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HMS Ark Royal

Richard Armitage narrated a documentary series about HMS Ark Royal for the Discovery Channel UK in spring 2011.

Filmed on board the Royal Navy's flagship over four months in 2010, the series followed the aircraft carrier's operations during what would turn out to be her last international deployment. With a 1000-strong crew, she was the United Kingdom's largest aircraft carrier and had been in service for 25 years. But in October 2010, shortly after the deployment ended, it was announced that she would be be decommissioned in early 2011, five years earlier than planned, along with the Harrier jets that flew from her deck.

It was an eventful deployment that began in the Atlantic. But she was soon diverted to help pick up Britons stranded by the closure of the skies over Europe due to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. After returning briefly to the UK for repairs, she headed back across the Atlantic to Norfolk, Virginia to resume her planned mission.

The series consists of eight one hour episodes, and a 90 minute episode entitled "The Final Journey". It's available on DVD at Amazon UK, and also at Simply Home Entertainment.



This clip is from the beginning of the second episode of the series. HMS Ark Royal is preparing to pick up British tourists stranded by the eruption of an Icelandic volcano.


Two more excerpts can be seen on the Discovery Channel blog page about the series. (The second excerpt is also available on YouTube.)


Further information

Discovery Channel blog page about the series
HMS Ark Royal's microsite at the Royal Navy website

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