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Guy Martin's Reckless attempt to be the next Fred Dibnah

  • Neil
  • 8 Mar 2011
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The BBC is taking a confident punt tonight that it can turn racing motorcylist Guy Martin into the next unlikely prime time reality show star, with a profile to rival Fred Dibnah.


Occupying a time slot usually reserved for soaps like East Enders, The Boat That Guy Built will chronicle Guy's attempt to restore what the press called a 'run-down' canal boat into something modern and desirable.  The twist here is that he will use old techniques that help to build the Industrial Revolution and hope to learn (and demonstrate) something about our own heritage and history.
The boat he selected is called Reckless, and it wasn't just 'run down', but ironically an utter wreck.  About 5 years ago it was the target of an arson attack, and ended up at Streethay Wharf, where I witnessed the aftermath. A year later, in 2007, I blogged about it on Granny Buttons in the post "Recked Reckless".
Streethay's chief engineer bought the wreck and attempted to rebuild it himself as a private project.  But as with many project boats he ran out of time, and sold it on to the show's producers, who were presumably attracted by the disaster inherent in the name. (Actually, when built about 1999 it was originally Recklis, but a new owner was reckless enough to rename it, ignoring the superstition that renaming boats is bad luck.)
The series will attempt to show how Britain became the world leader in building things, and appropriately Guy Martin started off the series by finding the materials to make the equipment to, er,  make a cup of tea.  (But isn't that how all canal boats get made?)
A Nice Hot Shower 2/6. Guy visits a lavatory manufacturer to conduct a 'flush-off' between 19th-century loos.  We'll follow the series with interest.
By Andrew Denny , Waterways world 4th March 2011