MAN of many voices Rory Bremner met his match when his new TV show saw him encounter a York sister act who took him on a tour of the city.
The top impressionist’s visit to York during his televised mission to find Britain’s best views saw him ride on a 1961 vintage London double-decker bus operated by Haxby-based tour company Yorkshire Belles – run by sisters Elaine Davies and Diane Seymour. He also strolled on the Bar Walls and enjoyed a pint in a haunted pub.
His York experience, which also took in New Earswick, will be shown on today’s episode of Rory Bremner’s Great British Views, and the finished version will be a surprise for Elaine and Diane – billed as “two fast-talking sisters” – as they see it for the first time.
“We didn’t realise we finish each other’s sentences until the producers told us afterwards,” said Diane, 58, from Huntington.
“ITV approached us last year and did a pilot episode, then contacted us again to say it was to become a show presented by Rory Bremner. He spent the day filming with us during October half-term and was really funny, but also not what you’d expect – he’s actually quite shy and didn’t do any impressions because he was more interested in what we were doing.”
Diane and Elaine’s father, Tommy Grayson, became York’s first tour guide in 1969, and the sisters took over the running of his firm after he fell ill in 1989. He died the following year.
Diane said: “He told us ‘don’t let my baby die with me’ – he would have been chuffed to bits that we’ve made it on to TV.
“It’s just great fun, we meet wonderful people from all over the world and have such a good laugh with them. It’s never boring and our accent gets them all the time.”
Rory Bremner’s Great British Views is on ITV1 at 2pm today. More information about Yorkshire Belles is at yorkshirebelles.co.uk.