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Filmmaker Billy set for TV debut

PUBLISHED: 19:43 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:40 05 July 2010

A COMPOSITE film made by a local historian and amateur filmmaker is set to feature as part of a television series next year.

The efforts of pensioner Billy Hansford in capturing the crash of the RAF Harrier GR.

A COMPOSITE film made by a local historian and amateur filmmaker is set to feature as part of a television series next year.

The efforts of pensioner Billy Hansford in capturing the crash of the RAF Harrier GR.7 in the sea off Lowestoft on August 2, 2002 is set to be showcased alongside other dramatic, unseen footage for a Discovery Channel TV series.

Earlier this month The Journal revealed how Lowestoft Lifeboat was filmed for a new satellite television programme, as memories of the Lowestoft Air Show crash were recalled.

And now Mr Hansford's nine minutes of composite film, which includes the crash, subsequent rescue and salvage operation - with interviews with the diving team and aircraft team - has been used as part of a series called Disaster Eyewitness.

Mr Hansford, who lives in Oulton Broad, was videoing the 2002 show from Claremont Pier, when pilot error led to the Harrier plunging into the sea in front of horrified spectators.

“I had the camera on the tripod but I nearly missed it all,” he revealed, reflecting back on the dramatic moment over six years ago.

It wasn't until The Journal unveiled Mr Hansford's “rare images” earlier this year that he was approached by an American producer from the Discovery Channel.

Raw Cut TV, who are based in London, contacted Mr Hansford to explain they were due to visit Lowestoft to film for part of Disaster Eyewitness series.

And in August the film crew rolled into Lowestoft to meet and interview Mr Hansford, to use his footage and also speak to the Lowestoft Lifeboat crew.

“The Raw Cut team took my cassette of the film and have used very hi-tech equipment for their production,” Mr Hansford said.

“I'm very proud of this. “I never thought that my little bit of video footage would be seen worldwide in a few months time,” he told The Journal.

The series is due to be shown on the Discovery Channel next spring.

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