Episode 9 A1: Britain's Longest Road


Episode 9

Documentary series following the people who work on the A1. A suspected stolen vehicle leads police to pull a driver found to be over the drink-drive limit.


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Transcript


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The A1 - Britain's longest road.

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Stretching almost 400 miles from the City of London

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to the heart of the Scottish capital.

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Connecting two nations and passing through 18 counties,

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it's an unrivalled highway used by

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hundreds of thousands of vehicles every day.

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We're going southbound down the A1

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on the northbound carriageway.

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But not all journeys go to plan.

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TYRES SCREECH

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I thought, "I'm going to lose my life."

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Cars are coming close. It is a dangerous place to be.

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Lives can hang in the balance.

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The rear end of that vehicle, it's unrecognisable.

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This is actually the bodywork of the car.

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24 hours a day...

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It's not a safe place here.

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..there's a team of people who keep us safe from harm.

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The police...

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..response teams...

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We don't know whether they've got the road closed,

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-we don't know what's happened.

-..and traffic officers...

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Keep going.

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..keeping Britain's most iconic road...

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-Get out!

-..on the move.

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CAR HORN BLARES

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Substantially damaged flatbed truck in lane two.

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The A1, the monster that it is, it'll start returning to normal.

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Coming up....

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SIREN WAILS

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..police pull a suspected stolen car.

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We've had a report this car is stolen.

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And its driver lands in double trouble.

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Have you been drinking, mate? I can smell drink on you.

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A truck breakdown...

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We've got a live lane coming out here.

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Just watch traffic coming there.

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..puts lives on the line.

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-Keep going! Steady!

-And after a six-hour journey on the A1,

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will this pampered pooch bring home the big prize?

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Pretty stiff competition,

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so if we do well, we've done ready well.

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The Great North Road passes through 18 different counties,

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more than any other highway in the UK.

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15 different police forces patrol it.

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One of their key roles is to crack down on those using the road

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to plan and carry out crimes.

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Just south of Newcastle,

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PC Alan Keenleyside is lying in wait for the latest suspect.

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We're on the A1, we've got a vehicle over on the A19.

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So we're trying to shut off any access south.

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Alan has intelligence to suggest

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a suspected stolen car is heading south

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on the A1, but tonight visibility could hamper the operation.

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The problem is, with the traffic this time of night,

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it's quite hard to spot registration numbers.

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It's a very dirty time of year.

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The salt and things on the roads.

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But even in the gloom of a wet winter night...

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Yeah, I think it's just gone past us.

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It was Alpha-Foxtrot.

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..Alan's eyes don't let him down.

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It was a little Fiesta, looked like red or orange,

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starting A-F. That's all I saw.

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Southbound. I'm just trying to see where it's gone.

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12-34, it was one of around 12, 15 vehicles

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that went past in a batch.

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I certainly can't see it. I'm just heading towards the 690 now.

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Alan needs to check the registration plate with the control room

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to confirm that he has the right car.

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12-34, Alpha-Foxtrot-One-Five.

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Yeah, that could be it. Southbound, approaching 690.

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No attempt to stop. Low risk. Speed seven-zero.

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It's definitely the right car, but Alan has to wait to make his move.

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Backup is en route, but if this driver gets spooked,

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it could end in a risky high-speed chase.

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Weather's dry. He's moved to lane two,

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back into lane one.

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Approaching the one-mile marker for the 690.

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Then, as the car turns off the A1...

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MUFFLED RADIO MESSAGE

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..Alan gets a break.

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Approaching red light now at the 690.

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That's him there.

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SIREN WAILS

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All right.

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Stand slack, all right?

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Take a seat in my car, momentarily, all right?

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Good man.

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We've had a report that this car is stolen.

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-All right?

-Stolen?!

-Yeah.

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All right, take a seat, we'll find out what's going on.

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Driver's detained.

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Vehicle stopped. No injuries, no damage.

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Have you got the keys, bud?

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Erm, aye, it's a keyless entry thing.

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Keyless entry. Two seconds.

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We'll sort it. We'll get around

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off the slip road and we'll sort it there.

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To minimise disruption to the A1,

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the suspected stolen car needs to be moved to a quieter location.

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What's your occupation? What's your job?

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Unemployed.

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But then, as Alan starts to question the driver,

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he becomes aware of another potential breach of the law.

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Have you been drinking, mate?

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-Mm?

-I smell alcohol on you.

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I'm not saying you're over the limit.

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All I'm saying is, I can smell drink on you.

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-All right.

-OK?

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The officers have pulled off a textbook interception tonight.

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But stopping the driver is only the beginning.

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I'm going to caution you. You do not have to say anything but it may harm

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your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which

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you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

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I now require you to provide a specimen of breath,

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as I have reasonable cause to suspect you of driving

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a motor vehicle having alcohol in your body.

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And that's because I can smell intoxicating liquor on your breath.

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Alan now has not only a potential stolen car to deal with,

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but a drink-driver, too.

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It's going to be a testing shift.

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Statistically, there is an increased risk of being involved in

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a serious accident on the A1 in wet and foggy conditions.

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It means traffic officers need to be

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extra vigilant when patrolling in bad weather.

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Now, in South Yorkshire,

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Paul Day and Rob Larkin

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are battling through

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a miserable January rush hour.

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One-three.

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We're just passing the Texaco garage, 38-39.

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On the Alpha - over.

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'One-Three, we've had an update from the police,

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'the driver of the LGV was apparently out in the carriageway.'

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Weather conditions today are dark, wet, raining,

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and a bit of spray on the road as well,

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so it's making visibility quite limited.

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As day breaks, they receive a report

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that a broken-down lorry is blocking the southbound carriageway

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just past the junction for the M62.

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We've got a further report now that it's a container wagon in lane one.

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Officers deal with around 4,500 breakdowns a year.

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A third of them are where a vehicle stops in a live lane,

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posing a real danger to all other motorists.

