There’s hardly a more iconic sight in aviation than a Spitfire soaring above the cliffs at Beachy Head. So we were delighted to be asked back to this historic location to film for the BBC’s This Time with Alan Partridge.
The show sees Steve Coogan reprise his role as Alan Partridge, a hapless former radio presenter from Norwich. The incompetent and tactless broadcaster is given a career lifeline when he’s offered the chance to appear as a presenter on a weekly magazine show called This Time.
The fictitious show is a parody of popular daily programmes like The One Show and Good Morning Britain. In a similar format, Alan interviews guests and chats about current events. He also steps outside the studio to produce features for the show. One feature sees Alan pay tribute to the female fighter pilots from World War 2. He does this by taking a ride in the back of a modified two seater Spitfire.
“It was a privilege to climb heavenwards, until I was touching the face of God, with the very tip of my nose”Alan Partridge
Taking off from the Goodwood Aerodrome, we followed Coogan in his Spitfire as he made his way over to Beachy Head. Once there, the real fun begins. Put through a series of high-G turns, loops and rolls, Coogan remains in character the entire time.
One key feature to the hilarity of Alan Partridge are his facial expressions. We were required to get in close to capture the detail of Coogan’s performance. This was achieved using our Shotover K1, mounted on our single squirrel, G-TVGB.
Responsible for getting these shots was aerial camera operator Jim Swanson. Flying the Airbus H125 helicopter was GB’s director and chief pilot, Will Banks.
This isn’t the first time we’ve filmed over Beachy Head, or even Spitfires over Beachy Head. We had the incredible privilege to provide our aerial filming services on the production of Spitfire: The Feature Documentary. Filming two Spitfires flying in formation with the stunning coast in the background was a phenomenal experience.