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Saturday 22 August 2015

Working On The Greenwich Show

Filming in Greenwich with Cameraman Michael Cole & Presenter Robert Gray
Over the last few months I've been working on an exciting TV project - The Greenwich Show, a magazine programme about the local area I live in. I've been living in the London borough for over eight years and I am obsessed with the place. It truly is a unique area with so many stories, so it has been an honour to be involved in bringing these tales to the attention of the world (the programme airs online and on an actual TV channel.)
Director Ian Ramsdale with Presenter Robery Gray filming links on a rainy day
The show is the brainchild of these two gentleman, Ian the Director and Robert the main presenter. The show is significant because back in 1972, 'Greenwich Cablevision' became the UK's first local television service - it was history in the making - the first time there was local TV in the UK, as opposed to the normal terrestrial channels everyone had. In keeping with that theme, it's now the first borough to have a programme to be showcased nationally on - The Community Channel.
Ian briefing Robert
The whole series (and series one which was broadcast almost a year ago) is run by volunteers. Everyone involved including Ian, Robert, the rest of the team and me have given up our own time and resources because we are all passionate about wanting to create, and be part of something so special. In fact this series has been called #Series2MadeByYou because everyone who lives in the borough or has a connection to it, was invited to be part of it - from suggesting programme ideas to being in films and having their photographs and memories featured. 
Me, behind camera two!
I approached the team because I enjoyed watching series one and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to expand my television presenting skills, but I did more than just stand in front of the camera; I got behind it too and did research, scripting, running and even some filming. 

Filming a Food feature with Mike, The Very Greengrocer
My favourite aspect though, is being one of the show's Reporters. I present three short films which appear in episodes 2, 3 and 4. One of which is a fascinating look at the people who have food businesses or provide food services in the borough, including Mike, The Very Greengrocer.
Not just any old van, this is a travelling grocery store!
Mike is retired but spends his spare time helping others by providing a mobile food service. His van is packed with local produce that he delivers to people who are less mobile, such as elderly folk or those who simply don't have time to shop - delivering them fresh vegetable boxes.
Michael honing in on the veg
Adam from Season Etcetera showing us how he makes jam
There are four unique stories in the film, including Adam who makes and sells jams and chutneys alongside his day job, at local farmers markets. He let me and amazing cameraman Michael (who deserves an extra special mention because he worked super hard on the series), come to his house to watch the jam creation in action...
Strawberries on the boil
Straining the strawbs
Adam also makes tasty chutney
Taste-testing Adam's jam...this wasn't the only slice I ate!
See the full report in Episode 2! (Aug 30th)
Michael filming outside the famous Blue Nile Cafe in Woolwich
For Episode 3 (Sept 6th) we went to find out more about local restaurant The Blue Nile Cafe, which was named the best in London on website Trip Advisor, beating off competition from five star Michelin places headed up by famous chefs.
With owner Shewa
The Blue Nile is an Eritrean and Italian restaurant. The setting is as authentic as the food which is served up with love, something you really don't feel in the majority of places you eat out at. The homely vibe, affordable prices and great dishes has already seen me go back since filming there.
Delicious feast of Eritrean food
Discovering new flavours
And for the final Episode 4 (13th Sept) I got to talk craft, as we headed over to Greenwich's weekly knitting night at The Pelton Arms pub.
Filming at The Pelton Arms
Open to everyone and anyone, it's an informal meet up that was set up by local craft queen and knitting expert Susie Johns who is an absolute heroine of mine.
I love the decor in the Pelton
Knit night essentials
You can either turn up with your own project and work on that, or borrow some yarn and needles and get help learning.
One of Susie's knitted masterpieces
The Pelton have hosted the night for a few years now and they are ever so friendly, they sometimes even feed the knitters as they did on our filming night - yum!
Looking after the knitters with snacks
Knitting & nibbling at The Pelton Arms

The Greenwich Show kicks off tomorrow. Made with utter passion and positivity, I hope it gets the viewers it deserves and most importantly if we get lots of viewers, we'll attract more advertisers, which will help us make a third series. Plus there's nothing else like it on the TV at the moment, there's no reality/celebrity nonsense, just good old-fashion television.
Coming up in the first episode!

Tune into The Greenwich Show #Series2MadeByYou on The Community Channel - available at
Freeview HD 63, Sky 539, Virgin 233, Freesat 651

Episode 1: Sun 23rd August 2015
Episode 2: Sun 30 August 2015*
Episode 3: Sun 6th September 2015*
Episode 4: Sun 13th September 2015*
All episodes are repeated the following Wednesdays at 9pm and Fridays at 4.30pm. 

*these ones have my reports in! : )

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