8:00pm Friday 30 March on BBC ONE
In a new three-part series, Titanic With Len Goodman, the Strictly Come Dancing judge discovers how the impact of the Titanic disaster is still felt a century after the ship sank.
Len has his own connection to the Titanic. Before he was a dancer he was a welder for Harland and Woolf, the company that built Titanic ?between 1909 and 1912 in Belfast. Len worked for them 50 years later at their yard in East London.
To mark the centenary of the Titanic tragedy Len explores the ship’s 100 year legacy and learns how for the victims’ families – and for the survivors themselves – the sinking of the ship was just the beginning of the story.
Generations later, those stories linked to the Titanic are still unfolding. Len meets the modern-day descendants to learn how, a century on, Titanic’s legacy lives on.
In the first programme of the series, Len discovers how Titanic claimed the lives of eight men in Belfast before she even touched the water. He tries his hand at riveting, experiencing first-hand the blood and sweat that went into building a ship a century ago. He visits Southampton, to find out why it was the city hit hardest by Titanic’s death toll. He also meets descendants of Titanic’s crew, who describe how just traumatised the disaster left their relatives.
Len also explores the story of the Titanic band. It’s one of the best known stories from the ship, but few will have heard how the death of one of the musicians tore his family apart for one hundred years. Len meets a descendant who tells him how and why this happened.
Len says: “Making this series has been a fascinating journey for me. You might think the Titanic story was just about a ship that sank. But I’ve found out there is so much more to it than that. The real story of the Titanic isn’t about a ship, it’s about people, and in making this series I’ve been lucky to meet some wonderful personalities who astonished me with their tales of how Titanic affected their families forever. We filmed all over the UK, but spent a whole week in Belfast where I had a wonderful time meeting people. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and really hope everyone will get as much enjoyment watching it at home.”
Edward Hart, who directed and produced the series, says: “Working with Len was a total pleasure. He’s a constant professional who’s determined to get it right whatever the weather. He’s also sharp as a tack, with a curious mind and, as we all know from Strictly, a lovely manner with people. That, and his own experience in a Harland and Wolff shipyard, made him the ideal man with whom to explore Titanic’s legacy.”
Titanic with Len Goodman is an independent production from 360Production for BBC One & BBC Northern Ireland. It has been made with funding from Northern Ireland Screen.