BBC showcase for Northern Powergrid

April 16, 2020

A selection of staff at Northern Powergrid are to become the stars of a new BBC One documentary called “Night Force”.

The series, to be aired weekdays at 11.45am from Monday 6 April until 10 April, will follow the endeavours of essential service workers in a range of sectors, including electricity distribution.

Northern Powergrid’s employees are set to feature in the 16 April edition of the show, when the programme makers focus on the critical role played by the DNO’s employees in maintaining power suppliers to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

In particular, the programme will focus on the unseen work that critical service workers – including those in sectors such as transport and highways maintenance as well as power – carry out overnight.

Northern Powergrid colleagues featured in the programme include first responder, Lenny Houghton, and dispatchers Anthony Patterson and Kenny Lee who mobilise Northern Powergrid’s teams to respond to any issues affecting the region’s power network.

The programme makers also spent time with Network Control Manager Paul Richardson looking at how the company manages its high voltage power network remotely, ensuring it operates safely every day and switching electricity through different routes to restore supplies for customers and enable essential maintenance work.

And contact centre advisors Reece Gray, Lesley Bradley and Reuben Drane are also recognised for their role helping customers who call 105 – the free number to call in a power cut – and reaching out to support customers on its free Priority Services Register to check they were okay.

Night Force was filmed independently by the BBC in November 2019. Reflecting on the critical role network key workers are currently undertaking to maintain power supplies during the coronavirus outbreak, Andy Bilclough, Northern Powergrid’s director of field operations, says:  “The programme comes at a time when everyone – from the front line to our non-operational colleagues – is working as one team to fulfil our responsibility to manage critical infrastructure that power customers’ homes, hospitals and supermarkets across the region during the Coronavirus pandemic.  I hope the programme helps recognise some of the excellent work our people do to support our customers and the communities we serve.”

Northern Powergrid, which is carrying out necessary works and repairs to keep its network safe and reliable for customers during the pandemic, is reminding people that they should only approach its teams in an emergency – and always maintain social distancing.