Although I never got to see it myself, I’m told I was once on the ITV Wales news. It was the summer of 2009 and I was catching the archaeological bug whilst excavating a medieval village at Cosmeston, Penarth, Cardiff.
To celebrate a friend’s birthday we decided to come to site dressed as smurfs. Donning an extraordinarily tight pair of little white shorts, and with all exposed skin painted a suitable shade of blue, we began our triumphant march onto site. The image could have only been improved had Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries been playing in the background.
We were greeted with a raucous round of applause by the majority of people working on the site. We were met with a measure of dread by one or two members of staff, however, for although we did not yet know it, ITV Wales were coming to film the excavations that morning.
They of course enjoyed the spectacle immensely and I’m told there was an amusing report on TV that night. Unfortunately none of us ever got to see it, because we were living in a field. Oh well.
I recount this epic tale because it has some relevance this week. The latest series of Digging Britain, an annual round-up of the sexiest archaeological finds from across Britain, has an episode which features the Lyminge excavations (which, you might recall, I took part in last summer). The incredible and unprecedented archaeology at this site is certainly worthy of inclusion in such a programme, and it serves as a great platform for increasing the public’s awareness of the site.
During the course of the hour-long show there are approximately three seconds where I am visible on camera doing a bit of shovelling. Although not plastered in blue paint this time, it was still nice to see myself on national TV.
If you haven’t already seen it I would urge you to watch the full show. If, however, you cannot spare the time then you can find the Lyminge section beginning on the thirty-third and ending on the forty-second minute.
If you need a quick refresher on what the Lyminge Archaeological Project actually is, be sure to check out this AHRC promotional video: