THEY took some hunting down – but in the end it was worth it.

Actors Prunella Scales and Timothy West were rumoured to be filming a new programme in their Great Canal Journeys TV series, taking in the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, but they proved hard to find.

Eventually our photographer Peter Williams caught up with them near Brynich Lock and despite having already put in a hard day’s work on their barge, the husband-and-wife team showed they were true professionals by coming up on to the boat’s deck to pose for photographs.

And still their day’s work was far from over as when they got to their journey’s end – the canal basin next to Brecon’s Theatr Brycheiniog – they were met and serenaded by the Aberhonddu Male Voice Choir who had been summoned for the occasion.

In fact Timothy West showed he was a good sport and a more than passable chorister himself, despite being aged 82, by joining in a verse of Cwm Rhondda. The choir sang three other well-known pieces – Nant y Mynydd, Calon Lan and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau – as the crew filmed a piece to camera to go in the series.

A bystander who didn’t want to be named said the evening had been a real triumph for the choir. They said: “They’d only just come back from appearing at the Fifth International Choir Festival in Ribe, Denmark, and to come here after that was a great moment for them. There were a lot of people out at the basin that night because the Theatr had opened its pop-up cafe while they carry out refurbishments to the cafe. It made for a great atmosphere and it was wonderful to have Tim and Prunella joining in.”

The filming of Great Canal Journeys on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal was clearly meant to be a big secret. After pictures emerged of the Aberhonddu Male Voice Choir serenading Prunella and Tim, a member of the choir got in touch to say they couldn’t be used because the choir had been required to sign a disclaimer barring any pictures of the event or official comments from the choir appearing in the press.

The bystander added: “Timothy and Prunella were really friendly and despite their long day did everything that was asked of them. They even said that the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal was one of the most beautiful canal journeys they had undertaken.”

The couple had spent much of the previous day filming at the Bookish book shop in Crickhowell High Street, while the B&R’s editor had unwittingly sent photographer Peter out on a wild goose chase looking for their barge after a tip-off that their boat was moored up at Llangynidr. It came after a member of the public informed the paper that a barge had been hired from Dragonfly Cruises in Brecon by the Channel 4 film crew that makes the series for a stint of five days.

The couple then spent the night enjoying the fine facilities and surroundings at the Manor Hotel in the shadow of the Black Mountains.

Earlier in the week the Great Canal Journeys team had spent a day filming at the Goose and Cuckoo pub in Llanover, near Abergavenny.

The route along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal was chosen by the hosts for the seventh instalment of the Channel 4 series, which is expected to appear on Britain’s TV screens later this year.