11/08/2017 The One Show

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On the final stop of the Big Causeway Crawl in Northern Ireland, Matt Baker and Alex Jones reach the Giant's Causeway. They are joined by comedian David O'Doherty.

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Tonight our Causeway Crawl has come to a spectacular end.


We're literally walking in the footsteps of giants.


We have made it to the end of the road. What a finish it is.


It's a World Heritage Site alongside Machu Picchu and Victoria Falls.


We are surrounded by 40,000 interconnecting basalt columns that


have stood here for millions of years, famously laid down


I think I can hear our guest, David O'Doherty. There he is! Are you all


right, David? Oh! Yeah... Be careful. We are going to be talking


about your new book shortly which is aptly named Danger Is Everywhere.


Absolutely. It is extreme this place. Very extreme. We have this


fantastic photo of Al Mennie. Our first guest here. This is Al here.


You have pioneered many places to surf in this area. Lots of people


are put off because of the water temperature because it's so cold.


For you, it's actually one of the best places in the world. Yeah, it's


a little bit cold, colder than Cornwall or Devon, but we have great


waves here, winds are good here. Some of the biggest waves in the


world in the winter. It's really good. You are the only person are


you not to swim off this particular point. We get big waves here. How


big is big? 30 foot waves here. You managed to name that. I called it


after the giant, Finn McCool. It's incredible. Those shots are


incredible. On that theme of giants here is Ruth Goodman with a story of


why this place might be the land of the giants, literally.


It seems giants are everywhere in Northern Ireland. From the most


famous Causeway in the world named after the legendary giant Finn


McCool, to the iconic cranes of the shipyard. To the Belfast giants ice


hockey team. But giants are not confined to the legendary tales of


Irish mythology. Recent DNA research shows that Northern Ireland is a hot


spot for real-life giants. In 2013, DNA samples were taken from almost


1,000 volunteers in Mid Ulster. The results show that the people of this


area are 13 times more likely than elsewhere in the UK to carry a


genetic mutation that can lead to gigantism. To find out what effect


the gene can have, I am meeting with the author of the study. This gene


predisposes to develop a little lesion in a gland called the


pituitary gland, and this little tumour makes too much growth


hormone. If left untreated at an early age this tumour will lead to


gigantism, often causing a growth in height well in excess of 7ft. If you


are talking about a child having this disease, which is typical with


this particular mutation, then if the child is left untreated they may


grow to be a giant. Original ancestor, the one who started this


clan of giants lived about 100 generations ago. The people


descended from that one person still live here. Yes, that's amazing


social history. And carry this particular gene. Yes. And the


photographic evidence bear this is out. Giants all across the region.


With families passing down the gene from generation to generation.


And it continues to the present day. Brendan. Welcome, welcome to the


roaring hills, Ruth. I am meeting 6'10" Mid Ulster native Brendan


Holland. When I first noticed it I was around 16 years old, my brother


came home from England and he hadn't seen me for probably a few months


and he realised I had grown a bit. He was 6ft tall and he started


looking up at me. Brendan had already grown to almost 7ft by the


time he received radiotherapy treatment for the condition when he


was 20. How much would you say it has impacted on your life, in


general? There are positives and negatives. The negative being the


health aspect. I find in the last ten years my mobility is reduced. I


find it difficult to breathe. The positive has been at the age of 30 I


decided to go into business on my own. I found that standing out from


the crowd is a positive. When people meet you, they never forget you.


That might have something to do with my brilliant personality, but I


doubt that! But being noticed isn't everyone's cup of tea. This is


Brendan's cousin. When I was a teenager I looked at all my friends


and they were so petite, going to discos they would wear short skirts


and I would are to wear jeans. Is it difficult to get clothes Especially


shoes, I am size 13. People still look at me like children and all of


that, but you have to get used to it. How do you feel about this idea


that you are all descended from one single common ancestor? I think it's


brilliant that there is other people like me out there. I am not the only


person. Yet they could be amongst the last of the giants, with


advances in DNA testing and medication to manage the condition.


Which f left untreated, can lead to premature death. The number one


treatment is surgery. The surgeon goes in and tries to remove as much


as possible from the tumour. Medical treatment, in terms of tablets or


injections. And we can also give radiotherapy. So if you know it's


there, and you catch it early, you can sort it out? Yes, we could avoid


having giants and actually that is one of the one of the things of our


studies, no more giants. Both Niamh and Brendan have been successfully


treated for their gigantism and perhaps one day giants will only


ever be found within the great Irish myths.


Well, David O'Doherty has managed to get down safely.


