Having been depressed enough about the Ann Widdecombe programme on prostitution I enjoyed watching a real gem on Friday. This was the last in the series 'Real Men' although it also starred a very attractive woman. They were all people who help maintain the lighthouses, lightships and buoys around our coasts. Now this was reality TV of the first order! I'm always fascinated by some of the more unusual occupations of people, jobs most would never have cause to think about.
The programme cut between doing some repairs to the storm damaged helipad on the top of a lighthouse (was it Bishop Rock or Longships? I'm not sure now) and the Trinity House maintenance ship 'Patricia' which in the show was seen going out to the Channel Lightvessel, one of several now unmanned lightships, and also picking up a buoy to be inspected and cleaned. Included in the BBC shipping forecast there is always a weather report from 'Channel Light vessel Automatic' so I was pleased to set eyes on her at last! The programme also showed passengers aboard 'Patricia' - she has six cabins so that members of the public can actually witness at first hand the work her crew have to do. This half hour really was British TV at its best!