Sunday, 19 January 2014

Derring do on the high seas

I challenge you to listen to this interview without thinking of the Tom Hanks movie Captain Phillips. Climbing up the side of container ships is very Hollywood these days and, it seems, a necessary part of surviving a mid-Atlantic rescue.
Nick Ress (right) and Ed Curtis 
In December last year Nick Rees and his friend Ed Curtis attempted to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat. This sort of lunacy is now such a run-of-the-mill idea, it takes the form of an annual race.

During the race, just before Christmas, Nick and Ed got unlucky and decided to throw in the towel. When Nick dropped by the BBC Surrey studios to tell me about his adventure I was so gripped I thought it was worth stretching the interview beyond the allotted slot.

If you have 20 minutes and fancy listening to a good story well told, click on the button below. If you can't see the widget, try this link. It's well worth it.

Nick took on the challenge to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer after his wife was diagnosed at the age of 33 (thankfully she has made a full recovery). Nick and Ed have so far raised £170,000. Not bad for two years' work. Their own website has a lot more supporting information.

Thanks to Nick for being such a patient guest and compelling storyteller.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Saturday breakfast

When you're on air and it's going well, everything feels right. You've done the prep, and the technicals/procedurals have almost been subsumed into your unconscious, so you're not wasting any effort thinking about them.

You probably have a producer who knows how you function best, and the communication between you - verbal and visual - is down to a highly efficient bare minimum.

You're not trying to push things or sound like you're working too hard. Things happen when they should and everything is in the moment.

That what it was like at times this morning. You may disagree - the evidence is up on the BBC iPlayer for the next few days. When things occasionally click, it's one of the best feelings you can get.


Other stuff: I'm working at Inside Out for BBC South, putting together a few investigations which I hope will see the light of day before the end of this series. I've also started reporting again for ITV London, which is great. And we'll hopefully see the return of Caught on Camera for Channel 5, though nothing is confirmed yet.

Saturday, 11 January 2014


11 Jan 2014 Nick Wallis

I went down to Cowey Sale next to Walton Bridge this weekend to take some photos. The Thames looks like the Broad Majestic Shannon at the moment and the flooding is far worse than I've seen it before.

11 Jan 2014 Nick Wallis

The Thames Path along the Desborough Channel is completely submerged, and the Thames Meadow, the central patch of green in the picture below is now a lake.

The new Walton Bridge is holding firm, despite getting its ankles wet.

11 Jan 2014 Nick Wallis

And if you're not directly affected by the raised water levels, watching such a huge volume of water swelling through the river is an awe-inspiring sight.

11 Jan 2014 Nick Wallis

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Nick is not drinking

Happy New Year. I have decided not to drink for January, or indeed 2014.

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