September 30 2014 Latest news:
Monday, August 4, 2014
Harry Potter star and Cambridgeshire actor Warwick Davis will be flying the flag when he films the latest series of his TV travel show - thanks to a trailer firm from the Peterborough area.
The Hollywood actor, Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter films, who also appeared in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, is presently driving around the UK with his wife and their two children in a camper van, plus a new trailer emblazoned with the Union Jack flag.
It has been specially made for the actor by Ifor Williams Trailers at its North Wales base, and will be used to transport the family’s luggage during their lengthy trek from the Isle of Wight to Inverness to record their Weekend Escapes show for ITV, calling in to some of Britain’s most loved holiday spots.
Warwick collected his new trailer from distributors Barnwell Trailers close to his home in Yaxley, along with his wife Samantha and their children Annabelle and Harrison, aged 17 and 11.
Simon Berridge, managing director of Barnwell Trailers, in Barnwell, admits he was delighted when he first heard about the order to wrap the BV64 trailer in vinyl graphics.
“We sell a lot of horse boxes, plus we do get requests for the trailers to be kitted out in different ways, especially for small companies such as dog groomers and taxi firms.”
“In November we were invited to Ifor Williams Trailers headquarters for the launch of several new trailers. On the road leading to the factory, we were greeted with the most amazing sight. Positioned at strategic points along the road were Mini Box Vans wrapped in the flags of over 20 countries. It was an amazing welcome and one that will not be forgotten.”
“All the distributors of Ifor Williams trailers soon came to realise that the company had made another investment in latest technology and were showcasing their ability to wrap trailers to any design any customer cares to dream up.”
“But I’ve never had a request for one painted with a Union flag before, though now the company offers this service for wrapping trailers in vinyl graphics, I’m sure we will get other orders,” added Simon, who has run the company for the past 25 years.
“I did know that Warwick lived not far from here and he has been a lovely customer to deal with. I’m now looking forward to seeing the trailer on his TV show, and also spotting it on the roads around here.”
Warwick is also presently filming a new movie Get Santa, has written his autobiography Size Matters Not, co-runs an acting management company Willow, representing actors of reduced height, produced his own show Dwarves Assemble and has even launched his own app, Pocket Warwick.
As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also about to return to TV screens as host of a revamped Celebrity Squares when he’s completed the television travelogue.
Warwick said: “We are away for several weeks and live in our VW camper van, but there’s simply not enough room for all of us plus our luggage – and our dog Sherlock,”
The new series of Weekend Escapes will once again see the family – plus Sherlock – arrive all sorts of events around the UK, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and trying their hand at a wide range of activities.
During this tour they will be visiting the south of England then South Wales before heading north to Scotland – though Warwick is hopeful they may find time to pop into the Ifor Williams factory to say thanks to the team who built his flag-emblazoned trailer.
“In the show we try out all sorts of different activities including some pretty extreme sports and so we do need quite a few changes of clothes,” explained the 44-year-old.
“In the last series we had a simple black trailer that didn’t feature in the show at all. I decided it was about time I got myself a trailer, because it would be very useful with my other work, such as with the Reduced Height Theatre Company and other productions when we have to transport a lot of stuff around.
“I wanted something eye catching and so decided it ought to be painted with a Union Jack, as we are celebrating a very British way of life in the show, with all the best loved holiday spots.”
“Initially I did think it should be the same colour as the camper van, which is blue, but having it covered in a Union Flag means that people will really recognise it when we are out and about, and that’s good for the TV show as well.
“People already recognise the camper van, from the first series, and once this second one is transmitted, they will certainly be doing a double-take when they spot us on the road,” added Warwick , most recently seen on TV with comedian Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington in the series Life’s Too Short and An Idiot Abroad 3, and who appeared on stage last month (July) in the Monty Python re-union shows.
“I knew that Ifor Williams Trailers had a good reputation – basically it was the main name that I knew in the world of trailers. I reckoned that if farmers and commercial companies used these trailers, they had to be strong and reliable, and that’s what I needed.”
“It helped that I was able to see the different trailers on show at Barnwell’s and make up my mind which one suited me best. I also liked the fact that the trailer came with all the extra bits included, such as the spare wheel,” added Warwick.
The team at Ifor Williams Trailers’ headquarters then got to work, drawing up the flag designs and turning round the order quickly.
Warwick, who was born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED), appeared as Ewok Wicket in his first Hollywood film, Return of the Jedi, when he was still a teenager.
He went to play title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun film series, alongside Jennifer Aniston, and other roles in the Star Wars franchise. He was both Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films.
On TV he’s also appeared in The Chronicles of Narnia, Dr Who plus Ricky Gervais’ TV series Extras, while on stage he’s been in Spamalot.
Peter Nesbitt, the Business Development Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “We were delighted to help Warwick as we are doing more and more vinyl wraps for customers. This service gives customers a great opportunity to individualise their trailers or promote their business in an eye-catching way.
“I am really looking forward to seeing how Warwick’s Union Flag trailer looks on screen when the series goes on air.”