Fred Dibnah DVD to relive television highs

Fred Dibnah

The late Fred Dibnah is to be celebrated with a DVD release of some of his early television appearances.

With his specs, cloth cap and infectious toothy grin, Bolton born steeplejack Fred Dibnah was instantly recognisable. He burst onto TV screens in 1978 blithely repairing Bolton’s town hall clock at the dizzying height of some 250 feet and quickly found a place in the nation’s heart, becoming a familiar face on TV for many years. Now some of Fred’s most famous programmes can be enjoyed again thanks to the forthcoming DVD release from Simply Media.

Following that first local news report, the BBC commissioned the BAFTA winning 1980 documentary ‘Fred Dibnah: Steeplejack’, which showed him demolishing giant factory chimneys with ease and casually hopping across the chimney tops with death-defying agility.

After that, eight 30-minute programmes were made, exploring Fred’s eccentric life as a steeplejack and steam tractor fanatic, and now for the first time together on DVD, the eight episode 1982 BBC television series ‘Fred’ arrives alongside ‘Fred Dibnah: Steeplejack’.

In Fred, director by Don Haworth caught Dibnah at great heights doing what he does best – and filmed him far below. Driving his favourite steamroller Betsy, soon the man with two very Victorian tastes became a television star just for being himself, long before the days of reality TV.

With the world literally at his feet, Fred was much in demand as a television presenter and after-dinner speaker on industrial history and all things mechanical – and especially anything related to his overriding passion: steamrollers – he even arrived on one to collect his MBE from Buckingham Palace.

Step into the fascinating life of national treasure, Fred Dibnah in this fantastic collection of his first ever appearances on TV in Fred, available on DVD for the very first time on the 23rd of May 2016.

RRP: £24.99

One comment

  • Edward Stobbart

    Fred, a real person who became famous through his skill.

    How times change! We now have real people on TV being fake with no talent these days. I’ll enjoy this trip back to television past with the great Mr Dibnah.