BBC’s Escape to the Country pays a visit to Arundel

Two Arundel historic tour guides have been given a surprise phone call by BBC’s Escape to the Country.
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Martin Alderton, 64 and Karen Tunnicliffe, 60, were a few minutes into watching an episode of Escape to the Country when their phone rang and took them by complete surprise on Wednesday, April 13.

“‘Hello, its Escape to the Country’, ‘oh hello, we are watching you as we speak’,” said Martin, who is a full-time postman when he’s not touring the streets of Arundel.

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He added: “It was such a strange one. We take phone calls every day from people wanting a tour of Arundel, and we were five minutes into watching Escape to the Country when the phone rang.

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“I answered and it and put it on speaker so Karen could hear and it turned out to be someone from Escape to the Country, it was one of those weird moments.

“It turned out they were filming a Sussex episode, someone wishing to move to the county, and Arundel was part of the area they had specified in their list of wants.

“They wanted us to do a piece to camera about Arundel and what its like to live, work and play here.

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“We arranged a time and place and we filmed about ten minutes in all.

BBC's programme Escape to the Country visited Arundel and spoke to Martin, a historic tour guideBBC's programme Escape to the Country visited Arundel and spoke to Martin, a historic tour guide
BBC's programme Escape to the Country visited Arundel and spoke to Martin, a historic tour guide

“I imagine they probably did three hours of filming around the town with interviews included, and it will be cut down to around two minutes on screen, if we get a snippet we will be very lucky and amazed.”

Martin said it was nice to see TV crews in Arundel for something other than the castle.

He added: “It’s all positive, actually getting Arundel onto the TV away from the castle is great because every time a film crew come here, it’s always about the castle but to actually have something in the town and to be able to tell a little bit of history that encourages people to want to find out more.”

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Filming for the programme was quite straightforward, said Martin. He added: “I was expecting to see the people that were looking to live here and the presenters but they weren’t in the town at the time, so it was literally just the film crew.

“The woman asked me questions slightly off camera and I had to talk to her rather than looking at the camera. You’re talking to the audience, but you aren’t you are actually talking to the lady asking the questions and to try and keep your eye off the camera is quite difficult, you’re just tempted to keep looking in the lense.

“Because I’ve done the tours for 10 years, it comes out of me quite easy when a question is asked, I’ve already got most of the answers and details they are looking for, and because of my experience as a tour guide I can answer in a why that outsiders can understand.

“It was good and I really enjoyed it. I loved every minute of it.”

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Speaking to the TV crew, Martin said they informed him that it may take around three months for the programme to get through production and in its final stages, so the episode may not be on air until the end of summer, but Martin said the whole experience was very exciting and he felt honoured to be asked to be a part.

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