When Titanic launched in May 1911 it was a triumph for two ambitious men – Lord William Pirrie and his chief naval architect and nephew Thomas Andrews. Now as we reach 100 years since the liner sank, UTV looks at Titanic’s missing link in a never before told story on TV.
Michael Wilson, Managing Director UTV says, “This programme gives a fascinating insight into the family behind Titanic who have decided now after 100 years to talk about the ship and the amazing achievement it was for their family.
“This story has never been told before and it is one which I believe will capture the imaginations of our viewers.”
Last Spring the Pirrie and Andrews families gathered quietly in Belfast on the eve of the centenary to remember all who lost their lives in 1912 and in particular to remember their uncle and cousin Thomas Andrews breaking a longstanding family silence over the ship. A UTV documentary team were there to capture the moment for Titanic – The Missing Link.
“About four years ago I met one of the Pirrie family at the old Harland and Wolff drawing offices and she told me about the reunion planned for May 2011. I knew right away it would make a wonderful story. We worked closely with the extended family to make sure their story was told properly and accurately. It is an untold story of Titanic.” adds Co-producer, Susie Millar.
The documentary, which will air on ITV in Northern Ireland, captures the family’s exploration of their history including a visit to the former Pirrie residence in London where the deal with the White Star Line was sealed. The film also journeys back in time to a whitewashed cottage on the west coast of Scotland, where the story of Titanic really began. Titanic – The Missing Link reveals exclusive access to the family archives including a never seen before image of Titanic.
Clare Delargy, co-producer concludes “I realised as soon as I heard about this story how important it was to record it not just for Belfast but for the history of Titanic. As a family the Pirrie’s had never before spoken about their involvement in the construction of the ship nor about the subsequent tragedy.
“When they met last May it was a very rare opportunity to hear another side of Titanic’s story from those who were closest to it. This story represents a very important piece of our history at a time when we led the world with our ship engineering. It was a privilege for my co- producer Susie Millar and me to make this documentary and work with the Pirrie family.”
Titanic – The Missing Link airs on UTV this Sunday 15th April at 10pm. The ITV drama Titanic continues an hour earlier at 9pm across the whole ITV network.