TV star Helen Skelton takes on our amazing tidal wave

Helen Skelton and Andy Hill
Helen Skelton and Andy Hill
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TV star Helen Skelton was on the crest of the wave as she brought hit BBC show Countryfile back to her roots.

She tested her sea kayaking skills on the Arnside Bore in Cumbria with help from Andy Hill from Preston, who owns Walton-le-Dale based outdoor activity specialists Yamba UK.

Helen Skelton

Helen Skelton

Andy was hand-picked by the BBC to help prepare Helen to take on the tidal wave.

He delayed a trip to Hong Kong to help guide her as she filmed the natural phenomenon rolling wave for this Sunday night’s episode of TV show Countryfile.

Helen, from Kirkby Thore, Cumbria, said: “The best thing about Arnside is that it’s often forgotten about so you can enjoy it relatively crowd free. Even on a bad day Arnside is beautiful but we were blessed with one of the best days of the year weather wise and when that happens it’s a jaw dropping place offering a world-class experience.”

The Bore is caused by the leading edge of the incoming tide being forced through a narrowing bay, causing a wave against the direction of the bay’s current.

Andy’s wife Diane, from Preston, also helped out and said it was a shame that Helen did not get to film the Bore reach the spectacular heights they were hoping for when they visited on September 19.

She said: “We got Helen kitted up, Andy is a qualified instructor and he went out on the water and waited for the tide to come in. The Coastguard were also on hand just incase!

“They sounded a siren to warn that it was coming and thankfully Helen managed to ride the tide. With our company Yamba we could be top of a cliff, using UCLan’s facilities to go canoeing or at a local quarry – we try to stay local but we also work in Hong Kong and Thailand. There are so many good places in our area.

“It is good that Countryfile is showing these places and putting them on the map.”

Dean Jones, producer of Countryfile, said: “We were excited to hear about the latest stretch of cycle route in Morecambe and being from the other side of Morecambe Bay myself I knew how beautiful the area was. We thought it would be a great challenge for Helen to put her skills to the test.”