APPLAUSE AND CHEERING He is all right. It was touch and go


but he is all right. Welcome to the sofa. We also have Brendan with us,


nice to see you. Thank you for making that film. As we heard there,


thanks to medical research your condition can now be treated. If you


were born these days, would you like that as an option, looking back at


your life would you not have changed a thing? Well, it's not something


really that I have given a lot of thought to. But I suppose really in


an ideal world you would think like that but you have to play the hand


of cards that life deals you. Absolutely. You have to let your


condition be managed by you, not it manage you. Yeah. Brendan, I am sure


people sitting at home listening to you talking here and thinking about


that life you are talking about, what has been the trickiest part as


far as practical things are concerned, beds, cars, all of that


stuff. ? Yeah, those are surmountable problems. The trickiest


part is you grow older, you become less mobile and less sure-footed.


Moving around isn't as easy as it used to be. That's the biggest


probable I have right now. I have breathing problems, as well. It's


all part of the condition, if you like. It comes with the territory.


Thank you so much for making that film for us. No problem. You are


doing a gig around the coast. We heard there is a mix-up actually.


Tell us about that quickly. It's a rock Festival. I play a three-foot


plastic keyboard and I am playing on the main stage before Ash. Northern


Ireland's greatest ever... Yeah, a band in the last 20 years, I will


give it a go. I think those people may not be able to dance as much as


maybe they'll dance more to the bands. But, you know, it's fine.


Talking of you and the keyboard, we have a clip of you here. Here is


what the people of Limavady can expect.


This song is called Life. # Life, life.


# Life, life, life. # Life, lifey, life, life.


# Life, life, life. # Life...


# Oh, no, actually it's OK. # Oh, no, it's not. # No!


# And then you die. We are delighted that you have


brought the keyboard all the way to the Giant's Causeway. First time


live on the Giant's Causeway. I think it will be a great name for an


album actually. You have been here before on a school trip. Yeah, I was


here, our school trips were so boring. We once went to a butter


museum, those sort of school trips. I remember those well. What you


really want from a school - I like the fact it looks photoshopped.


People are watching this at home and they're going, it's probably like


Game of Thrones, they've drawn this in. This is actually here. I can


imagine Enya living here. Yes. And Enya lives behind that. To be fair,


it's a major technical feat doing a live broadcast right on the edge


here. Is the keyboard working, is it plugged in? There it is! The problem


with this keyboard is this, I came back from a tour in Australia, you


guys. I am on a - the baggage appears and I go to take it, I don't


realise this button has been disappeared and this sound is coming


from my baggage, it's a demo and I pick it up and I am walking and the


Australian border security are running after me. That's what Ash


will be having on before them tomorrow. As well as comedy, you are


also writing books for children. You are on your third. It's a strange


sort of double life. Yeah, it's a lot of fun. This is Danger Is


Everywhere. Yeah, Danger Is Everywhere, it's a guide book to


spotting danger wherever, awful things that only kids know about.


You know, when you are sitting on the loo and sometimes a shark can


come up underneath. It's something you have to be aware of, obviously


you grab the shampoo. If your teach certificate a vampire, these are


important things, you know how you tell that, obviously if they laugh


like this... Like a regular laugh is ha-ha. A vampire laugh. And then


normal farts. Are these observations you had when you were younger, what


was the inspiration behind this, David? I don't write them, my next


door neighbour is the world's leading dangerologist. He writes


them. It would be crazy if a 41-year-old man were to write a book


like that. So I help him. These are things he has observed. Technically


it's not me. Obviously, with your neighbour you have done a risk


assessment here because this is super dangerous. So much danger.


Look at it. It could not, I mean, all the coastal danger you have


there. Obviously, the threat of... Will this help? The illustrator


Chris has drawn this. Here is the main dangers today. Obviously the


threat of Vikings. Ireland has a bad history with Viking. Pirates


possibly, as well. And then shark attack, of course. Picked up by


seagulls, you could get 30 or 40 seagulls that could easily pick one


of us up. This is a volcano that created this, it's somewhere under


there. That could erupt at any moment. It's incredibly dangerous.


That was bad, sorry. I have undone all the danger talk that I... We


have another one here. This is the doctor here. Is is he the next door


neighbour? He is worried about sharks and puddles. It's a lot of


shark-based danger with Dr Noel. He looks back at history and sees


dangerous times, like jousting. Super dangerous. He sees Game of


Thrones as a documentary. That's the sort of world he is in. You have


taken the books to audiences, younger audiences. Yes. Are they a


tough crowd? I mean, I do gigs for grown-ups in the evenings and for


kids in the day. The toughest heckles, the two toughest heckles I


have had to deal with, both came from under-10s. One was a


seven-year-old and said what is the point of you? It's not the worst


heckle I have received. A six-year-old boy in a public library


in Athlone, he said, excuse me, does this get good soon? That's the


toughest heckle there has ever been, I think. It's a good job you are


wearing your waterproof now. Cover up the keyboard. Unplug it! Perfect.


