Sunday, 5 February 2012

Bomber Command documentary with Ewan McGregor to be aired on BBC

A Bomber Command documentary filmed in Lincolnshire with Hollywood star Ewan McGregor will be aired on BBC One.

Bomber Boys sees the actor fly in a Lancaster Bomber with his pilot brother, Colin McGregor, talk with veterans about their experiences in the Second World War and visit Lincolnshire RAF stations. The film focuses on men who fought and died in the skies above occupied Europe, while highlighting the heroes of the time.

The 90-minute show covers six years of wartime operations and traces the obstacles that were overcome as the RAF developed and deployed the fighting force that was Bomber Command.

Producer and director Harvey Lilley from Lion Television, which made the show, said Lincolnshire is "a central character" in the feature length documentary.

"It felt like something of a pilgrimage to some of those hundreds of air bases that sprang up throughout the county in the Second World War," he said.

"They were packed with thousands of young men – all volunteers – who took the fight to Germany in the dark days of the Second World War when nobody else was capable of striking at the Nazi War Machine.

"Colin and Ewan met veterans in the Bluebell at Tattershall Thorpe and stayed at the Petwood Hotel at Woodhall Spa, previously the officers mess of the Dambusters.

"And in an unrepeatable experience for both, they got to fly in the BBMF's Lancaster, the City of Lincoln, at last year's Lincolnshire Lancaster day.

"It all helped paint a picture for them of what life was like for the 125 000 young men who fought in the bombing campaign of the Second World War, many of whom – more than 55,000 – paid the ultimate price."

The brothers filmed at the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby and the former bases of Faldingworth, Wickenby and East Kirkby, last summer.

Squadron Leader Ian Smith, officer commanding the RAF BBMF, said: "We were delighted to support this documentary and keen to help as much as we could with the project. The documentary will highlight the courage the personnel of Bomber Command had and the ultimate sacrifice that 55,573 of them made. Lest we forget."

Other filming was carried out in London, Afghanistan, Hamburg and the former wartime air base of White Waltham in Berkshire.

The show will air on Sunday, February 5, at 9pm, on BBC One. It will then be available on BBC iPlayer for catch-up viewers. 

Photo courtesy of Radio Times

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