TV cameras follow women behind the HGV wheel

A SMALL production company based in north Northumberland has completed its first commission for a major television channel, with a documentary about women who drive lorries.

Orion TV, which is based in Alnmouth and London, has produced the one-hour pilot episode of Mothertruckers, which will be aired on Channel 4 at 10pm on February 9.

It focuses on women who have started careers in heavy goods delivery, an industry traditionally dominated by men who occupy 98 per cent of the driving seats of the nation’s trucks.

The programme follows several female truckers and explores their motivation for joining the profession, including former ballerina Emma who, plagued by injury, is torn between her new career as a lorry driver and her desire to get back into dancing.

Managing director at Orion TV, Bob Whittaker, hopes that if the documentary is a hit with viewers, it may become a series.

“For us, the Channel 4 commission is a major breakthrough in our plans to become the region’s leading supplier of factual programmes to broadcasters,” said Bob, who lives in Alnmouth with wife Marrisse, who is also a producer for the company.

“Mothertruckers reveals the amazing lifestyles of an unusual yet growing band of women, stepping up to the challenge of being truck drivers, as well as fighting to keep a stable family environment, as mothers, daughters, wives and girlfriends.

“We hope viewers will enjoy it. If the pilot is a ratings success we are hoping that the channel will commission a series and we are already in the planning stage.”

Orion TV was formed six years ago by Bob, a former Tyne Tees producer, and Marrisse, a TV scriptwriter who has written for Hollyoaks and Doctors.