Joanna Lumley has opened up about the ‘difficult decision’ to continue her climate change documentary, after a fatal accident while filming.
The Absolutely Fabulous actress, 75, fronted a special programme on ITV, Joanna Lumley and the Human Swan, which airs this evening, following para-motorist Sacha Dench as she flew around the UK, to encourage people to pay attention to the climate crisis during Cop26.
However, tragedy struck behind the scenes when Dan Burton, a member of the support staff and fellow campaigner, died in a paramotor collision with Sacha while filming in September – with the motorist still recovering in hospital nearly two months on.
Speaking on today’s episode of Good Morning Britain, the star explained that those involved with the documentary, and the family of the late crew member, 54, insisted that the programme should still air as a tribute to his work.
When host Susanna Reid suggested that it must have been a ‘very difficult decision’ to make, Joanna said: ‘It was and the wretched thing was that this absolute tragedy happened right at the end of their journey around.
‘They were right at the end of their trip. Dan’s family have been so brave and so generous to honour his memory by showing the film and his work. Sacha, who is as brave as a lion, who I speak to at the very end of our film in hospital, they both insisted.
‘They said the important thing is the message, the whole point we’re doing this is about climate change and what we’ve all got to do. The challenge of climate change and us all playing our part in it.’
Discussing how they had to change plans after the tragedy, she continued: ‘The film was completed, all Sacha and I had to do, which we had yet to do as it were, was to sit together and say, “there’s the end of our film”.
‘We were going to do it out in the woods, instead I went to see Sacha in hospital and thank God she was well enough to talk to me.
‘The inquest is still going on about the mid-air collision, so I have nothing more to report on that. But she has been as brave as a lion and I think she will come through this. It’s been scarring for everybody, particularly for Dan’s family.’
Sacha will be in hospital for ‘a while yet’ and is still recovering from the ordeal – but details of her injuries have not been publicly shared.
Ruth Pilbeam, a project manager for Round Britain Climate Challenge, appeared in the GMB studio and confirmed that she is ‘feeling a lot brighter’.
Little else is known about the accident, with a statement from Conservation Without Borders explaining it happened near Loch Na Gainmhich.
‘We are very sorry to have to confirm that Dan Burton, the support paramotorist has died as a result of the accident,’ it read.
‘Sacha Dench is seriously injured and is being treated in hospital. Her injuries are serious but not life-threatening.
‘Both highly experienced paramotorists, our thoughts are with the family of Dan Burton to whom we offer our sincere condolences.
‘The incident was attended by police and medics and enquiries are underway to establish the details of the accident.’
Joanna Lumley and the Human Swan airs tonight at 9pm on ITV, while Good Morning Britain continues on weekdays at 6am.
Credit: Original article published here.