Shields Ferry is set to make waves on TV

Chris McGuinness and David Purvis  on board the ferry.
Chris McGuinness and David Purvis on board the ferry.

The Shields Ferry service is to star on national television in a new documentary series for the BBC.

The Ferry and its crew will feature in the fly-on-the-wall documentary called Sea City, about everyday life on the river Tyne, which is to be aired nationally in a primetime slot on BBC Two on Friday 5 February, 7pm-8pm.

Ferry Manager Carol Timlin

Ferry Manager Carol Timlin

A shorter version will go out on BBC One in the North East and Cumbria region this sunday at 4pm.

The programme, which also features Port of Tyne, will include a behind the scenes look at the Shields Ferry service, featuring daily crossings, summer river trips, and the Great North Run.

The BBC filmed at five ports throughout Britain, with a whole episode devoted to the Tyne.

Ferry crew members Chris McGuinness, Stephen Beck and David Purvis will appear prominently along with the Shields Ferry Manager Carol Timlin.

Chris’s uncanny likeness to the Geordie musician Sting was a major attraction for the producers.

The BBC were keen to show how the Ferry copes with the queues after Great North Run – their busiest day of the year.

They also filmed a sing-along cruise with South Shields X-Factor hopeful Carole Lee entertaining the passengers.

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: “We’re all really looking forward to seeing the programme.

“We gave the BBC full access to film us at work over a number of days last summer and it all went really well.

“They filmed a routine day as well as a Tyne river cruise with our X Factor singer Carol Lee.

“The film will also focus on our busiest day of the year, the Great North Run.

“It will be a hugely positive look at the ferry operation and will give national exposure to an iconic service on the River Tyne.”

Sea Cities producer, Andy Smythe, said: “The guys were so good – they’ve made the entire film and they are great characters.

“When programme makers are given the latitude to allow people to be themselves, it’s refreshing and shows the best of the region.

“The way they entertained the crowds was amazing and they’re all fantastic. Chris is hilarious and had good banter with Dave Purvis, and Carol is very professional and business-like.”