Brit Rock Film Tour 2021

A few months back I had a message out of the blue from Alastair Lee. Through his company Posing Productions he’s responsible for the Brit Rock Film Tour, showcasing his fantastic cinematic films. This year’s line-up includes several characters that will be familiar to Factor Two listeners.

Al wanted to use a few clips from the episode with Franco Cookson to illustrate some parts of the film Fall Theory. That turned into a slightly bigger job of rewriting and narrating part of the film. It’s a ludicrous folly of Franco, and understudy Tom Pearce, demonstrating very different personalities taking on some really dangerous ascents. I’m really chuffed to have been asked to get involved in this.

Here’s the trailer:

Factor Two episodes

Living in the Shadows

This one examined Franco Cookson’s origin story. He’s an unusual climber in lots of ways, not least that he’s still really into danger. Here we talked through some of his key ascents and the effect that the death of an early mentor had on him when he was just 16.

Deep Play

Neil Gresham was one of my original climbing heroes. With ascents of Indian Face, Equilibrium and Meshuga he showed real dedication to bold climbing, but he’s also pushed the boundaries in winter, sport and deep water soloing. In this episode I talked with clinical psychologist Dr Rebecca Williams and Neil about dealing with fear. What effect does it have? Why might we be drawn to it? And why is mastering it such a powerful experience?

No More Worlds

Leo Houlding has pushed hard on adventurous routes from a young age. Reading about his ascent of El Niño, with Patch Hammond, back in the 90s brought a world of commitment to my early ideas about climbing. In this episode we talked about that ascent. What made them have such belief in themselves? When you’ve pushed so hard, with such success, where do you go next? I thought that Leo lay somewhere between Alexander the Great, who famously had no more worlds to conquer from an early age, and Diogenes, who famously had no respect for Alexander’s authority.

There’s no interview with Pete Whittaker yet, maybe we’ll do one someday. You can hear an interview with him and sidekick Tom Randall on Niall Grimes’s Jam Crack.

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