn but I’ve been persuaded to leave that one for another time.

Before then I’ll be busy working on a new film with Eric Robson and David Powell-Thompson. The narrative is quite simple. The Lake District from creation to present day. And I can’t reveal any more than that for now. But it is planned for release later this year. I’m really excited about it too.

Once again, a big thanks to all of you who’ve followed me on here (and elsewhere) and to everyone who features in the Scafells film. Hugs and pats on the backs to my sponsors too. Also to all the wonderful people of Wasdale. I hope I did Cumbria proud.

And a enormous thanks to Freddiehangoler my good friend and collaborator – a talented musician and composer – and of course my wife and family.

Speak soon folks. I’m off for a much needed break…..

LIFE OF A MOUNTAIN: SCAFELL PIKE (ABRIDGED EDIT)
BBC IPLAYER

THE TIMES


This mountain-based documentary was a Wordsworthian hymn to nature and a eulogy to humanity

Life of a Mountain: A Year on Scafell Pike 
BBC Four
****
So foul and fair a night’s TV I have not seen. The fair was Terry Abraham’s film Life of a Mountain: A Year on Scafell Pike, which, from its first moments of mists rolling through the mountain tops to the time-lapse shots near the end of shooting stars and two beams of torchlight ascending and descending England’s highest peak, was as refreshing as walking the peak yourself. The documentary was a Wordsworthian hymn to nature but, more than that, a eulogy to humanity.
Without human endeavour Scafell would not be Scafell. Here was a shepherdess, hook in hand, explaining that her job included putting stones back on walls and preserving the local “aye”s, “nowt”s and “that’ll do”s. Here was a farmer breeding the indigenous Herdwick sheep without which the hills would be covered with juniper bushes. And here too was the young hill-walking officer from the British Mountaineering Council rearranging “unnecessary or misleading” piles of stone for fear of “cairn anarchy”.
Abraham made a film of great beauty but no solemnity. Joss Naylor, who started running across the mountain in 1960 in his walking boots and sawn-off trousers, boasted of getting up and down from the peak in 47 minutes. He surely had little time to stand and stare. A photographer, Mark Gilligan, admitted to augmenting a perfect dawn with music from his iPod. He intended no bathos when he explained why the area resonated with him. His wife and he had been visiting Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage when she became unwell. The museum staff warned her: “Don’t be sick on the daffodils.” The punchline was she was pregnant. This Life of a Mountain was only an hour, half the original edit available on DVD. The BBC should show it all.

The full 2 hour film on DVD.

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