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Hour-long TV show about River Spey airs tonight


By Alistair Whitfield

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The River Spey by Aviemore.
The River Spey by Aviemore.

The Spey is having a whole episode of the World's Most Scenic River Journeys devoted to it on TV tomorrow night.

The hour-long show will journey downriver from the Spey's source at Loch Spey by Melgarve to where it joins the Moray Firth.

Shot in September following socially distanced procedures, it will look at salmon fishing as well as many other aspects of what is one of the fastest-flowing rivers in Scotland.

Audiences meet people who live and work along the riverbank and share inside stories about its history, culture, wildlife and folklore including Newtonmore-based Dave Craig BEM, Spirit of Speyside entrepreneur.

He said the Spey episode – delayed from the start of this month – is well worth the wait.

One of the other Spey locals interviewed during the making of the film was Jim Gordon.

Jim Gordon at Spey Bay. Picture courtesy of Channel 5.
Jim Gordon at Spey Bay. Picture courtesy of Channel 5.

Beginning in 1965, Jim spent five seasons on the Spey, net fishing salmon.

It was his first job at the start of a 44-year career with the Crown Estate.

In addition, Jim's elder brother, his father, both his grandfathers and a great-grandfather all once worked on the river too.

Now a volunteer at the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay, he spent three hours showing the filmmakers around the Tugnet Ice House, which forms part of the popular visitor attraction.

Jim joked: "I told them quite a few stories about net fishing salmon and, in return, they told me I was very interesting, so that probably means they've edited me out."

Spanning the Spey: Craigellachie Bridge in the snow earlier this year. Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Spanning the Spey: Craigellachie Bridge in the snow earlier this year. Picture: Becky Saunderson..

The River Spey is just one of the globally-renowned rivers that has been featured in the six part series.

The others have been the Po in Italy, the German section of the Moselle, and the Hudson and Niagara rivers in North America.

World's Most Scenic River Journeys, which is narrated by the well-known actor Bill Nighy, is scheduled to be broadcast on Channel 5 at 8pm this evening.


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