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No traffic, no hard shoulder.

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So what we do is we set it up, ready for a lane stop.

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And...there it is.

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Charlie-Echo-One-Three.

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We've got a live lane coming out here.

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Just watch traffic coming there. Yeah?

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With traffic building quickly,

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it's vital the officers work as fast as possible.

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The rain and poor visibility are only making matters worse.

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-'Ey up, drive?

-Morning.

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What's wrong with it, mate?

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What we'll do...

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-Leave it running.

-Yep.

-We'll come round the front of you,

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we'll get somebody round the front of you

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and we'll get somebody onto the hard shoulder, clear this lane.

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Hotel-Alpha-Charlie-Echo-One-Three.

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This vehicle's gearbox has failed.

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He does have air. Do we have a second unit can come and help us?

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Rob and Paul are under pressure to reopen the lane.

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A recovery truck is en route, but that could waste valuable time.

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So a backup Highways England vehicle is the quickest option.

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If you stay in your cab, we'll sort it out.

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I'll give you the thumbs up when he's ready.

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Knock your brake off and we're going there.

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The other officers arrive within minutes,

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meaning the stranded lorry can be moved out of harm's way.

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Keep going. Steady.

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Probably 40 tonne. Shifted nice and easy.

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He's just talking to his boss now for a recovery.

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We'll wait for that. And he'll get back to us in a second.

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With the lorry shifted and recovery en route,

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Paul and Rob can now concentrate on getting the traffic flowing again.

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Hotel-Alpha-Charlie-Echo-One-Three. We can go back to 42 as well.

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Thanks to Charlie-Xray-One-Two.

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Keep your eye on traffic behind you. Don't want owt to go wrong.

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-Right.

-All right?

-That's OK.

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-Are you happy?

-Thanks for your help.

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No worries, cock. Thank you.

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With the road reopened and traffic flowing,

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there's just one thing left to do.

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HE HONKS HORN

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Translated - "Put your hazard lights on!"

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But the lorry driver doesn't understand.

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It's been a successful morning.

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He's got it, by Jove.

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Rob and Paul's swift action means the A1 has been reopened within

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20 minutes, and the result is the danger for drivers

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has been kept to a minimum.

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Over in Hull, a dog-loving couple

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are hoping that a clear run

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down the A1 will end in glory.

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DOG BARKS

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Yes! Yes! Yes!

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SHE MIMICS DOG'S GROWLS

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Debbi and Martin Palmer are proud owners

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of four prize-winning Old English sheepdogs.

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Sausage! Sausage!

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We're both dog lovers, really, but I'm the one that's a bit more crazy.

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Oh, good boy!

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-Debbi spoils them.

-Ready? Sit.

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-Whereas I'll treat them as a dog.

-Good girl, good boy.

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Debbi's the one that'll go off and buy them toys, teddies.

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She makes sure they're comfortable.

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More than comfortable.

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DEBBI LAUGHS

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I make sure they have everything they need.

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And more. Seeing as you ask so nicely.

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The dogs get treated better than me.

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-LAUGHING:

-Aww, that's not fair.

-No, but they do.

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Tomorrow, it will be the turn of

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three-year-old Priya to step into the spotlight...

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-Come on, then.

-..when Martin and Debbi head 180 miles

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down the A1 to Cambridgeshire

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for the East Anglian Old English Sheepdog Championship Show.

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Priya is just the sweetest temperament.

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She's just fabulous. She's just so loving and so pretty in her face.

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You can see her eyes are really, really dark.

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And she's got the most amazing face.

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I love her to the moon and back.

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And with Crufts only a few months away,

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it's one of the most important shows on the calendar.

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Hopefully, you know, if she moves right on the day,

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everything's got to come together.

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She's got to look right, to feel right and to move right.

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If we didn't think we could win, then we wouldn't be going.

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-With such a glamorous prize on offer...

-So we'll try a triangle.

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-Come.

-..Priya needs to put in a bit of practice.

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'We have practised an awful lot from when she was a tiny puppy.'

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Good girl!

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'We practise every week some form of training or other.'

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I'm still working on her...

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not pulling to one side when we are trying to go round the corner.

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She was quite close to me and I want her to be the same sort of distance

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from me all the way round the ring.

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So that's what we need to practise on.

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But with the competition just 36 hours away...

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There's a good girl!

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..Debbi has other priorities...

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No. You're not going out yet.

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..because Priya needs to look her very best.

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We're done! We're done!

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DEBBI LAUGHS

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Just grooming her through to show standard

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will probably take me another...

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from top to bottom, another couple of hours.

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But with a long journey ahead down the A1,

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Priya isn't always the best traveller.

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The mat here is to protect the floor of the car.

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This is where, if she's poorly, as she's not too good on travelling,

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it's easy to clean up.

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Debbi sorted out travel sickness tablets

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and certain things to give her

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to help her travel better.

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Travel sickness on almost every single trip.

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We've got her, basically, she's show-ready.

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She's washed and bathed, her ears have been cleaned,

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so she's pretty much ready to go to the show now.

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So what I have to do is make sure I keep her clean.

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For every show, Debbi needs to be super-organised

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and has a long checklist.

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I've got a towel with me.

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-Right.

-So...I'm hoping I've got everything, Martin.

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It's just a case of making sure everything fits in

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the best you can. It's all about the dog comfort as well, let alone ours.

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-Is there anything else to go in?

-That's it now. Just my handbag.

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Good girl. In you go.

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That's it. Good girl. Mind your tail.

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Heading onto the A1,

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it's a stretch of road that Martin is very familiar with.

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What we do, we travel up and down the A1 quite a lot.

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Personally, I'd rather use the A1 over the M1.

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The M1 is too busy, too many roadworks, there's Newark,

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there's Peterborough, there's...

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quite a few shows up and down the A1 and going north.

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So, I love the A1.

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I think it's just the best road going.

