A group of men and women who work on the Menai Strait are to be the stars of a network series on ITV.
Starting this Friday at 8pm, The Island Strait tells the stories of different characters who earn their livelihoods on and around what’s described as ‘the most incredible saltwater river in Britain.’
And they are hoping that the show will bring a big boost to tourist and other businesses along the waterway.
Frankie Hobro from the Anglesea Sea Zoo is one of the stars of the show. She and the other characters first appeared in an ITV Wales series earlier this year.
Now she is hoping that the re-telling of their stories with updates for a UK-wide audience will bring in more visitors and a better understanding of the unique marine environment of The Strait.
“What I love about it is the way that it’s put together.
“It’s not a documentary. It’s not a soap drama. It’s a mix of both.
“I was amazed by the number of people who came up to me and asked about the things that we see when we dive.”
John Jones, a mussel boatman based at Porth Penrhyn near Bangor is another star of the show.
Born and bred in Bangor, over 20 years ago he borrowed a few lobster pots and has been working the waters of The Strait ever since.
“People see us from the waterside and think that we are taking all the fish.
“The programme has shown that is a much more sustainable process.
“It has highlighted the work that we are doing and the sustainability and the wildlife of the Menai Strait.”
Glyn Davies is a multi award-winning landscape photographer who has published five books and runs his own photo gallery at Menai Bridge.
He’s looking forward to seeing the network version of the series.
“It has ticked the right boxes with real people and real interests that genuinely connect to the themes of the programme.
“People have come up and said ‘your passion for the landscape comes across.’
“It’s had a very positive influence.”
The Strait is many things to many people and for energetic types it’s a perfect playground for adventure activities.
Plas Menai is the National Outdoor Centre for Wales and Jamie Johnson & Ali Yates are instructors there.
Emrys Jones runs a cruise boat the other end of the Strait at Caernarfon Quay.
From the majestic Edwardian Castle his striking old ferry boat “The Queen of the Sea” heads west to Abermenai and the mouth of the Menai Strait.
Emrys continues a long family tradition of boatmen at Caernarfon. He’s the 6th generation of pilots and knows these treacherous waters like the back of his hand!
Stan Zalot is a Beaumaris boatman who runs pleasure trips to Puffin Island.
HQ to Stan’s business empire is Gallows Point and his beloved shed is the hub of the boat yard.
Dr Michael Roberts is a research fellow at the internationally renowned School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University.
He’s an Anglesey man, a marine geologist with a passion for this unique coastal environment.
The four part series is being broadcast across the ITV network from 8pm on Friday 14th September. The series will also be on the ITV Hub.