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In the Footsteps of Blair Mayne


Monday, 21:00 on BBC One (Northern Ireland only) or Sky regions.

Eddie Irvine walks in the footsteps of his hero Blair Mayne for a new portrait of the Ardsborn World War Two legend.

Robert Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne was one of Britain’s most decorated soldiers
of the Second World War. Known as ‘Paddy’ by his soldier colleagues, it is surprising that his name is still largely unknown in Britain.

Blair Mayne’s exploits read like a ‘Boy’sOwn’ story…destroying airfi elds deep behindenemy lines, rescuing fallen comrades,single-handedly tackling overwhelming odds. And he was pivotal in the creation
of the SAS, a fighting machine so successful that its model has been copied all over the world.

In the Footsteps of Blair Mayne on BBCOne Northern Ireland on Monday, September 28 at 9pm, sees former Formula Oneace Eddie Irvine retrace the steps of the legendary soldier he idolised as a boy in a fresh portrait of a remarkable war hero.

Like Mayne, Eddie Irvine grew up in Newtownards and attended the same school,Regent House. When a book on Mayne’s life was published in the 1980’s the proceeds were used to send a young Eddie Irvine to his first European race meetingwhere he got noticed. Their connection was cemented forever.

In the programme Eddie goes on a journeyto see if he can discover something new about this remarkable soldier. What really made him tick, what drove him to do the things he did.

Eddie meets Mayne’s surviving soldier colleagues Albert Youngman and Bob Lowson Actor Richard Dormer plays the part of Blair Mayne during filming for In The Footsteps Of Blair Mayne for BBC One Northern Ireland for a first hand account of his fi ghting and leadership prowess and Colonel Tim Collins gives Eddie a modern perspective on the great man.

Eddie travels to Cairo and the North Africa desert where Mayne’s legend was created. In the vast ocean of desert scrub, remnants of enemy airfi elds and the silent graveyards of El Alamein, Irvine senses he is as close as he can ever get to understanding the bravery and ruthlessness of Mayne.

However behind the tactical genius and fearless bravery Blair Paddy Mayne was a complex and troubled character with dark mood swings and a violent streak.

Eddie meets leading psychologist Professor Geoffrey Beattie who has prepared a detailed psychological assessment of Mayne. It turns out that Mayne and Irvine have more
in common than simply Newtownards, and this exchange is as revealing about Eddie Irvine’s character as it is about Blair Mayne.

The film explores Mayne’s final years of relative obscurity tending the roses at his beloved Mount Pleasant home in Newtownards and driving his distinctive red Riley around the Strangford coastline.

Without a war to fi ght, Blair was a dead man walking and often lost himself in the bottle. He met his untimely death at the wheel of his car, aged just 40.

On a bridge overlooking the Houses of Parliament Eddie Irvine reflects on the ongoingcampaign to have Mayne awarded the VC posthumously: “He was the greatest soldier who ever lived. Whether he ever gets the VC or not isn’t important. His record stands as it is. Nothing more needs to be

In the Footsteps of Blair Mayne is a Hotshot Films production for BBC ONE Northern Ireland and is produced and directed by Brendan J Byrne.
Just read a copy of Mad Mike, Brig Calvert another WW II warrior who was thrown to the dogs, IMO, by the system post war.
I will have to order an in depth book on Paddy Mayne before I feel qualified to pass comment.
I know Pete Scholey has a good opinion of him in his book on Them.
jonwilly said:
I am off back to UK in a couple of weeks so just ordered and it will be waiting.
Ta Much
Reading a good book "Goodbye,Darkness" by William Manchester,his personal account as a US Marine in the Pacific in WWII (ISBN 1 84158 125 9 pub by Birlinn)
Very graphic & he goes into his demons when he returned from the war.

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