Famous faces visit Ely and March for 'Great Canal Journeys' TV show

Giles & Sheila on the Canals

March and Ely are the focus of More4 show 'Great Canal Journeys' featuring Gyles Brandreth and Dame Sheila Hancock. - Credit: Channel 4

March and Ely are the focus of a new Channel 4 show featuring daytime TV star Gyles Brandreth and Dame Sheila Hancock DBE.

As part of their filming for 'Great Canal Journeys', the Celebrity Gogglebox favourites stopped off at Ely Cathedral and travelled along the River Nene.

The show comes after the pair were spotted in East Cambridgeshire after visiting their "favourite" bookshop, Topping, in late May. 

English actor Dame Sheila Hancock DBE and TV’s Gyles Brandreth visited Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely

English actor Dame Sheila Hancock DBE and TV’s Gyles Brandreth visited Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely on Wednesday, May 26. - Credit: Twitter/Gyles Brandreth 

In the first episode, Sheila and Gyles visit the vicarage where a children's classic was written, make a pilgrimage to Ely Cathedral to hear some medieval plainsong and try landscape painting.

They end their journey in Cambridge to pay homage to early 20th-century poetry great Rupert Brooke, with Mary Archer, and her husband Jeffrey.

Gyles tweeted: "Yup, we’re back on the canals this week - Wednesday at 9.00 pm on More4 … we’re exploring the Fens this trip & stopped off in Ely - at one of my favourite bookshops: ⁦@ToppingsEly."


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Sheila, 88, is an English actress and author, who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before starting her career in repertory theatre.

Gyles, 73, is a writer, broadcaster, actor, and former politician. He studied at Oxford University, before beginning a career in the media.

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Last year he also founded Poetry Together, bringing together young and old to connect over the joy of performing poetry.

Despite the pandemic, schools and care homes still signed up in their hundreds.




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