Sunderland to feature on BBC's Countryfile

Roker Pier
Roker Pier
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A historic Sunderland landmark is featuring on long-running TV show Countryfile as the rural life magazine programme heads to Tyne and Wear.

Roker Pier is to have a starring role when the programme goes out this Sunday at 7pm.

Ellie Harrison

Ellie Harrison

While East Durham's Matt Baker heads off to visit a country park near Newcastle formed from a former coal mining site, co-presenter Ellie Harrison is having a trip to Sunderland's seaside.

Ellie talked to volunteers from Roker Heritage Group, including its chairman Phil Tweddell who is the grandson of the last lighthouse keeper, who gave her a special tour and shared his childhood memories, while filming for the segment.

Her visit came as work continues of the £2.5million restoration project of the Grade II-listed pier and lighthouse, which were built between 1885 and 1903.

Sunderland City Council's cabinet secretary Councillor Mel Speding said: “It’s fantastic to see Roker Pier continuing to gain national media attention.

“We’ve already had visits from the Hairy Builders and BBC2’s Great Railway Journeys so we were only too glad to show round Countryfile.”

He added: “We’ve known for a long time what a wonderful asset the pier is for our city and the wider region but it’s good to see its historic importance being recognised more widely.”

Seaham will also feature in Sunday's Countryfile programme, with Ellie going in search of “seaglass” - a legacy of the town’s Victorian industry.