On Wednesday 16th June, a group of student ringers unusually gathered at St Olave’s in anticipation of ringing the bells. Why was this so, when the UL practice night is on a Thursday? Because the Germans were coming, of course! More specifically, a film crew from the TV show Galileo that airs on German, Austria, and Switzerland.
In classic showbiz style they kept us waiting – arriving an hour later than planned. Just as we were about to adjourn to the Cheshire Cheese, the appearance of an Addison Lee taxi outside the graveyard gates signalled their arrival. A squad of four production team members and the TV presenter (Stefan Godde) emerged from the vehicle and began to setup. Josie was selected to be on camera (probably the most publicly presentable member of the UL present that evening!) and after a location scout, a number of drone shots and interview takes, we were ready to head up the tower.
It soon apparent that we needed to radically reorganise the tower to fit the crew, with the chairs expelled to the church roof and central table moved to one corner. It emerged that the crew had quite a clear conception of what they wanted – namely to film the pretence that a curious Stefan had arrived at the tower to find a group of students about to ring and to have a go himself! This required multiple takes for things that would normally take seconds, such as tying knots or coming up the stairs. It also required the UL members to strain every sinew of their drama lessons from school to act naturally and ignore the camera!
After ringing up and a quick touch of Grandsire Triples, Josie began a brief handling practice with the presenter, before we all rang down a little after two hours after the escapade had begun. It is rumoured that we will be broadcast towards the end of July, so keep a lookout!