Posted: 19/07/2011 11:06:21 by Nigel Nixon

ORGANISERS of the Lake District's 11th annual air extravaganza, taking place on July 23 and 24, have revealed their display line-up.

The Windermere Air Festival kicks off on the Saturday with the breathtaking acrobatics of the Breitling Wing Walkers, performing a sequence of manoeuvres and handstands whilst strapped to the top wings of the team's Boeing Stearman biplanes.

First day visitors will also be treated to the RedHawks' air show act with a slow, gentle and graceful four-minute, three-dimensional aerial ballet performed to soothing music by a pair of 42 year-old, wooden, high-efficiency aeroplanes, designed by French musician, artist, ceramicist and sculptor Réné Fournier.

Another Saturday highlight will be the RAF Falcons parachute display team, now in their 50th year.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will grace the skies above Windermere on both days with special flights from the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster Bomber.

The RV8tors will be flying their remarkably fast Vans RV-8's with powerful smoke systems, performing an exciting and memorable display.

Combining close formation aerobatics with speeds up to 230 mph, the display makes large manoeuvres that fill the sky and leave big smoke trails.

Also appearing at the festival will be the RAF Tucano and the RAF Hawk.

Both spectacular in their own right the Hawk display team will demonstrate the professional excellence of the RAF while the Tucano display consists of 21 manoeuvres including an offset barrel roll, stall turn, oblique loop and reverse wingover.

On Sunday, the Twister Duo will create a display of formation barrel loops, rolls and gravity defying zoom climbs.

The highlight of the weekend is set to be the renowned ambassadors of the RAF and everyone’s favourite – The Red Arrows.

Having missed last year's Lakeland air show, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, have been confirmed to headline 2011's festival.

Appearing at the air festival is a welcome return for Squadron Leader Graeme Bagnall.

Graeme, who is Red 10, is the team’s commentator and on the ground safety supervisor.

He was educated at nearby St Bee’s School, in Cumbria.

Mr Bagnall said: “We are really looking forward to displaying at Windermere.

"It’s a stunning location and will definitely be a highlight of the display season for me.

"I can’t wait to meet the crowd when I’m on the ground at the show doing the commentary for the Team.

"You get a real buzz from seeing how the audience reacts to the displays.”

The RAF Red Arrows have been wowing audiences since their first season in 1965, they have flown over 4,000 displays in 52 countries.

Today the Red Arrows are renowned throughout the world,acting as ambassadors for Great Britain when displaying overseas.

They also support UK industry by demonstrating the capabilities of British equipment and expertise.

Lucy Bennett, a director of the air festival, said: "It’s such a coup for us to host the Red Arrows this year.

"They put on such a fantastic display and really add some excitement to the programme.

"The highly acclaimed displays are filled full of twists, turns, drama and excitement - they are definitely not one to be missed."

Attractions on the ground at the Air Base include the military village, battle re-enactments and flying simulator, new kids have-a-go activities plus face painting, circus skills, music and great local food stalls.

The Windermere Air Festival 2011 takes place on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24. The Air Base is located on the Glebe in Bowness-on-Windermere. For further information, click on the website below.

Tagged with: show, Winderemere, air


Posted: 03/06/2011 10:10:31 by Nigel Nixon

ZANY Steven Hall is urging people to vote for him after he performs in front of millions of TV viewers on Britain’s Got Talent tonight.

The 53-year-old telecommunications engineer will represent Cumbria when he takes to the stage for the live semi-final with a new dance routine.

Having taken the nation by storm with his eclectic two-minute act, which saw him perform a dance to The Birdy Song, The Macarena and The Twist, he has become an overnight success.

He has gained more than 1.5 million views on YouTube and more than a thousand fans on his official Facebook site.

So, what has he got lined up for the biggest performances of his life tonight?

“It was said: ‘How am I going to follow that?’ Because the element of surprise has gone,” he said.

“So I have taken what everybody said they would expect me to do next and not done it.”

Life has changed for the Burneside Amateur Theatrical Society member since he gained three ‘yes’ votes from Amanda Holden, Michael McIntyre and David Hasselhoff, and a standing ovation from the Liverpool crowd.

“It was the second best experience of my life, but I can’t tell you the first one,” he jokes.

“Since then, it has been so busy I haven’t had time to think about it.

"I have been to London several times for interviews and rehearsals.”

Having performed in theatres across the Lake District, Steven set up Comedy Showtime two years ago, a five-person act that puts on performances across the region.

From this, a 10-minute dance evolved which came to form the basis of his BGT audition.

If Steven is successful tonight, he will make it through to Saturday’s live final.

If victorious in the final, he will perform in front of The Queen at The Royal Variety Performance and win £100,000.

“I am nervous and confident about tonight,” he said.

“Nervous because Simon Cowell is back on the show and he is held in such anticipation about what he has thought of the acts that have gone through while he’s been away.

"But I am confident of my routine. I’m looking forward to it.”

Tagged with: MAN, SINGER, TALENT, KENDA


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