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But though Martin may love the road,

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it seems Debbi might not be as organised as she thought.

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What we'll do when we get there is, we'll...

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-Oh, my God!

-What?

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-You forgot her food bowls?

-I've forgotten her food.

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SHE LAUGHS

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How could I be so stupid?

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-Saying nothing.

-Never mind.

-We'll find something.

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Yeah, we'll find something for her.

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This is where we end up with loads of bowls at home.

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This is not the first time.

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This isn't the first time it's happened.

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We end up going to... Pets Are Us.

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Pets At Home or Pets Are Us, or somewhere.

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Get a bowl, get some food.

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-Yeah.

-So we end up with hundreds of bowls at home.

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How could I...?

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SHE SIGHS

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With 40 miles to go,

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Martin can only hope Debbi hasn't

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got any more surprises before Priya's star turn.

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Last year, more than 500 vehicles were stolen across

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the Northumbria Police area.

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Just off the A1, ten miles south of Newcastle,

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officers are still dealing with a car that's been reported as stolen.

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You're not under arrest, all right?

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You're detained until we can find out what's gone on.

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But PC Alan Keenleyside also believes

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the suspect may have been drinking,

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so wants to conduct a breathalyser.

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But while he's sitting in the police car on his own,

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the driver put something in his mouth.

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What have you just put in your mouth?

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A pound coin? Why?

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There's a common myth that sucking on a coin can change

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the alcohol reading on the test.

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You've just swallowed a pound coin?

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So is it for the drink?

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ALAN LAUGHS

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After reading the suspect his rights,

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Alan conducts the breathalyser.

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Blow nicely into that. After three or four seconds you'll hear

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an audible click and I'll tell you to stop.

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Blow. Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going...

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Stop! Well done.

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BREATHALYSER BLEEPS

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You've failed.

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The legal limit's 35.

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You are not much over but you're over.

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The legal limit's 35. You've blown 48.

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The breath test indicates the proportion of alcohol

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in your breath exceeds the prescribed limit.

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I'm arresting you and taking you to...

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Durham?

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Joe, where's the nearest police station?

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South Shields.

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Although the car was reported as stolen a few weeks ago,

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the driver claims he got it from his parents as a Christmas present.

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At the minute, it is. At the minute,

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we've got to think that car's stolen.

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My control room operator has told me it's a stolen car.

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Right? We'll crack on and make those inquiries

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while we're processing you in custody.

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As the suspect is taken away, Alan searches the car.

0:17:310:17:35

This receipt here is from the 10th of the 1st 2016.

0:17:350:17:40

Over a year old and that was in there.

0:17:400:17:43

Now, if this vehicle had been legitimately sold,

0:17:430:17:46

it's very rare that you find receipts

0:17:460:17:49

and bits of paperwork left from the previous owner.

0:17:490:17:51

If it's legitimately sold,

0:17:510:17:52

it's generally stripped of everything.

0:17:520:17:55

You know? So, erm, yeah.

0:17:550:17:56

We'll leave all this here. We've had a quick look.

0:17:560:17:59

And this will be uplifted and taken back to our secure pound,

0:17:590:18:04

and we'll do some further inquiries about it.

0:18:040:18:08

The suspected stolen car will now be seized

0:18:080:18:10

until police can establish who it really does belong to.

0:18:100:18:13

Stolen property. It's always nice to get that property returned

0:18:150:18:19

to the rightful owners. There's pretty much

0:18:190:18:21

nothing more satisfying than that.

0:18:210:18:23

For Alan and the other officers,

0:18:230:18:25

it's been a successful operation all round.

0:18:250:18:28

I've just contacted my colleagues

0:18:280:18:31

that took the driver of the vehicle into custody

0:18:310:18:33

following his failed breath test at the roadside.

0:18:330:18:37

The legal limit's 35. He blew 48.

0:18:370:18:40

But, actually, by the time you get to custody,

0:18:400:18:44

sometimes 48 was right on that level where

0:18:440:18:46

it's likely - if he's coming down,

0:18:460:18:48

if it's been a while since he had a drink -

0:18:480:18:50

that level could be coming down to a point

0:18:500:18:52

where no further action's going to be taken against him.

0:18:520:18:55

However, in this particular case,

0:18:550:18:57

it appears he's actually going the other way.

0:18:570:18:59

So he's recently had a drink,

0:18:590:19:01

his alcohol level's continuing to climb,

0:19:010:19:03

and I think my colleague said he'd blown 57 in custody.

0:19:030:19:07

So that's a good, firm charge for driving with alcohol level

0:19:070:19:12

above the limit.

0:19:120:19:13

We see the fatal road accidents.

0:19:150:19:17

We see the misery that drink-drivers,

0:19:170:19:19

drunk-drivers bring to families.

0:19:190:19:22

So, actually, to catch a drink-driver,

0:19:220:19:24

to get them off the street,

0:19:240:19:25

to get them in front of the courts,

0:19:250:19:27

it's hugely rewarding for any traffic cop,

0:19:270:19:29

anywhere in this country.

0:19:290:19:31

On the A1 south of Retford in Nottinghamshire,

0:19:340:19:37

it's the start of a busy afternoon

0:19:370:19:39

at one of Britain's most iconic roadside restaurants.

0:19:390:19:42

Ashley, Danielle and Mary have all got

0:19:480:19:51

plenty of Little Chef experience.

0:19:510:19:53

Are you all right today, love?

0:19:530:19:55

Yeah, are you? What time are you on till?

0:19:550:19:57

Three. What time are you on?

0:19:570:19:58

-Eight.

-Oh, unlucky.

0:19:580:20:00

THEY LAUGH

0:20:000:20:01

I left school when I was 16.

0:20:040:20:06

I actually applied for the Burger King.

0:20:060:20:08

There used to be a Burger King next door,

0:20:080:20:10

but then they asked me to come into here

0:20:100:20:11

and I've been here ever since.