Hopefully Angela and Joe will be here. Hopefully we will speak to


them in a second. That's if we can find them. There is a bit of


jeopardy. It looks like they've been driven to drink.


All week we have been travelling along the Causeway coastal route,


from Belfast to Carrickfergus. But now it was time for the final leg of


our journey, to the Giant's Causeway.


Have you seen Giant's Causeway before? Only as a kid a million


years ago. I can't wait to see it. It hasn't changed much. But Giant's


Causeway is like one of the biggest tourist attractions in Northern


Ireland. Also hard to wrap your head around the fact it's natural. No, it


was built by a giant I think you will find called Finn McCool. This


idea of it being natural I am not at home with. But you believe what you


want. I don't know if miss is the right


word. Oops. The steering is hardcore. I know. I know. I have to


say I've been very impressed by the way you handled it. Well, thank you.


With time ticking on and the road running out, there was time for one


last very welcome stop at Ireland's oldest working distillery. Triple


distilled malt whisky has been made in Bushmills for over 400 years.


With hundreds of thousands of whisky casks slowly maturing in the


warehouses, it is the job of Cooper, Alistair Kane to keep them in


tip-top condition. Alistair. I'm Joe. Nice to meet you. Hello,


Angela. This is incredible craft Mansship. How long have you been


doing this? 40 years. What's the job of a cooper You're replacing staves


or sometimes rehooping a barrel. The tools used his by his father and


grandfather have been passed down the line. That's a sharp edge on


that side and the face on it for hitting bungs and different things


on it and the head and knife is the one that's hanging on the wall. Some


places call it a draw knife and that's if you're doing staves, you


pull it and cut the wood off by hand. That's sharp. Oaks are the one


thing that they discovered is the best thing for whisky. It breathes


as well as holding the actual liquid in and plus the tannin that's in the


oak, it colours the whisky and the better condition the barrel is in,


the better the whisky. It's the quality you see. Can you smell it? I


can't smell it. Unfortunately the demand for these craftsmen is in


decline? When I started in here in the late 70s there was ten. For a


few years, I was the only one left. Alistair's son has just qualified.


The first cooper in Ireland for three decades. This is my son Chris.


How is it working with your dad? Not too bad! You're able to share a


drink at the end of the day. That's it. While we're still friends. Any


chance we can have a taste? I think we can work something out for you.


There is a waft of whisky coming from that barrel. There is only one


problem and there is only one glass and it's for you. That's not a


problem for me. More of an issue for me. You're driving. Fill it up. I


handed over the car keys to Joe the designated driver which turned out


to be a mistake. I didn't want to say in front of the lads, I didn't


want to burst your bubble, but I don't drive. You're joking. At all?


Some people are born to drive, others are born driven. How are we


going to get to the Giant's Causeway? Where we're going, we


don't need roads. Thank you for letting us


bring our sofas on to the Causeway. It is a charity, it is the kind of


thing. Angela and Joe have queries that they would like clarifying. Can


you give us a run down of why this place looks the way it does? It is


fascinating? Well, it was formed 60 million years ago and it is


something to do with the tectonic plates as they've moved. It formed


into the columns just as it cooled down. These have been forming for


millions and millions of years and they are what you see today. It is


one of those freaks of nature, hexagons and honey shells, it is the


most efficient use of space. As Matt said, you have got queries because


there is stories about this place. Some are true, some are not true.


Heather, you know it all. A cosmic question for you. Is it true that


there is a Giant's Causeway-style structure on Mars? It is, but I


don't think it has as many visitors as we do! Not yet! Is it true that


before the National Trust took this over, people used to take lumps of


the rock and leave them in their back garden? There are some columns


in different places all over the world. However, we believe it is bad


luck to do that. Yeah, we have stories of people who have taken a


bit of the column, taken it home, felt really guilty about it, and


realised that they have had a really bad luck for a number of time. And


they brought it back and their luck has improved from then. So do not


take any of the stones. That's bad luck, but good luck if you shimmy to


the right on one of these special stones. Is it true that's it's good


luck? Well, apparently so. If you sit, there is a special stone called


the wishing chair... Where it, Heather? It's over there. If you


were able to write and go three times, don't tell anybody what your


wish is then it will come true. We'll try that later! There is a


place you can put money over in the corner there which is our


alternative to a wishing well. But it has been going on for years.


