Celebrities get active in north Wales

Welsh Slate has been the scene of much celebrity activity recently.

Most recently, TV property show presenter Sarah Beeny was shown around the Penrhyn Quarry production process by commercial director Michael Halle.

Sarah is currently on Channel 4 with her new show “Sarah Beeny’s new life in the country” which follows her family’s move from London to a dairy farm in Somerset which they plan to redevelop with an emphasis on sustainability. Sarah will be using Welsh Slate roofing slates on the project.

Prior to Sarah, Penrhyn Quarry’s Zip World operation hosted the hit BBC motoring show Top Gear.

Episode 4 of the 29th series saw programme presenters Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris take on the fastest zip line in the world as part of a Best of British challenge. At Zip World, the episode involves a supercar 4×4 race up the slate quarry track to reach the starting point to Velocity 2.  All three presenters were there for the shoot but it was Paddy McGuinness who took up this challenge in the British Aston Martin DBX against the German Audi RSQ8 with former Formula 1 driver Heinz Harald Fritzen as his challenger. The finale saw Paddy get a very different adrenaline fix, travelling head first at approx 100mph on the zip line over Penrhyn Quarry, screaming ‘I’m Flying’. You can catch the episode here on iPlayer.

In addition, journalist and former MP Michael Portillo, filming for series 12 of Great British Railway Journeys, which should air early 2021, visited Cwt-y-Bugail quarry.  The quarry is famous for being the secret hideaway where Britain’s national art treasures were stored during the Second World War. Pictures from the royal palaces, the Tate and the National Gallery, including 19 Rembrandts, Van Dykes, Leonardo da Vincis and Gainsboroughs, together with the Crown Jewels, were brought to the quarry’s huge underground workings in vehicles disguised as delivery vehicles for a chocolate company.

Last but not least, the production team for “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” did visit one of Welsh Slate’s quarries for the opening abseiling scene. Although that didn’t come off, it caused great excitement, as you can imagine.