Shields Ferry staff celebrate becoming a TV crew

Shields Ferry Skipper Chris McGuinness was a hit with TV audiences.
Shields Ferry Skipper Chris McGuinness was a hit with TV audiences.

Shields Ferry staff are beaming with pride after making waves for a national TV documentary.

The sea-faring crew proved a hit with millions of viewers after starring in the BBC Two show, Sea Cities, a fly-on-wall documentary showcasing the cross Tyne ferry service.

The BBC was given unprecedented access to the film the ferry crew at work.

Sea Cities, which was screened nationally on Friday 5 February, also featured Port of Tyne, South Shields Marine School and the OGN shipyard.

The programme showed the Ferry staff on the day of the Great North Run - their busiest day of the year.

They also filmed a sing-along river cruise with local X-Factor hopeful Carole Lee entertaining the passengers, as well as daily routine crossings.

Ferry Skipper Chris McGuinness, who lives in South Shields, was a major attraction for the producers due to his uncanny likeness to the Geordie music legend Sting.

Chris said: “It’s been a great experience filming with the BBC for Sea Cities. All of the staff have enjoyed it and it’s been great for the viewers to see us at work.

“I knew they’d want to talk about my likeness to Sting. I actually met him in 2010 when he hired the ferry to show some of his producers the sights of the Tyne.”

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, added: “We're all really proud to have appeared on national television as part of the Sea Cities documentary.

“This programme has promoted the Shields Ferry on a national stage and showcased all of the many other operations which take place on the River Tyne every day.

"I hope that this extra publicity it will help to drive up our passenger numbers and promote out summer river trips, which are starting up again in just a few months.”