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Television work

Britain’s Greatest Natural Wonders, Channel Five, 2005

The viewers of this programme were invited to vote for their favourite natural wonder from among ten selected places around the UK. The locations chosen ranged from the white cliffs of Dover to the isle of St Kilda. Each place was enthused over by various celebrities including Murial Gray, Anne Widdecombe, Billy Connolly and Leo Stevenson (who?). My location was the unihabited island of Staffa, off the west coast of Scotland.

Staffa is a magical place and is best known for the extraordinary crystal-like forms of the basalt rock from which it is largely made, and for Fingal’s Cave, made famous by Mendelssohn and numerous other visitors including JMW Turner, John Ruskin, Jules Verne, William Wordsworth, August Strindberg, Sir Walter Scott, and Queen Victoria. Their contribution to its renown was a bit more significant than mine. However, with the exception of JMW Turner, none of the others managed to paint and draw it, and even then Turner only managed a couple of so-so watercolours (smell the whiff of sour grapes?).

As an interesting ‘pay-off’ to my part of the programme I ended up painting several oil paintings of Staffa, some of which you can see in the painting page of this website. This was particularly nice for me because I usually do paintings in other artist’s styles when I’m on TV and I’m very proud of my own paintings done in my own style. I just wish more TV people would let me loose with a brush in this way!

The programme was produced by Stuart Elliot; a talented man of enormous energy and patience, very good qualities to have in that job.

[click here to go to my paintings – ‘me-as-me’]
       
Leo1
Leo2 Staffa