EUROPE’S biggest trailer maker is taking a lead role in a new prime-time TV series in which celebrities learn the art of sheepdog trialling.
The eight-part ITV series, called Flockstars and hosted by Gabby Logan, sees eight famous faces, under the guidance of three expert mentors, pitting their new-found skills against one another.
The show is being screened on Thursday evenings at 8.30pm (from July 30) and the 14ft livestock trailer from Ifor Williams Trailers takes centre stage at the beginning of each episode.
Among those having a go are Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendon Cole, who is more used to Cha Cha Cha than Baa Baa Baa.
Other celebrities showing some fancy footwork include national treasure Tony Blackburn who’s been a DJ for over 50 years, former Eternal singer Kelle Bryan and multi-MOBO award-winning Fazer aka Richard Rawson from the band N-DUBZ.
They are joined by Birds of a Feather actress Lesley Joseph, TV property presenter Amanda Lamb, 10-time paralympic gold medallist Lee Pearson and acclaimed actress Coronation Street star Wendi Peters who played Cilla Battersby-Brown.
On hand to take delivery of it when it arrived for the start of filming was Ioan Doyle, from Bethesda, in Gwynedd.
Ioan, who’s known as TV’s Climbing Shepherd, was one of the programme’s three resident instructors.
After spending six intensive weeks learning the craft, the team of Flockstars, along with their professional sheepdogs, come together to test their flocking skills in front of a live audience.
Faced with the daunting prospect of flocking sheep and poultry against the clock, the celebs battle it out over a series of classic trails to become the champion Flockstar.
Andy Reece-Jones, the Design Engineering Manager, was looking forward to seeing how the celebrities get on.
He said: “I’m guessing the celebrities will be totally out of their comfort zone so I am sure it will make for really entertaining viewing. Let’s hope they’re not looking too sheepish by the end of the process.”
Ioan Doyle also starred in the S4C film “Defaid Dringo” – in English, Sheep and Climbing.
Ioan, 25, said: “I was mentor to two of the celebrities, Tony Blackburn and Fazer from N-DUBZ, on Flockstars and the whole thing was a fantastic experience.
“It was great to have the chance to showcase countryside skills to the celebrities and the public so they can hopefully appreciate our lifestyle and how good things are for us.
“From my work with livestock I’m very familiar with Ifor Williams trailers. Everyone around where I am uses them because I don’t think there’s a better trailer.
“The trailer we borrowed was very important to us during filming as it allowed us to release the sheep into the arena in a good and clear manner.
“It was brilliant to work alongside the celebrities and to see how they managed to bond with the animals despite being well out of their comfort zones.”
Claire Judge, an assistant producer with television production company Liberty Bell which is making Flockstars, said: “We make a range of factual and factual entertainment programmes for the major UK broadcasters.
“Flockstars, which we made for ITV, has seen eight celebrities train as sheepdog handlers and compete in a studio at the end.
“For the studio element of the show we were in need of a small livestock trailer which will be prominent on screen.
“The idea is that the sheep will be contained within the trailer between each round and released directly into the arena from the trailer.
“Our professional shepherds highly recommended Ifor Williams as a reputable company who make quality trailers, which is why we were delighted to be offered the temporary use of one of their livestock trailers, kindly supplied by John Page Trailers.”
She added: “Filming went very well and it was a real challenge for our team of celebrities who all did very well.
“The Ifor Williams trailer definitely plays an essential role in the production and can be seen at the beginning of each trial.
“We’re very grateful to Ifor Williams Trailers for allowing us to use it in what promises to be a really exciting show.”