0:20:110:20:12

Love it.

0:20:140:20:16

It's just so nice because you don't think,

0:20:190:20:21

"Oh, God, I've got to go to work."

0:20:210:20:23

You're just on with your friends.

0:20:230:20:25

I fit in there perfect.

0:20:260:20:28

My dream job would be to be 6'2" and be a model.

0:20:280:20:32

But I'm not even five foot. There's not much that people can do

0:20:320:20:35

when you're this size. When you're getting mistaken

0:20:350:20:38

for a nine-year-old girl.

0:20:380:20:40

The restaurant caters for more than 45,000 A1 users every year.

0:20:430:20:48

The A1 is literally there.

0:20:480:20:51

When there's accidents outside, or the road gets really busy,

0:20:510:20:55

we seem to find that everyone comes in here

0:20:550:20:57

because they don't want to sit in the traffic or whatever.

0:20:570:21:00

There's always accidents. Always. No matter what.

0:21:000:21:04

The A1 is always having them.

0:21:040:21:06

And there's one dish the waitresses serve more than any other.

0:21:080:21:11

-Olympic.

-Nearly 2,000 a day across the country.

0:21:110:21:15

There you go.

0:21:150:21:17

Our most popular meal on the menu is an Olympic Breakfast.

0:21:170:21:21

Prince Harry, was it? It was in the paper.

0:21:220:21:25

When he'd gone to one of the Little Chefs

0:21:250:21:28

just for an Olympic Breakfast.

0:21:280:21:29

So, obviously, we are quite famous for that.

0:21:290:21:32

Bacon, bacon, egg, beans and beans.

0:21:320:21:34

I can be cooking about 1,000 Olympics a day sometimes.

0:21:350:21:38

It feels like that, anyway. Doesn't it, Mary?

0:21:380:21:41

If you get an Olympic at night, say, like, quarter to ten at night,

0:21:410:21:45

they just walk in and want an Olympic breakfast.

0:21:450:21:48

It's like...

0:21:480:21:50

-Mary's like, "You could have had a jacket potato."

-Yeah.

0:21:500:21:53

It's just one of the dishes that attract many A1 regulars.

0:21:550:21:59

Thank you very much, Ashley.

0:21:590:22:01

It's OK, my sweet pea. We've got quite a few regulars.

0:22:010:22:04

Table three. They're regulars.

0:22:040:22:07

Danielle's friend, the lady, she comes in to have a chicken platter.

0:22:070:22:10

Mr Bruce either has his scampi or his gammon.

0:22:100:22:13

Oh, look, back again.

0:22:130:22:15

Will always has a Jubilee Pancake at night-time.

0:22:150:22:18

Or he'll have a banana split. And he makes us do the banana split.

0:22:180:22:22

And he's so picky. He likes his banana split down the middle,

0:22:220:22:25

with three lumps of ice cream and squirty...

0:22:250:22:27

He's so picky. He's SO picky.

0:22:270:22:28

Pass this Little Chef every day going to and from work,

0:22:300:22:32

so it's handy to call in.

0:22:320:22:34

Breakfast, dinner, and tea sometimes.

0:22:340:22:38

-Hello, my dear.

-And Ashley's front-of-house charm works wonders.

0:22:380:22:42

Got to know them now. Especially Ashley.

0:22:420:22:44

She is really funny. Really funny.

0:22:440:22:46

Have a lot of banter with her.

0:22:460:22:48

So posh.

0:22:480:22:50

'Yeah, they make you feel really welcome.

0:22:500:22:52

'That's why you keep coming back.'

0:22:520:22:54

Hello!

0:22:540:22:55

I mainly, like, sit people down,

0:22:560:22:58

take their orders and have just, like, general chitchat with them.

0:22:580:23:01

Which ends up not general chitchat, it ends up like gossip.

0:23:010:23:06

-So much gossip.

-Everyone who comes in asks for Ashley because,

0:23:060:23:10

obviously, she's the face of the place.

0:23:100:23:13

Do you want toast or fried bread?

0:23:130:23:14

They never know my name, because I'm always in here.

0:23:140:23:18

I have to make sure she's on duty when we're coming up.

0:23:180:23:21

So... But it just breaks up the journey.

0:23:220:23:25

There was a guy that come in a couple of weeks ago and he was like,

0:23:250:23:29

"Is Ashley not here?" And he was like,

0:23:290:23:31

"Tell her I've been asking about her

0:23:310:23:33

-"and I'll pop down soon to see her."

-Don't make me blush.

0:23:330:23:36

LAUGHTER

0:23:360:23:37

He seemed to know you. He seemed to know you pretty well.

0:23:370:23:41

I can't remember, there's been that many.

0:23:410:23:43

And despite the busy shifts,

0:23:490:23:51

working at the restaurant is a job the girls love.

0:23:510:23:54

Once, when you took...

0:23:560:23:58

You went over to take an order and the person said...

0:23:580:24:01

He was having a go at his kid for not revising,

0:24:010:24:03

and he said,

0:24:030:24:04

"You've got to revise otherwise you'll end up somewhere like this."

0:24:040:24:08

THEATRICAL GASP

0:24:080:24:09

I've got everything that I want.

0:24:090:24:11

-Don't we drive nice cars?

-We don't go without.

0:24:110:24:13

No, we don't go without. So it's a perfect job to have, I think.

0:24:130:24:16

You get good days and bad days, obviously.

0:24:180:24:21

But I probably wouldn't have done it for ten years

0:24:210:24:23

if I thought it was that bad, would I?

0:24:230:24:25

More than 100 times a year,

0:24:290:24:31

the A1's traffic officers are called to help fix this major road.

0:24:310:24:35

One of the main defects they face

0:24:350:24:37

are potholes, which can pose a serious risk to driver safety.

0:24:370:24:41

It's now lunchtime, and Paul Day and Rob Larkin have received

0:24:450:24:49

a report about an urgent repair which is needed on the carriageway.

