AN ASTRONAUT has taken flight over Yorkshire with a York-based hot air balloon company to film for a new TV series.

Tim Peake, who was the first British astronaut to live on the International Space Station, took flight over the county with Yorkshire Balloon Flights back in May to film for a new TV show called 'Secrets of our Universe' - which is set to air on Channel 5.

Oliver Webb, chief pilot and owner of Yorkshire Balloon Flights, flew the balloon for the flight, which set off from York Racecourse on the day.

Oliver said: "We were contacted by a production company, who asked if we would be able to take Tim and a production crew up above Yorkshire. We jumped at the opportunity - we thought it would be a great thing to do.

York Press: Tim Peake and Oliver Webb after the balloon flight over YorkTim Peake and Oliver Webb after the balloon flight over York (Image: Yorkshire Balloon Flights)

"It was a surreal experience meeting Tim. He was a really down to earth guy - if you'll pardon the pun.

"It was really cool to talk to him about space, but he also asked me a lot of questions on hot air balloons - he seemed really interested.

"It was quite a relaxed flight, but also very professional as we discussed both balloon flights and space.

"He was really nice and chatty. I'd never met an astronaut before, so it was a great experience."

The balloon set off from the racecourse one morning in mid-May with "great flying weather". It was in the air for an hour and a half for filming before landing just to the east of Elvington.

York Press: Dr Jen Gupta and Tim Peake discuss space during the flightDr Jen Gupta and Tim Peake discuss space during the flight (Image: Yorkshire Balloon Flights)

During the flight, there were seven people on board, including pilot Oliver, Tim, a camera man and producers. Also on board was astronomer Dr Jen Gupta, who spoke with Tim about how the weather on planet earth could one day have been similar on other planets in the solar system.

The 'Secrets of our Universe' programmes airs for the first time on Tuesday September 19 at 9pm - and Oliver said he believes the scene in their hot air balloon will feature on this episode.

The chief pilot said he is looking forward to seeing the show on Tuesday and said it was "such a pleasure" to be a part of the whole experience.

During the new series, Tim will explore three subjects - the planets, stars and black holes and space missions.

A former Apache helicopter pilot, Tim is the first British ESA astronaut, the second astronaut to bear a flag of the United Kingdom patch, the sixth person born in the United Kingdom to go on board the International Space Station and the seventh UK-born person in space.