Entries by James Holland

Dam Busters Film Nearly Done

It’s been a pretty full-on couple of weeks – filming finished and then into the edit, which takes way longer than you might imagine.  I’ve been up at Maya Vision’s offices for the past fortnight on-and-off, and we’ve had a number of very late nights, although no-one has worked harder than our brilliant director, Aaron […]

Flight of a Lifetime

Yesterday, a long-held dream finally came true: I flew in a Spitfire.   It was truly, absolute, fabulously incredible, but then of course it was; that goes without saying.  Even now, a day on, I still can’t quite believe I’ve actually flown in a Spitfire.  No, that I’ve FLOWN a Spitfire…

With Carlo’s Beech 18 Over the Dams

Don’t get me wrong, filming is great fun, but it’s also extremely draining and can be slightly stressful too. We’ve got a much better budget for this one than we did for the Battle of Britain, but even so, it’s still not a large amount, which means that if we plan a week’s filming in […]

Not Bad Going for a Sixty-Two Year-Old

Last year, we used my 1949 Paris-built Citroen 11B during the filming of a documentary on the Battle of Britain for BBC 2. Right now, I’m in the middle of making another film, this time about the Dambusters Raid, and once again, my litle old motor has been pressed into service. Actually, I’ve been using […]

Zeppelin II Over Wiltshire?

I was talking with a neighbour of mine the other day who has lived here in the Chalke Valley all his 75+ years, when suddenly he said, “Did you know that the Graf Zeppelin II flew down this valley just before the war?”  Well, obviously, I had to confess I did not know that.  The […]

Recreating Wartime Cairo

It’s been quite strange spending so much time writing about Cairo when potentially great events are taking place there now.  Of course, modern Cairo is a very, very different place.  In 1942, which is when the new Jack Tanner novel is set, the city had a population of 2.4 million. Today, it’s knocking on for […]

Jack Tanner – Book 4

I’ve been a bit remiss recently in adding material to the site, for which many apologies.  I’ve got a bit to put on now, though, so over the next few days there should be various bits and pieces, not least the long promised transcription of my interview with Les Munro, which is now in.  I […]

George Pickering and the SS Fighter

I had an interesting encounter yesterday.  Jenny Sherborne, a near-neighbour of mine, lives in the village of Rockbourne and got in touch a couple of weeks ago to tell me about her father, George Pickering, who had been one of the test pilots for Supermarine.  She still had all his old logbooks, she told me, […]

Gunnar Sonsteby – Norwegian Hero

I’ve just got back from Oslo, where my first Jack Tanner novel, The Odin Mission, has just been published, and while I was there I got to meet Gunnar Sonsteby, who for those of you who don’t know of him, is the Norway’s most famous and most decorated war hero.  Not only was Gunnar involved […]

Les Munro – Hero of 617 Squadron

I’ve just been to New Zealand to interview the last surviving Dams Raid pilot, Les Munro, who although 91, is fit, well, and with a mind as sharp as ever.  From a humble background growing up on a sheep farm in north-east New Zealand, Les went on to become a highly successful – not to […]

Battle of Britain – The Real Story

For those who are worried that I might have dumbed down too much for the documentary I’ve got out next week, I can assure you I haven’t.  Fortunately, I have not been forced to repeat what I’ve already said in the previous fifteen minutes, and you’ll also be pleased to know that I don’t get […]