0:24:490:24:52

What we found is a pothole that needed immediate repair.

0:24:540:24:57

We've called it in to contractors, who've deployed a unit.

0:24:570:25:02

We've done a bit of a liaise and a bit of a plan.

0:25:020:25:05

Hotel-Alpha-Charlie-Echo-One-Three. Radio check.

0:25:050:25:08

So we're going to head down,

0:25:080:25:10

we're going to pull out into traffic and block the carriageway.

0:25:100:25:13

That'll allow the contractor to repair the pothole.

0:25:130:25:17

One small pothole can lead to tragedy,

0:25:180:25:21

so even though closing the road will still cause huge disruption,

0:25:210:25:24

the works are essential.

0:25:240:25:27

If a motorbike hit that pothole then it could literally

0:25:270:25:30

throw the rider straight off

0:25:300:25:32

into the path of oncoming traffic.

0:25:320:25:34

Yep. It could cause fatalities, really.

0:25:340:25:37

It's better that it's done straightaway, isn't it?

0:25:370:25:39

Yeah. You assess the potential against the impact to traffic

0:25:390:25:43

that's travelling. And it's better

0:25:430:25:45

to have it repaired straightaway.

0:25:450:25:48

-A necessary evil.

-A necessary evil, yeah.

0:25:480:25:50

One-Three, we're right behind Yankee-Uniform-One-Two.

0:25:510:25:55

And we're going to block traffic now - over.

0:25:550:25:58

Paul and Rob immediately shut down both lanes.

0:26:000:26:03

Just give us a minute. There's repairing a pothole

0:26:040:26:08

and there's also...something that needs to go on further up.

0:26:080:26:10

Not be two seconds.

0:26:100:26:11

So what we've done there is, we've utilised the...

0:26:130:26:18

heavy traffic to create a gap.

0:26:180:26:21

We've stopped traffic. We've spoken to drivers to let them know

0:26:210:26:23

how we're going to do and what we're doing.

0:26:230:26:26

Meanwhile, further down the road, repairs begin on the hole.

0:26:260:26:29

What we've done here is created

0:26:300:26:32

a safety buffer between the contractors

0:26:320:26:34

working in the main carriageway and the traffic behind.

0:26:340:26:38

Yes, it inconveniences for a period of time,

0:26:380:26:41

but at least everybody is safe doing their job.

0:26:410:26:45

With standing traffic mounting, there's no time to lose.

0:26:450:26:48

In fact, he's just running over the tarmac now.

0:26:520:26:55

Just to push it down into the hole.

0:26:550:26:57

So, it shouldn't be too long as it's completed.

0:26:570:27:00

After just six minutes, the hole is fixed.

0:27:000:27:03

There's just enough time to pick up some more dangerous debris.

0:27:060:27:09

Contractors will take care of that later.

0:27:100:27:13

Why did you have to move that?

0:27:130:27:15

Just cos it was there.

0:27:150:27:16

All received. Just about to release the block.

0:27:180:27:21

Rob and Paul's drive-off is a signal

0:27:220:27:24

for the traffic behind to start moving.

0:27:240:27:26

Yeah. 1-3. We've started rolling.

0:27:280:27:30

But just as they set off again,

0:27:300:27:32

the officers receive a report of another lane closure just ahead.

0:27:320:27:36

It's vital the traffic doesn't gather speed too quickly.

0:27:360:27:39

So Rob and Paul need to create

0:27:390:27:41

a rolling roadblock past the incident.

0:27:410:27:43

That's going to cause a problem.

0:27:430:27:45

So, what happened there was,

0:27:460:27:48

we put the block on as they were turning to put the lane closure on.

0:27:480:27:54

We've released to traffic nice and steadily into the closure.

0:27:540:27:58

Just pre-planning stuff,

0:28:000:28:01

making sure that everything we've got covered, going on, was covered,

0:28:010:28:05

so that members of the public didn't just come upon something

0:28:050:28:08

that they didn't know was there.

0:28:080:28:10

And it all went rather well.

0:28:110:28:13

On the A1 south of Retford in Nottinghamshire

0:28:190:28:22

is a car with a VIP passenger.

0:28:220:28:24

Debbi and Martin Palmer and their dog Priya are en route

0:28:280:28:32

to a major competition 100 miles south in Cambridgeshire.

0:28:320:28:36

So far, Priya is taking the six-hour journey in her stride

0:28:370:28:40

but it's not always like that.

0:28:400:28:43

We had a real problem with her as a puppy with her

0:28:430:28:46

being sick every time we took her in the car.

0:28:460:28:49

But Martin's not taking any chances and is pulling over for a pit stop.

0:28:500:28:54

She looks all right. She's weathered it well, actually.

0:29:000:29:04

Just need to get her out for a wee, really.

0:29:040:29:06

It's also where they've agreed to meet up with

0:29:060:29:08

some fellow competitors in the show.

0:29:080:29:10

Hello, baby boy!

0:29:100:29:12

-Hello. Hello!

-DOG BARKS

0:29:120:29:14

This is Fergus.

0:29:150:29:17

He's six months old.

0:29:170:29:19

Mucho cuteness.

0:29:190:29:21

He's gorgeous. I really want a puppy.

0:29:210:29:25

I want several.

0:29:250:29:26

Inside, Ashley and Mary are in the middle of a busy shift.

0:29:290:29:33

-Lovely. Thank you very much.

-There you go. Enjoy.

-Cheers.

0:29:340:29:36

-Oh!

-Take a seat on this one here.

0:29:380:29:41

Lovely. Thank you very much.

0:29:420:29:44

-Are you going anywhere nice?

-We've got a dog show tomorrow.

0:29:440:29:46

-What dogs have you got?

-Old English sheepdogs.

0:29:460:29:48

-They're so cute!

-Yeah...

0:29:480:29:50

-Like the Dulux ones.

-Yeah.

-Bigger than me?