People leave that and hopefully they will get good luck. That's going to


guarantee your wish. We're sitting on rock history. This place has a


bit of musical rock history namely zed Zeppelin. They used as the front


cover of their album and we have had some really interesting visitors


here. We had a group of girls from New Zealand who decided they would


re-enact the front cover. I don't know if you know it, but it has some


ladies in a state of undress! They came down here... That's brave in


this weather. Well, exactly. Came down and re-enacted and one of our


rangers doing safety checks said maybe you should cover up and sent


them back to the cafe and they went up there and came down and did it


all over again. That was the best day's work for that guy! Thank you,


Heather. Heather was telling us about the


honeycomb foundation and that's a clue to what our next film is all


about. Gatwick, the sickle busiest runway


in the world. Last year alone nearly 70,000 flights came through here.


Just one untracked flight could spell disaster. But for years that's


what has been happening. We discovered that there are hundreds


of unscheduled short haul flights. You must have one of the best radar


systems on the planet? Yeah, we do, but even it couldn't detect them. At


only 16 millimetres long no radar could detect the flight of a lorn


born bee, one of the rarest and most distinct insects in the country.


These were found here in a beautiful wild flower meadow a stone's throw


from the runway. Rachel Bicker, biodiversity consultant at Gatwick


was the first to come across them. How did she come to find this


elusive creature in an unusual habitat? I was walking along the


river and I saw one on its own and what on earth was that? I swept it


with my butterfly net and it was only afterwards I realised this is


something so different. That's the most distinctive... They really are.


Bee in Britain, isn't it? I think so. Male long horns don't have


stings and holding them briefly means that harm won't come to either


us or the bees. Look at it, it's gorgeous. Look at that face and the


an tenia is just massive. And that's a male, of course. That is a male.


Only the males have the long antennae. These unusual looking


creatures are one of the UK's largest solitary beesment unlike


honeybees, they spend most of their lives alone. The males usually


appear weeks before the females, but what do they do in this time? The


males will emerge around May and then a few weeks later after the


males have been flying around doing not a lot, it is about who hangs on


the longest and who sticks it out gets to mate with the females and


the females are emerging now. Early June we're starting to see the first


females. Why is it so rare now in the UK? Yes, so there is lots of


things which could be impacting, but the main one would be habitat loss.


So loss of their favourite food plants, but these plants are really


declining now so it's the habitat loss, the food loss and the nesting


sites that are really impacting the species. The bees manage to thrive


here however, thanks to the creation of this habitat back in 1999 when


the river was diverted and wild flower seed was sown in the area.


The clay that was dug up to divert the river was used to create


embankments which have turned out to be an excellent nesting spot for the


female bees as well. And this is where the female bees are now.


Although they're solitary bees they will nest together wherever there is


a good place to make a burrow and there is one right here. Here she


comes. Here she comes. And she is pushing the spoil out of the burrow


with her back legs and making this little pile. Ah, it's wonderful.


It's great to see her as she comes out backwards. Fantastic. Thanks to


these man-made embankments this landscape is a safe habitat for one


of Britain's rarest and most intriguing bees. As long as this


area remains undisturbed, these beautiful long horned bees should


continue to thrive under the radar for many years to come.


Thank you, George. We will be at the airport soon. Indeed.


All week we have been giving gifts to our guests. We've got a good one


tonight. See if you can guess what it is. It is from one David to


another. Here it is. The coastal slate provides me inspiration and


foundation for my pieces of art. The actual sculptures begin by cutting


strips from sheet metal. I weld the pieces together and arrange them


into their final shape. In order for it to look its best I have to polish


it to a perfect finish. And I fix it to a slate bottom. A piece from the


coast in more ways than one. Beautifully crafted by David


Rosborough. And here he is, thank you, David. Look at that, David.


It's like the episode of Blockbusters I never won!


LAUGHTER The golden run. Thanks, David. We


just need a little person at the top of it shouting, "Help. Help." To


mark the start of our programme. David, thank you for your company


tonight. And that's almost it. Thank you to everybody that has turned out


and all of our guests for the whole week. What a time we've had Al. We


have seen sun and brilliant scenery and these are our memories of our


week in Northern Ireland which we've thoroughly enjoyed. We have to say


to our new Northern Irish viewers, keep'er light!


Good night and goodbye. Carrickfergus castle. We will be


travelling 85 miles along the Causeway coast. Do you need three


new back-up singers? Martine ma kuchen. You can come out! You can


come out. Sorry. A poke is an ice cream. We have been on some road


trip, I tell you. Ballycastle... And that's where we're heading now. Full


steam ahead. Hang on. We're going north-west up to the seaside town of


Portrush. Well, he's not bothered. Sort it out. Earlier on in rehearsal


you were fully clothed, now this is a shock. We have some very special


guests. We are almost there.