As many of my friends may tell you I am rubbish at keeping secrets! So it has been very difficult not to share our news with the world over the past year that we were to feature on BBC1 Escape to the Country. I had to sign a disclosure forbidding me to mention it on any social platform until it had been aired. I have been bursting all year! Here is the link if you would like to watch: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hy9p/escape-to-the-country-series-20-25-norfolk
So this amazing experience all started with an email which I received from the producer asking if I would like to take part to be filmed teaching the house hunters how to spin. They were very excited at the fact that I used the wool from my very own rare breed sheep. Of course I thought it was a joke but after checking it out, and changing my mind a million times, I decided to go for it. Then I panicked! This was a Thursday afternoon. I asked'when are you planning to film?' 'Tuesday' came the reply. By this time I was in a real panic but couldn't back out.
It was probably on the Friday that I could detect a rather unpleasant odour in my spinning barn and to cut a long story short it resulted in the removal of half of the ceiling to locate it. Yes you've guessed it. A teeny, tiny but very dead mouse was 'sleeping' in the insulation. Poor James. Yet another job at short notice! The things one does for two minutes on the tele!!
A bright sunny filming day arrived, along with lots of tummy butterflies and pacing around to calm the nerves. I need not have worried though. The couple who were house hunting in beautiful Norfolk were a craft-loving mother and daughter who felt like old friends straight away. The film crew of two, were very efficient and put us at our ease straight away. This efficiency was somewhat disconcerting however as their questions and instructions came so thick and fast that I barely had time to think of a suitable answer. So what you see on the screen is just as it was. No second takes!
I have to admit though that I rather enjoyed being able to bring my rare breed North Ronaldsay sheep to BBC tv just to do my little bit to promote this vulnerable breed. It is their wool that I often use in my workshops, especially the woollen hand spinning days as it lends itself beautifully to that technique so to be able to discuss them publicly was such an honour.
I quickly realised that the secret to being filmed was to pretend that the camera was not there, let alone just feet away in a small room on a really hot afternoon! As most of you know I have a real passion for teaching others to hand spin so I was able to immerse myself, or is that hide myself in the spinning while I was being filmed teaching the ladies this wonderful craft.
The whole experience was over quite quickly and felt somewhat surreal afterwards and to be honest I had convinced myself that the film would not be made. That was until I received a call from the researcher asking for lots of information about my sheep and the spinning that she would could use for the narrative. I then knew that the programme would be made and shown on national tv. It wasn't until last Friday that I received an email to inform me that the show would be aired on May 5th. Oh crumbs, those butterflies were back.
I have to say that I have received some wonderfully positive feedback and would like to thank everybody for their kind, supportive messages. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and am thrilled to say that one of the ladies has been back for a proper two day workshop and has joined my little group of spinning friends and for me, that is what my spinning is all about.
I would like to thank the BBC for choosing The Spinning Barn to participate in what is after all, my favourite tv programme and all of my spinning community for your ongoing support. I wonder what I shall be up to next???????