25th September 2018
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Norwegian film crew in town for TV series

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A couple of Norwegian adventurers made a stop in Lerwick on Wednesday and Thursday to record part of their TV series Fjorden Cowboys.

Joar Førde and Leif Einar “Lothepus”Lothe are a pair of manual workers who double as stars of the TV series which traces their loosely planned outdoor adventures in the style of a politically incorrect Ray Mears or Bear Grylls.

Norwegians_3-K2000Fjorden Cowboys is the flagship show on Zebra – the “macho channel” offshoot of Bergen based TV2, Norway’s largest commercial TV station.

The pair had planned to travel to Faroe as part of a larger expedition to Iceland and ultimately Greenland, but changed their destination From Faroe to Lerwick owing to the weather. Lothepus travelled with most of the crew on the converted fishing boat Lortebaljo Hovda, which was tied up at the small boat harbour, while Joar flew across on Wednesday with champion aerobatic and precision pilot Håkon Fosse, who had to return to Norway on Friday to take part in a competition.

Joar, who maintains Bergen’s sewer system as his day job, and Håkon found themselves billeted with Lerwick couple Christine and Dennis Geldard. As part of the show, a fire pit was dug in the Geldards’ lawn and fuelled with “Up-Helly A’ torchwood”, before stones and a foil-wrapped, quartered lamb were buried on top of the embers to recreate one of the most common traditional methods of cooking around the world.

Lothepus, a 360 degree digger operator and blasting expert, had the more onerous task of sorting out various mechanical and electrical problems on the Lortebaljo Hovda, which surfaced on her trip from Norway. These will form part of the challenges faced by the adventurers as they continue north.

Norwegians_4-K2000Director Geir Kreken had to cut short his stay in Shetland to attend a festival in Canada where Fjorden Cowboys is nominated for an award.

Mrs Geldard, the “sheeplink person” for the expedition, was alerted to the requirement for a Shetland lamb when she got a call from her friend Per Christian Kjepso, who was part of the crew of Lortebaljo Hovda. Later she got a call from Joar explaining the requirement for a garden firepit as part of the film series adventures.

The Geldard’s met Per Christian around 20 years ago when they sailed from Norway to Shetland at the same time in their yachts. Since then there have been many visits back and fore between the Geldards and Per Christian’s family.

Mrs Geldard said: “They are just up for fun. They are so adventurous and we always have fun when we meet up with them.”

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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