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London's Great Bridges: Lighting The Thames   

Series 1: 3x60 | HD | 2019
Production Company
ITN Productions
Primary Broadcaster
Channel 4

Architectural Designer Charlie Luxton goes behind the scenes to look at the work of The Illuminated River Foundation who are responsible for a £45 million project to light the bridges of central London. When complete 15 bridges, with a combined length of 2.5 miles, over a five mile stretch of the river, will be bedecked in over 100,000 lights making it, arguably, the largest public art work ever conceived once complete.

Episode 3

In the final episode we follow the final preparations for the big day when, after three years of planning, 69,000 lights will illuminate four central London’s bridges. The Illuminated River’s Project Director, Sarah Gaventa, gets feedback from the city planners’ inspection of the bridges and the green light is given for the last push to complete the project. The electricians and abseilers are working flat out to finish the job off but Millennium Bridge is proving to be a tricky canvas for what will, eventually, become the world’s longest piece of public art.

Episode 2

After three years of planning, the work to light the bridges of London finally starts. Presenter Charlie Luxton joins the team of abseilers dangling off London Bridge to see what it takes to get 800m of light strips on the underbelly of London Bridge. Projector director Sarah Gaventa sets a turn on date to officially light the first four bridges and the countdown to the big switch on begins. But there is a problem. On Cannon Street Bridge an Egyptian goose has laid her eggs and, as a protected species, work grinds an unwelcome halt.

Episode 1

Charlie travels to America to meet Leo Villareal, the artist behind the project. His monumental 1.8 mile wide tour de force is ‘The Bay Lights’ which has transformed San Francisco’s second most famous bridge into the world’s largest light installation. Back in London, Charlie meets The Chewing Gum Man, a British artist who also does public art, albeit on a micro scale. AKA Ben Wilson, he is in the middle of the seemingly never ending task of converting the Millennium Bridge into a display for his work that uses pedestrians as his muse and discarded gum as his canvas.