Tag Archives: TV

More of Mull on the TV this Xmas

Mull and TV is the same as feast and famine… or buses. You wait ages for yours to arrive and then two or three of them all turn up at the same time! Just a few months back we had a slew of programmes which featured aspects of the Isle of Mull. Geologist Iain Stewart was crawling all over Scotland looking at the history and geology, whilst the BBC’s AutumnWatch was focusing on the wildlife.

Then nothing…

More Mull on TV this XmasBut you can’t keep a good subject out of the media for long, so it was little surprise to see Mull and its islands reappear on last night’s “Three Men go to Scotland“. It was a bit of a rambling show where the editor had clearly played pretty fast and loose with the order of the footage. It seemed to allow the presenters, Rory McGrath, Griff Rhys-Jones and Dara O’Briain to hop between Mull and the mainland as if they were in a Tardis rather than a beautiful old sailing boat.

But in the limited time available for the show the three protagonists managed to spend time in Duart Castle learning about Clan MacLean. It then jumped back to the mainland to visit Inverawe smokery and a spot of scallop diving just outside Oban harbour before returning to Mull to go check out the always impressive Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa.

It was then on to the Ledaig Distillery (or Tobermory Distillery if you prefer). Rory McGrath was on a blagging mission to ensure an (un)healthy supply of the local brew, before heading off from Tobermory and around the Ardnamurchan headland to the north, despite a false start when they caught the boat’s propeller in a local lobster pot just outside Tobermory bay.

Clearly they shot quite a bit of footage on Mull that didn’t make it to the finished programme as Griff Rhys-Jones mentioned visiting Ulva which didn’t make it into the final edit. It would be nice to be able to see the material that never makes it to the final cut on the BBC’s iPlayer website, rather than being forever lost for lack of time in the main TV show.

RSPB Warden Dave Sexton on Springwatch Xmas SpecialBut, just like the buses, there was more on Mull this festive season in the form of the Springwatch Christmas Special. Towards the end of the 90 minute show the programme revisited RSPB Warden Dave Sexton who monitors the eagle population on Mull.

It seems that the BBC has a wildlife fund which contributed cash in 2007 towards the eagle revival programme on the island and Dave explains how the money has helped towards the overall success of the project. It’s well worth viewing this segment before the catch-up service on the BBC iPlayer site expires.

Mull ‘Raptor Island’ says BBC’s Autumnwatch

No doubt, if you’re a fan of all things nature-related you probably caught last week’s episode of Autumnwatch on the BBC. Presenters Chris and Martin headed up to Mulll, ostensibly for the sea eagles, but it was actually quite a bit more than that. They also checked out the coastline and other interesting fauna dotted across Mull’s shoreline.

BBC Autumnwatch presenter Martin Hughes-Games hits paydirt on his search for Mull's wildlife. In this case he spots Otters.If you missed it, you have seven days to catch it on the BBC’s iPlayer service after it’s broadcast or, if you download the WMV file instead (under the Download button and click for Windows Media Player) you can view it up to 30 days after.

News to me, they mentioned that Pine Martens have been verified as back on the island and breeding, possibly sneaking back on Mull courtesy of a lorry and the CalMac ferry. Unfortunately badgers and foxes are totally absent on Mull, the presenters explaining that they were probably there until they were eradicated in the Victorian era. It’s odd that such recent events as what happened on the island during the Victorian era were never recorded for posterity.

An Otter caught by the BBC's Autumnwatch cameramen visiting the Isle of Mull, relaxing on top of the seaweed after perhaps one too many crab. Time to relax and digest.Presenter, Martin Hughes-Games explained why he felt Mull was such a good place to visit for Wildlife watching. “I can honestly say I haven’t see so much wildlife in such a short space of time ever,” adding, “Now is a really brilliant time to go up there and do wildlife watching. There are three reasons for that. One is the midges aren’t there. The other is there are less people so it’s much easier to get around and the third thing is that the days are much shorter and the animals have to pack in their lives into a much shorter space of time. So they’re more obvious. They’re feeding, they’re playing.”

So, if you thought a holiday on Mull was limited to the summer months… well think again. Certainly not if one of your reasons for visiting are to see the raptors like the eagle and hen harrier, plus many other birds, deer and otters.

Ralph
Beach House Self Catering, Isle of Mull
Twitter: mullescape