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My Big Day Out - Billy the Seal

Loaded in the van and ready for the journey down to Exmouth
It was great to be near the sea again after so many years
Having a chat with my co-star the Common Dolphin
I'm ready for my close up now Mr Demille
Miranda explaining why us Grey Seals can haul oursleves around on dry land
I think Ms Krestovnikoff was quite taken with me!

Well, I thought things had looked up when I was put on display in the Clore Discovery Gallery. After so many years of just seeing the inside of museum stores it was great to be able to see visitors again!

Then came news that the BBC were to film me for a piece in their series called Coast, and, even better they wanted to film me on Exmouth beach - a day out - wow! Easy for me to say but this meant quite a bit of work for my curator, Peter Howlett, who had to get me ready, strap me into the van and do all the driving.

Anyway the big day arrived and I was loaded into a van for the journey down. It was great to see the world outside of Cardiff again - the first time since I was brought in on that trawler back in 1912. It was fantastic to see the sea again, even if it did get a little close during filming.

I was filmed with the skeleton of a Common Dolphin (courtesy of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust), I don't know about you but I think I'm far more impressive. The idea was to show why us Grey Seals are quite happy bouncing around on dry land when a dolphin ends up dead if it gets stranded. To explain this I had the company of one of Coast's presenters, Miranda Krestovnikoff. It took a while to set everything up but eventually they were ready and I got ready for my close up with Miranda - I think she was quite taken with me! It was rather nice being fimed on the deserted beach in the early evening sun.

Sadly my day out was now over and I was put back into the van for the journey back to the Museum and the following morning I was back in my usual place surveying the visitors in the Clore Discovery gallery. Keep an eye open for my appearance, I should be in one of the programmes to be screened next spring/summer.


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