0:29:500:29:52

-When they're stood up.

-Yes, they're bigger than you.

0:29:520:29:55

-I've never seen one. Not in real life, no.

-Do you want us to bring...?

0:29:550:29:58

-Oh, yeah!

-We can't bring him in here, can we?

0:29:580:30:00

No. But you can bring him to the door.

0:30:000:30:02

The new arrivals are causing quite a stir.

0:30:020:30:06

-Guess what dogs they've got, 15?

-What?

-Old English sheepdogs.

0:30:060:30:11

-Oh, you're joking!

-The Dulux lot.

0:30:110:30:13

Especially for Mary.

0:30:130:30:15

I used to have Old English sheepdogs when I was younger.

0:30:150:30:18

We had a litter from our first dog.

0:30:180:30:20

I kept one and my granny kept one.

0:30:200:30:22

Oh, yeah. I will have to go say hello to the dogs.

0:30:220:30:25

That is something I will need to do.

0:30:250:30:26

Hello!

0:30:290:30:30

Hello! I love it when they're all so fluffy.

0:30:300:30:34

Oh, I know!

0:30:340:30:35

And the girls are keen to see the show dogs in action.

0:30:350:30:38

Run her up and down like you would in the show.

0:30:390:30:42

-Yeah, all right, then.

-You be the judges.

-Hold my glasses!

0:30:420:30:45

Are you ready, Trace?

0:30:450:30:46

All three of you in a line.

0:30:460:30:48

-Listen, last time we did this, one of us fell over.

-Well, come on...

0:30:480:30:51

Mind the puddle. Go!

0:30:510:30:52

Come on, Priya.

0:30:530:30:55

Good girl!

0:30:580:31:00

THEY LAUGH

0:31:000:31:02

-Yay!

-That was brilliant.

0:31:020:31:04

Very, very smart.

0:31:040:31:07

Out of ten?

0:31:070:31:09

Ten, obviously.

0:31:090:31:11

A strong one.

0:31:110:31:13

In fact, if I could give you 12, I would.

0:31:130:31:15

Well done, Priya.

0:31:150:31:17

With another 100 miles of the journey down the A1 still to go...

0:31:170:31:20

Good luck! Nice to meet you!

0:31:200:31:22

..it's time to get back on the road.

0:31:220:31:24

-Thank you very much. It was a lovely dinner.

-Good luck.

0:31:240:31:27

-Thank you.

-Hope you do well.

0:31:270:31:29

-And good luck.

-Yeah, thank you.

0:31:290:31:31

On the A1, thoughts are turning to the competition

0:31:360:31:39

and their rivals from the car park.

0:31:390:31:42

It's usually quite friendly rivalry.

0:31:420:31:44

90% of the time.

0:31:440:31:46

-Yeah.

-You do get the odd time where that dog shouldn't have won and...

0:31:460:31:49

Yeah. But, I mean, everybody has their own opinion

0:31:490:31:52

about what they like and what they don't like.

0:31:520:31:56

As people say, there is no perfect dog out there.

0:31:560:31:59

Unless it's my dog, obviously.

0:31:590:32:00

After more than six hours on the road,

0:32:030:32:05

Debbi, Martin and Priya finally arrive

0:32:060:32:08

at their overnight accommodation before tomorrow's competition.

0:32:080:32:12

Travelling days like these are quite nice, actually,

0:32:120:32:15

because it's been nice and sunny and it's been dry.

0:32:150:32:17

It's awful when you're trying to go to a dog show and it's wet and windy

0:32:170:32:22

and you're trying to keep the dogs dry.

0:32:220:32:24

But competition day could be a difficult one

0:32:240:32:27

-for Debbi and Priya.

-Good girl.

0:32:270:32:29

At the venue the next morning, it's raining cats...

0:32:330:32:36

and dogs.

0:32:360:32:37

Spanning nearly 400 miles,

0:32:430:32:45

the A1 passes through bleak countryside and built-up cities.

0:32:450:32:50

Different parts of the road have different speed limits imposed,

0:32:500:32:53

from 30 to 70mph.

0:32:530:32:56

For the Northumbria Police force,

0:32:560:32:58

the A1 is their biggest and busiest road.

0:32:580:33:01

So cracking down on speeding motorists

0:33:010:33:04

is a big part of an officer's job.

0:33:040:33:06

In the last year, the police have prosecuted more than 57,000 drivers

0:33:070:33:11

for speeding offences.

0:33:110:33:13

And now, just a few miles north of Newcastle,

0:33:140:33:16

PC Alan Keenleyside is tracking the latest culprit.

0:33:160:33:20

Just had a car in front...

0:33:200:33:23

..join the A1. He seemed to accelerate.

0:33:250:33:28

He moved into lane two really quite harshly.

0:33:280:33:30

I'm just going to follow him for a little bit.

0:33:300:33:33

I want to see what his manner of driving is like.

0:33:330:33:35

He's kind of sitting at about 80.

0:33:350:33:37

I'm recording. He's quite close to that car in front.

0:33:370:33:41

The driver is heading south towards Gateshead

0:33:410:33:43

and doesn't seem to have noticed Alan in his rear-view mirror.

0:33:430:33:46

I'm quite happy to move backward and forward into lane one.

0:33:460:33:50

What I don't want is a member of the public

0:33:500:33:52

to get between me and that car.

0:33:520:33:54

But it seems Alan may have spoken too soon.

0:33:560:33:58

I'll just flash the blues.

0:33:590:34:01

Thank you.

0:34:020:34:03

By the looks of it, this vehicle is going to be

0:34:050:34:07

taking the slip road off. I'm going to have a little word.

0:34:070:34:10

As the driver enters Gateshead,

0:34:110:34:13

he's still unaware that Alan is following him.

0:34:130:34:16

30, and he's doing 44 in the 30s.

0:34:170:34:20

As the driver pulls into the car park,

0:34:220:34:25

Alan makes his move.

