A WELL-KNOWN face on the North Yorkshire heritage railway scene is to feature in a new TV show.

Paul Middleton, who is known as ‘Piglet’, is to star in Channel 5’s ‘Britain by Steam’.

He will join journalist and presenter John Sergeant and actor Peter Davison for the four-part series, which will see the trio travel from London to Scotland using only the power of steam.

Piglet is the head of traction and rolling stock for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

He also starred in Channel 5’s ‘The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard’, which gave a behind the scenes at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

As reported by the Gazette & Herald at the time, Piglet was also named the winner of the 2021 Heritage Railway Association’s Steam Railway magazine award for the restoration of a 131-year-old Belgian steam tram that he and his brother bought in 2017.

In the upcoming TV show, which has been commissioned by DSP, the intrepid trio will use any steam-means possible to get across the country - from paddle boats to barges, steam cars to trains and traction engines. 

Gazette & Herald: Piglet driving the restored steam trainPiglet driving the restored steam train (Image: NYMR)

Along the way they will discover the history and engineering genius of the machines they’re travelling on, as well as how steam engineering changed life in the UK forever. 

They will meet the steam enthusiasts who are keeping the steam tradition going, as well as visiting some iconic historic landmarks. 

In each episode, viewers will be treated to a huge variety of steam machines, fascinating history, plenty of laughs, and the unique character and charm of many locations across the UK.

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Lucy Willis, commissioning editor at Unscripted, Channel 5 and Paramount+ said: “John, Peter and Piglet take us on an entertaining romp as they make their way from London to Scotland by steam. There’s lots of fun, the odd squabble or two and plenty of beautiful countryside, as the three of them face all sorts of trials and tribulations en route.”

Donna Clark, managing director for DSP, commented“John, Peter and Piglet are a charming combination whose warm repartee makes this beautiful journey engaging and fun. They’ve loved getting their hands on these incredible steam machines.”

John Sergeant added: “This was one of the happiest assignments of my career: it was funny, fast and furious - great company and marvellous machines. If the viewers enjoy this programme as much as we did making it, this could be one of the highlights of my career. Letting off steam, with a group of friends, and a real sense of adventure - this was an unforgettable delight.”

The show is to be broadcast on Channel 5 this spring.