Since October 2012, the home of the Bald Explorer has been on the Community Channel, a digital TV station on Freeview, BT Vision, Virgin and Sky. It has been a personal thrill for me to discover the programme popping up in the broadcast schedules throughout the year and, as a result, receiving the lovely feedback from viewers. Many of those correspondents have stumbled across the documentary series for the first time and have sent complimentary messages, either via email, Twitter or as a comment on the website. Typically, they enthuse about the content, the topics and, I am embarrassed to admit, the presentation style and they wonder why the programme isn’t on mainstream channels.
I can only answer the last question with the comment: it probably wouldn’t work. The trouble with mainstream TV is that it needs to be too broad and the subjects generic. Consequently, we see the same old topics being presented time and again and the less well known themes ignored. Step forward the Bald Explorer and the Community Channel. This is where a slightly offbeat series can benefit and, surprisingly, pull in larger numbers of viewers too.
I have just returned from a meeting with the executives at the Community Channel discussing the future of the Bald Explorer and we have agreed to put together a new series of six special episodes. There is a little funding to help this happen and, although not enough to pay wages, it does, however, remove the obstacle of expenses to make the programme. In other words, rather than having the long delay between making each one hour episode, it will be possible to produce the next six back to back.
The Community Channel and I will have another go at the Kickstarter and try to raise a little more cash to pay for a small crew and we hope you would like to get involved; just as enthusiastically, as you did last year. There will be more incentives and extra content, of course.
I have one more episode to finish in the current mode of working and that is one about the state and preservation of our ‘Battlefields in Britains’. I am looking at what comprises a battlefield, the sort of people who fought on them, why they are important to preserve and how they are faring after the passage of time from the original conflict. There is a threat to many battlefield sites from developers who wish to build on them and many local-interest groups are hell-bent on preventing that from happening. I am aiming to feature some of the battlefields from the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War, sites such as Edge Hill, Northampton, St Albans and Barnet.
Naturally, I will keep you posted as the progress and all news about Bald Explorer programming and adventures.