0:34:250:34:27

I was following you at 84 on the A1 from Seaton Burn.

0:34:270:34:31

Then when we came through the 30s you were doing 44 mile an hour

0:34:310:34:35

in a 30-mile-an-hour limit.

0:34:350:34:36

Is there any reason why you've travelled like that

0:34:360:34:39

all the way down? OK.

0:34:390:34:41

Do you have any identification?

0:34:410:34:42

I'll just check your driving licence, then.

0:34:420:34:44

-Whereabouts are you heading to?

-Just here.

0:34:440:34:46

All right. No worries.

0:34:460:34:48

-Is it your vehicle? Is it?

-Yes, it is.

-OK. No worries.

0:34:480:34:50

I'm just going to check you on the computer.

0:34:500:34:52

Come take a seat in my car. Thank you.

0:34:520:34:53

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine

0:34:530:34:58

and three penalty points.

0:34:580:34:59

Alan is keen to show the driver evidence of his erratic driving.

0:34:590:35:03

What alerted us to you, right?

0:35:030:35:05

When you came on at Seaton Burn onto the A1,

0:35:050:35:08

you moved quite violently from lane one into lane two.

0:35:080:35:12

I'm following you there. All right?

0:35:120:35:14

It's already sitting at 77.

0:35:140:35:17

Then your speed increased.

0:35:170:35:19

Can you see the bottom right-hand corner there?

0:35:190:35:21

84, 85.

0:35:210:35:24

All right. OK?

0:35:250:35:28

It is what it is on that one.

0:35:280:35:30

When we've come in the Metrocentre,

0:35:300:35:32

which is just the slip road up here before I asked you to stop,

0:35:320:35:34

we've come into a 30-mile-an-hour limit

0:35:340:35:36

and your vehicle in front there is doing 44. OK?

0:35:360:35:38

And that's the reasons why you've been stopped here today.

0:35:380:35:41

I'm just going to check you on the system.

0:35:410:35:43

Do you have any points on your licence or anything?

0:35:430:35:45

Alan discovers the man is a professional lorry driver

0:35:470:35:50

so more points on his licence could lead to him losing his job.

0:35:500:35:54

Alan has a very difficult decision to make.

0:35:550:35:58

We could issue... I don't know

0:35:580:35:59

if you've ever heard of a section 59 warning?

0:35:590:36:01

I'm not going to do that.

0:36:010:36:03

I'd like to think that this word tonight is sufficient.

0:36:040:36:08

At the end of the day, you're an HGV driver.

0:36:080:36:10

-Right?

-My living.

-It's your living.

0:36:100:36:12

You don't need things like that coming your way.

0:36:120:36:14

So, words of advice.

0:36:140:36:16

So lesson learned. Keep it down.

0:36:160:36:18

You never know when we're there. And we'll leave it at that tonight.

0:36:180:36:21

-All right?

-Thank you very much.

0:36:210:36:23

No worries at all. There's your card back and we'll let you out.

0:36:230:36:26

The driver realises he's been very lucky

0:36:260:36:28

to get away without any points.

0:36:280:36:30

When I got stopped, I was gutted because...

0:36:320:36:35

I was in the wrong. Could have lost my job.

0:36:350:36:37

I'm an HGV driver so...

0:36:380:36:40

I should know better, really.

0:36:420:36:43

The police officer explained everything and he was fair with us.

0:36:430:36:46

He could have given us a lot worse than what I've got off with.

0:36:460:36:49

In speeding cases,

0:36:500:36:52

police officers like Alan are allowed to use their discretion.

0:36:520:36:56

Depending on the circumstances, they can issue fines and make arrests.

0:36:560:37:00

Or they can take a more lenient approach.

0:37:000:37:03

That chap there is a prime example of somebody who,

0:37:030:37:06

he seemed like a thoroughly nice person.

0:37:060:37:08

He's got the right attitude for me. He was sitting there.

0:37:080:37:11

Very apologetic.

0:37:110:37:12

Hands up. He wasn't arguing.

0:37:120:37:14

If he'd argued the case, it's all on video,

0:37:140:37:18

and really it's down to the officer how he wants to do it

0:37:180:37:21

and I thought, in that situation, yeah,

0:37:210:37:24

words of advice is probably going to suffice.

0:37:240:37:27

Near Ely in Cambridgeshire, it's the morning of the

0:37:320:37:35

East Anglian Old English sheepdog championship show.

0:37:350:37:38

After a 180-mile journey down the A1, Debbi, Martin

0:37:480:37:52

and their dog Priya have arrived at the venue early.

0:37:520:37:54

Sit!

0:37:540:37:56

But it's raining and a freshly groomed Priya

0:37:560:37:58

simply can't be allowed to get wet.

0:37:580:38:01

Come on, then.

0:38:010:38:02

Good girl. As you can see, there's all this mud around.

0:38:020:38:05

So, if she didn't have her coat and her boots on,

0:38:050:38:08

those lovely white feet will just be absolutely covered

0:38:080:38:11

and I would be in there panicking.

0:38:110:38:13

Morning!

0:38:130:38:14

Debbi's eager to do some last-minute practice with Priya.

0:38:150:38:18

Ah-ah-ah! Turn around. This way.

0:38:210:38:23

That didn't go quite so successfully.

0:38:260:38:28

When I was doing the triangle, it didn't go quite as expected.

0:38:280:38:32

Just had to do a little turn at the end there.

0:38:320:38:34

And there's another problem.

0:38:340:38:36

Martin.

0:38:360:38:37

As you can see, when I come close to Priya, she gets very agitated.

0:38:370:38:41

Because she's a daddy's girl.

0:38:410:38:43

That's why I have to stay away.

0:38:430:38:44

Let's see who's in with you.

0:38:450:38:48

Pretty stiff competition.

0:38:480:38:49

So, if we do well, we've done really well.

0:38:490:38:51

Priya. Head up.

