New Island Parish Series Keeps Scilly Connection

island parish falklandsA new series of the popular BBC Two programme An Island Parish starts tomorrow.

And although this time it’s set 8,000 miles away in the Falklands, an islander from Scilly has played an important role in the making of the series

Former Bryher resident Charlie Bennett was part of the production crew.

Charlie says the Falklands felt like a “home away from home”, because there were so many similarities to Scilly.

From Radio Scilly

Charlie Bennett talks to Radio Scilly about filming in the Falklands

People don’t lock doors and there’s an informal co-operative system where “someone will fix a gate in return for a leg of lamb.”

And she says coming from an island community herself made it much easier to get on with the Falkland Islanders.

People have always heard of Scilly, so there was something to start a conversation, and it gave her an insight into their remote way of life.

But she said there were some big difference too, not least the distance between places in the islands, which are roughly the size of Northern Ireland.

Charlie says that Island Parish doesn’t try to delve too deeply into politics, although the conflict with Argentina was always at the back of people’s minds.

While they were filming, there was a visit by a group of war veterans.

She felt the islanders appreciated the series’ focus on community life because it gave them something else to talk about, but it’s such an important part of the islands’ history that it did come up.

And contrary to what people might think, Charlie says people aren’t queuing up to take part in the series and usually have to be persuaded.

It takes a lot of people’s time to be involved and they do it for the goodwill and to promote their islands, she says.

That was particularly important in the Falklands where locals wanted people in the UK to see what their lives were like, as most only associate the islands with the conflict.

Charlie says she could “happily live there” although being a nervous flyer, she was put off by the 19-hour military flight from RAF Brize Norton!

Scilly was the first community to feature on An Island Parish back in 2007 and eventually four series were filmed here, before the action moved to Barra, on the Outer Hebrides in 2011.

More recently, it’s featured the Channel Island of Sark.

The first episode of the new series goes out on BBC Two tomorrow at 8pm.

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