A new BBC Wales documentary series called “Cardiff Bay Lives” – which begins tomorrow night – features a number of familiar local faces and also alleged “rivalry” between competing pleasure boat operators on the normally-placid waters of the Bay.
Shown in head-to head competition are Ben Salter – skipper of the well known green-painted open pleasure boat Daffodil (which – for older film buffs – looks a bit like the “African Queen”, funnel and all) and the white passenger wheel-house launch “Lady Helen” operated by Chris DeBono.
Identifying the two rival boats is no problem: “Daffodil”, helpfully, has a bunch of the eponymous flowers affixed to her bow whereas Lady Helen is festooned with Welsh Dragon flags.
The “documentary” depicts the operators of the two boats purportedly squaring-up to each other as they compete to attract passengers, but in fact the programme – like most current BBC output – is stretching the truth more than somewhat.
Ben Salter says that in fact he and his alleged “rival” competitor Chris DeBono, get on very well together and even co-operate on some of their private- hire operations.
The real rivalry on Cardiff Bay – Ben says – is actually between the smaller boat operators [ Daffodil and Lady Helen] and the operators of much larger vessels . The “rivalry” shown in this BBC series is – it turns out – concocted purely for the cameras.
Also cropping up in the programme is Penarth’s Pizza Pronto proprietor Kevin Halborg – who has now opened a highly-successful offshoot of his expanding flat-bread pizza empire in Cardiff Bay .
The BBC TV “Cardiff Bay Lives” series begins tomorrow (Friday) night at 19:30 on BBC Wales . Viewers outside Wales will be able to see it later on-line on BBC iPlayer – and take it all with a pinch of salt.