0:38:510:38:54

Show, girl.

0:38:540:38:56

I'm up here. I'm staying out of the way of Priya.

0:38:570:38:59

I distract her big-time so I just stay out of the way.

0:38:590:39:02

If I go anywhere close, if Priya picks her ears up, or hears me,

0:39:020:39:06

then I get the evil looks off of Debbi.

0:39:060:39:08

Or I get told to clear off.

0:39:090:39:11

Or pushed out of the way.

0:39:110:39:13

But as show time approaches, nature suddenly calls.

0:39:130:39:17

Where's Martin? Martin!

0:39:170:39:20

Martin!

0:39:200:39:23

Can you help me get her boots on? I think she needs a wee.

0:39:230:39:25

You hold her. I'll put them on.

0:39:260:39:28

Just let me find them first.

0:39:280:39:29

I hope it's stopped raining outside.

0:39:290:39:31

Then I don't have to put her coat on.

0:39:310:39:33

I don't want to have to start all over again.

0:39:330:39:35

But outside, it's still pouring down.

0:39:360:39:38

Time for Priya to don full waterproofs once again.

0:39:400:39:43

What I've got to do now that I'm zipping it all up is just make sure

0:39:440:39:47

as much fur is tucked in there as possible.

0:39:470:39:49

On the other side.

0:39:490:39:50

Now that I'm having to take her out in the rain and put her coat on,

0:39:520:39:55

I've probably got a good hour again to do

0:39:550:39:57

just to make sure she's right for going in the ring. Lovely.

0:39:570:40:01

-Hood?

-Good girl. Can she see?

0:40:010:40:03

Come on, then, Priya, let's go for a wee-wee.

0:40:030:40:05

Look at the state of her!

0:40:050:40:06

-Hello!

-She's not going to keep that on, Debbi.

0:40:080:40:10

She's not liking that, is she?

0:40:100:40:12

Come on.

0:40:140:40:15

She's got her boots on, so I can take her on the grass.

0:40:180:40:21

Oh, crikey.

0:40:220:40:24

Maybe's that's not such a good idea.

0:40:240:40:26

She's having a wee.

0:40:260:40:28

Good girl. Can you see?

0:40:280:40:31

All the mud just from that little bit of a walk there

0:40:310:40:34

on the back of her coat.

0:40:340:40:35

Now, that would have been all over that beautiful white coat

0:40:350:40:38

that I would have then been panicking to get out.

0:40:380:40:41

After yet another hour's grooming...

0:40:440:40:47

I'm confident that she looks quite nice, so...

0:40:470:40:50

..Priya's finally ready for the competition.

0:40:500:40:52

See, now she looks a proper princess.

0:40:520:40:55

Come on, then, sweetheart.

0:40:560:40:59

This way.

0:40:590:41:00

I decided I'd rather sit at ringside.

0:41:020:41:05

I'm hiding. Hopefully, she won't recognise me

0:41:060:41:08

by somebody else's crate.

0:41:080:41:09

Time to see if all Priya's practising has paid off.

0:41:130:41:16

And stand.

0:41:230:41:24

Good girl.

0:41:250:41:26

It's a close competition.

0:41:290:41:31

First, number 32.

0:41:310:41:32

But Priya has to settle for third.

0:41:350:41:37

Third, number 38.

0:41:370:41:38

Lovely. Thank you.

0:41:380:41:41

Good girl. Good girl.

0:41:410:41:43

'That was a tough class.'

0:41:430:41:45

I'm really pleased with that result.

0:41:450:41:47

That was a really tough class.

0:41:470:41:48

She moved lovely for me.

0:41:480:41:50

She did everything I asked of her.

0:41:500:41:51

I'm not complaining. Not complaining at all.

0:41:510:41:54

Just onto the next show now.

0:41:540:41:56

Aww! You can have Daddy now.

0:41:560:41:58

There we go.

0:41:580:42:00

I'm still going home with the best bitch.

0:42:000:42:02

Third's OK.

0:42:040:42:05

It's why we travel up the A1, up and down it.

0:42:050:42:08

It's to get that placement.

0:42:080:42:09

For Debbi, Martin and Priya,

0:42:090:42:11

it's been worth the 180-mile journey down the A1.

0:42:110:42:15

I think she enjoys travelling with us now.

0:42:150:42:16

She knows what it's all about.

0:42:160:42:18

She's old enough to. Just got a long old journey home, haven't we?

0:42:180:42:21

-OK.

-Done.

-Job done.

0:42:210:42:23

And away we go.

0:42:230:42:24

The motorist suspected of drink-driving

0:42:290:42:32

pleaded guilty to the offence.

0:42:320:42:34

He was disqualified from driving for 36 months

0:42:340:42:37

and fined £235 including costs.

0:42:370:42:41

The stolen car was returned to its rightful owner

0:42:410:42:44

but no further action was taken against the driver

0:42:440:42:47

due to insufficient evidence.

0:42:470:42:50

Meanwhile, two months later,

0:42:500:42:52

Priya travelled down the A1 to compete at Crufts

0:42:520:42:55

and was very highly commended in her class.

0:42:550:42:58

Next time, a runaway van crashes down an embankment...

0:42:590:43:03

-Police, are they all on the slip?

-Keep going.

0:43:030:43:05

..and leaves the A1 in total gridlock.

0:43:050:43:08

The race to get to a multiple crash near Newcastle.

0:43:090:43:12

Injuries are quite often life-changing.

0:43:120:43:15

And transporting a luxury liner.

0:43:150:43:18

The driver who's all at sea on the A1.

0:43:180:43:20

We've missed our exit.

0:43:200:43:22

Not good.

0:43:230:43:24

A suspected stolen vehicle leads police to pull a driver found to be over the drink-drive limit, a truck breakdown at rush hour puts motorists' safety in jeopardy, and a couple hope their six-hour journey with their top show dog will end in glory.


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