Words Of Everest is new and exclusive to ITV, made by Shiver for ITV Studios. The programme is from the award winning ‘Words of…’ strand, an innovative and evocative way of bringing iconic events of the past to life, which has previously won the RTS Factual Education – Arts award.
“I suppose we go to Mount Everest because – in a word – we can’t help it. To refuse the adventure is to run the risk of drying up like a pea in its shell.” George Mallory
When Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Everest on 29th May 1953, his thoughts turned to a previous ‘failed’ attempt made 29 years earlier, which remained shrouded in mystery.
Marking the 60th anniversary of Hillary’s successful expedition, which was attempted as Coronation fever took hold in the lead up to the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II, this brand new documentary from ITV’s award-winning ‘Words of…’ strand brings to life the two stories, intertwined and retold side-by-side.
After Britain lost the race to both Poles, the word’s highest peak, Mount Everest was seen as the greatest remaining challenge on Earth. In 1924, intrepid British climbers, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappeared after being spotted just 800 yards from the summit. Twenty-nine years later, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay approached the same summit after a long and arduous journey, determined to claim their prize of being the first explorers to conquer the mountain.
The stories of these two expeditions are retold using the climbers’ own diaries and private letters read by actors including John Hannah, Jason Flemyng, Freddie Fox and Stephen Campbell Moore.
Their personal perspectives, delivered straight to camera by the cast, along with original archive film and pictures plus some reconstruction, provide a vivid insight into the motivations of the key figures, the decisions and sacrifices they made and the challenges they faced, as well as the profound emotional peaks and troughs they experienced in making their attempts to conquer Everest.
Words of Everest is new and exclusive to ITV, produced by Shiver. Tuesday 28th May at 10.35pm.