UTV's Hidden NI scales the heights and goes underground to uncover gems

Sara visits the Albert Clock for Hidden NI
Sara visits the Albert Clock for Hidden NI Credit: UTV

A brand new series starts on UTV on Easter Tuesday, which uncovers some of the less well known spaces and places in Northern Ireland.

UTV’s Sara O’Kane travels across Northern Ireland (and sometimes a little bit further) celebrating our hidden gems, and finding out about places we never knew existed as well as exploring places we don’t normally get to see for Hidden NI.

The six half-hour programmes have it all, kicking off with Sara heading 450metres underground to the salt mines outside Carrickfergus.

Sara at the working face of the Saltmines.

Feeling a bit like Indiana Jones, Sara explorers the vast labyrinth, and the work that goes on deep under the surface to keep us safe on the roads.

From deep underground in Carrick, her next stop is scaling the heights in Belfast, finding out about what makes the Albert Clock tick.

We find out how this iconic landmark was restored to halt the progression of its famous tilt and, after a steep climb, we get to see the inner workings of the clock.

Then after a shimmy up yet another ladder, Sara shows us the faces of the clock from the inside.

The first episode also sees Sara hop just south of the border to Co. Louth where she steps into history in a house in Williamstown where nothing has been touched in 20 years since the last owner passed away.

She finds out what the family had planned for this living museum as she tours round.

Later in the series Sara’s fitness is tested with the Northern Ireland Ladies’ football team, she also visits a massive plug hole in the Silent Valley and explores a tiny village built by one Coleraine farmer.

Other highlights include getting behind the controls of a vintage aircraft and going deep under the Lagan and much more in between.

“This series was the perfect opportunity for my more adventurous side to come to the fore," Sara said.

"Hard hats and hi-vis gear was my uniform on several of the days’ filming.

"It was just brilliant getting out and about meeting different people and visiting all these places you hear about, as well as some you don’t.

"Thanks to all the contributors who allowed us access to these hidden gems - we had great fun filming and we hope everyone enjoys watching.”

UTV Programme Producer Alison Fleming added: “UTV has a long history of highlighting the extraordinary in the ordinary through its news and programmes and we hope the viewers come away from watching this new series feeling not only entertained by Sara’s adventures, but also educated, knowing that little but more about our rich surroundings.”

The series is a UTV Production and is sponsored by Further Space. You can watch the first episode on Tuesday 19 April at 8.30pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes.