Great Canal Journeys

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Great Canal Journeys
GenreDocumentary
Presented byTimothy West & Prunella Scales
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series9
No. of episodes32
Production
Running time48 minutes
Release
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release10 March 2014 (2014-03-10) –
28 December 2018 (2018-12-28)

Great Canal Journeys is a Channel 4 television series in which husband and wife Timothy West and Prunella Scales take canal barge and narrowboat trips in the United Kingdom, Europe,[1][2] India and Egypt. The series was originally aired on More4 before transferring to Channel 4 with Series 2. Both West and Scales are keen narrowboaters and were involved in campaigning to revive the Kennet & Avon Canal.[3] West and Scales both talk frankly about Scales' dementia during the series, which has been praised by Alzheimer’s Research UK .[4]

Episodes[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure*[5]
Kennet & Avon Canal 10 March 2014 More4 The series started with Tim & Pru celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary by travelling 21 miles along the Kennet & Avon canal from Bath to Devizes.[3] 0.83m
The Rochdale 17 March 2014 More4 Tim and Pru start at Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire, travelling through Mytholmroyd to reach the summit of the canal 600ft up the Pennines[6] -
The Llangollen Canal 24 March 2014 More4 Tim and Pru visit Llangollen where they spent their honeymoon. They travel through the Vale of Llangollen, the Montgomery Canal before visiting the Horseshoe Falls by horse drawn barge.[7] 0.83m
Canal du Nivernais, France 31 March 2014 More4 Tim and Pru visit the Burgundy region of France. They travel along the Canal du Nivernais taking part in the grape harvest in Chablis before ending the trip in Auxerre.[8] -

Series 2[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
Oxford Canal 15 March 2015 Channel 4 Tim & Pru start in Oxford for a trip on the Oxford Canal which was the first trip they had on a canal 40 years previously. They meet Sonia Rolt, a canal campaigner and author Philip Pullman. They are joined on the journey through the Cherwell Valley by the first canal laureate Jo Bell and their son, actor Sam West.[9] 2.55m
London Ring 22 March 2015 Channel 4 Tim & Pru start in Brentford travelling along both the Grand Union Canal and Regent's Canal to Limehouse. On the way they met up with Andrew Sachs and Ian McKellen and visit the grave of Harold Pinter at Kensal Green Cemetery.[10] 1.88m
Canal du Midi, France 29 March 2015 Channel 4 Tim and Pru travel along the Canal du Midi, which was built nearly 100 years prior to the British canals and is designated a World Heritage site. They visit the town of Béziers and travel in the Europe's first navigable canal - the Malpas Tunnel. They try Lamb's brain fritters and drink 200-year-old whiskey.[11] They are joined on the journey by their son Joseph West and his family. 1.65m
Forth & Clyde and Union Canals 5 April 2015 Channel 4 Tim and Pru travel along the two Scottish canals in a coast to coast trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow. Along the way they travel Scotland's highest aqueduct and go through its longest canal tunnel.[12] They also visit 21st-century canal technology with the Falkirk Wheel. 2.02m

Series 3[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
London's Lost Route to the Sea 25 October 2015 Channel 4 1.86m
Birmingham to Braunston 1 November 2015 Channel 4 1.93m
Shannon–Erne Waterway 8 November 2015 Channel 4 1.82m

Series 4[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
The Göta Canal, Sweden 20 March 2016 Channel 4 2.22m
Stockholm and the Archipelago, Sweden 27 March 2016 Channel 4 1.5m
Stratford-upon-Avon 3 April 2016 Channel 4 1.44m

Series 5[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
Venice, Italy 17 August 2016 Channel 4 1.68m
Amsterdam, Netherlands 24 August 2016 Channel 4 1.38m
Leeds and Liverpool Canal 31 August 2016 Channel 4 1.37m

Series 6[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
Bristol And North Devon 23 October 2016 Channel 4 1.44m
The Caledonian 6 November 2016 Channel 4 1.75m
The Crinan Canal 13 November 2016 Channel 4 1.66m

Series 7[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
Kerala, India 16 June 2017 Channel 4 1.66m
Brahmaputra, India 23 June 2017 Channel 4 1.58m

Series 8[edit]

Episode Name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure[5]
Norfolk Broads 29 October 2017 Channel 4 1.51m
Marne–Rhine Canal, France 05 November 2017 Channel 4 1.42m
Rio Douro, Portugal 30 November 2017 Channel 4 1.66m
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal 7 December 2017 Channel 4 1.56m

Series 9[edit]

Episode name Original date aired Station Aired Episode information Viewing figure*[13]
River Nile, Egypt 7 October 2018 Channel 4 1.36m
Lake Maggiore, Naviglio Grande, Italy 14 October 2018 Channel 4 1.39m
Bridgewater Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal, Weaver Navigation, Shropshire Union Canal 28 October 2018 Channel 4 1.4m
Parana Delta, Argentina 4 November 2018 Channel 4 1.53m
Lancaster Canal & Lake Windermere 11 November 2018 Channel 4 1.39m
Rideau Canal, Canada 18 November 2018 Channel 4 -
  • If viewing figure is blank then the programme was not in the weekly top 10 on BARB.

DVDs[edit]

With the exception of the London Ring episode in series 2, all of first eight series have been issued on DVD; the series numbering, however, is different.

  • Series 3 and 4 are combined and called series 3
  • Series 5 and 6 are combined and called series 4
  • Series 7 and 8 are combined and called series 5


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Great Canal Journeys - All 4".
  2. ^ Kitchener, Shaun (21 March 2016). "Timothy West and Prunella Scales dubbed 'inspirational' as Great Canal Journeys returns".
  3. ^ a b "Great Canal Journeys Series 1 Episode 1 - Radio Times". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Timothy West reveals Prunella Scales' "painful" battle with dementia - Radio Times Webb.C p.4 March 2014". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "BARB Top 30". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 1 Episode 2 - Radio Times". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 1 Episode 3 - Radio Times". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 1 Episode 4 - Radio Times". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 2 Episode 1 - Radio Times". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 2 Episode 2 - Radio Times". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 2 Episode 3 - Radio Times". Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Great Canal Journeys Series 2 Episode 4 - Radio Times". Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  13. ^ "BARB Four-screen dashboard". Retrieved 23 November 2018.

External links[edit]