Media release: Britain’s biggest warship to take BBC Two viewers on an epic journey of discovery


AN unique new series which tells the extraordinary story of ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’ – the largest and most advanced warship ever constructed in Britain – starts this Sunday, 15th April on BBC Two at 8pm.

Award-winning filmmaker Chris Terrill, of Uppercut Films, teamed up with STV Productions to co- produce Britain’s Biggest Warship, a specialist factual series which follows the massive 65,000 tonnes vessel – which, at 280m, is longer than the Houses of Parliament – on its epic maiden journey from shipyard to sea.

As this state-of-the-art new class of super carriers goes into service, it marks the dawn of an ultra-modern era in naval warfare. The series starts as construction is completed at Rosyth dockyard;  ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’ is so vast that she had to be constructed in six shipyards around the country before being assembled in Rosyth.

The first of the three programmes documents the huge challenges of taking the enormous vessel to sea for the first time, including navigating her safely under the lower-height Forth road and rail bridges. And the programmes go on to reveal the trials faced by Captain Jerry Kyd and his 700 sailors as they undertake rigorous and risky test exercises designed to put both ship and crew through their paces in preparation for live operations.

Filmed over three years, this remarkable specialist factual series provides a fascinating and revealing insight into the sea trials of ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’ – the first time sea trials of a warship have ever been filmed.  The series focuses on the people breathing life into the ship as they are tested to their limits – those who built her, those who sail her and those who will fly from her.

Chris Terrill – who in 2015 was awarded The Maritime Fellowship Special Distinction Award for his 20-year body of work relating to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines, and whose previous extensive programme credits include BBC One’s Marine A: Criminal or Casualty of War? – was granted unprecedented access for Britain’s Biggest Warship.  He embedded within the ship’s company for two years to make the series and as a result has captured an intimate and personal ‘behind the scenes’ portrait of life on board.

Chris Terrill said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth is a remarkable feat of British engineering and it has been my privilege to witness her growth and development since the cutting of her first steel in 2009. The culmination for me was to be granted exclusive access to film the ship’s make or break sea trials because no such trials of a prototype warship have ever been filmed before.  But as innovative and ground breaking as this gargantuan super carrier may be – the real story for me was always the men and women whose task it was to breathe life in to her.”

Abigail Priddle, commissioning editor for the BBC – Specialist Factual, added: “It’s been incredible to be able to follow HMS Queen Elizabeth’s journey through these amazing early stages, from first construction to her very first voyage.   This series provides fascinating in-depth insight into this remarkable ship and its crew.”

Britain’s Biggest Warship starts on BBC Two on Sunday 15th April, airing at 8pm – 9pm, with episodes two and three following on consecutive Sundays at the same time.


For further information, please contact:  Ellen Drummond – 0141 300 3341 / 07803 970 143

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Contact: Ellen Drummond