To the Edge of the World

To the Edge of the World

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Bear Island, Bjørnøya, Co. Down, Lofoten, Strangford Lough




Transmission 29/07/1998


25min 20sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Documentary following Brian Black and friends, as they journey by boat from Strangford to the Arctic Circle.

Black is the skipper while his friends Bob Brown, Maeve Greenhill, Fred Moore, Ian Stevenson and David Thompson crew the boat. The weeks-long journey is arduous, testing the group's sailing abilities as they pass through hazardous waters. 

Past the Arctic Circle, the absence of human civilisation is striking, with the wildlife and scenery equally astounding - the sighting of a Sperm whale, en route to Bear Island, is particularly memorable. However, even far removed from civilisation, humanity's impact on the environment is clear to see, Black and friends alarmed by the melting ice they see along the way. 

Despite, poor weather conditions, the crew make it to Bear Island and bird watch for a little while, before being joined by fellow Arctic explorers. Two Norwegian scientists discuss their work, measuring the spread of pollution from the continent. The episode concludes with the crew reflecting on their journey and the negative impacy that humanity can have on even the most remote of habitats.


Black and his crew were inspired by Banbridge's Francis Crozier, Northern Ireland's greatest polar explorer.

Shot List

Crew: Bob Brown (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), Maeve Greenhill, Fred Moore (Planner DoE), Ian Stevenson and David Thompson (National Trust). 

Presented and Produced by Brain Black.

Digitised as part of the 'UTV Archive Partnership' project.



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