I received a note out of the blue from Jared Abrams, a cinematographer who has been working on a project related to tandem cycling. He went on to let me know the series is called “Take A Seat” and it will begin to air on NBC Universal Sports Oct 1st at 8:00 p.m. est. From his note, “The premise of the show is about a man who rides a tandem bicycle through Egypt, meeting strangers and asking them to help him peddle to his destination.”
Interestingly enough, Dominic Gill’s name was not new to us. We discovered Dominic back in 2008 after he had completed a similar tour and posted out the following item with a link to a news item and his early website.
Aug 21 - Tandem Folks in the News / Manchester Evening News, UK: 26-year old Dominic Gill of Oldham, England, rode from Alaska to southern most tip of Chile… some 20,000 miles, in an effort to raise more than £5,000 for the Hope And Homes For Children charity which helps orphaned, vulnerable and abandoned children in Europe and Africa. Traveling through 15 countries on his tandem, Gill had more than 500 “guest stokers” along the way on his two year journey.
Dominic’s web presence and projects have grown by leaps and bounds since then, earning mentions in the US mainstream media and various other information outlets. You can find a really neat intro piece that he has posted on his blog here: http://cargocollective.com/dominicgill/Showreel
Jared also shared some additional information on the show from a press release as well as a link to the trailer. So, as a more detailed introduction, here is the prerequisite “about” paragraph that comes at the end of press releases that explains more about the “Take a Seat” series:
Take A Seat is a tandem bicycle touring project created by adventurer and independent film maker Dominic Gill who shares his experiences through his award-winning documentaries. Since 2005, Gill has taken his tandem to over 20 countries picking up secondary riders spontaneously as he goes. The concept combines the beauty of bike touring with the new element of using a tandem bicycle as a means of getting to know the people and the places Gill visits. By inviting locals to take up his rear seat and help pedal, Dominic is able to take cultural immersion to the next level. He creates intimate relationships with perfect strangers whom he has met only moments before on a street corner or in a bar, and who dare to act as an authentic tour guide ready to help him take on his adventures. To learn more, visit TakeASeat.org.
And, for those who’d like to read a bit more and make a note of the viewing times (assuming you have Universal Sports on your TV viewing options), well…. here you go:
Take A Seat: Egpyt Premieres Monday, October 1st, on Universal Sports Network
Original Documentary Series Is Cornerstone of Network’s “Adventure Mondays” Block this Fall
Adventurer Dominic Gill Embarks on a 2,500 Mile Tandem Bicycle Journey During Egpyt’s Revolution
Los Angeles, CA (September 2012) – Universal Sports Network and Encompass Films are proud to announce its original adventure series, Take A Seat: Egypt, will premiere this Monday, October 1, at 8:00 PM ET. Take A Seat: Egypt (7 x 30 minutes) is a documentary series following the adventures of Dominic Gil on his tandem bicycle as he explores the country’s past, present and future with the help of six young Egyptians who all chose to “take a seat”.
A new episode of Take a Seat: Egypt will air every Monday at 8 PM ET through November 12th both on-air and online as part of Universal Sports’ popular “Adventure Mondays” Fall programming block. In addition to the original documentary series, viewers will enjoy programs featuring adventure races, cliff diving, long-distance cycling, ocean sports, rock climbing, mountaineering, ultra swimming, and more.
Take a Seat: Egypt follows British adventurer and independent filmmaker Dominic Gill, 31, as he explores the country of Egypt on a tandem bicycle during a pivotal time in the nation: the Egyptian Revolution. Gill begins his journey in June 2011 in Tahrir Square in Cairo with nothing more than a Co-Motion tandem, survival gear, camera equipment, and a dream to explore. On his 2,500-mile bicycle journey in temperatures upwards of 130 degrees, Gill is joined by six young Egyptians who chose to “take a seat” and go for a ride. In this no doors, no windows environment, his companions openly share their personal stories and reveal many facets of this ancient and changing country.
Take a Seat: Egypt takes us on a journey from present day city life in the midst of revolution in Cairo, to the landmarks of Egypt’s past, and even beyond the Bedoin villages. Gill and his companions covered various territories while exploring the country, starting in Cairo in Tahrir Square then venturing to Alexandria, the Mediterranean Coast, the Western Desert, down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, the Red Sea, and St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula before ending in Tahrir Square.
“As Universal Sports adds more original programming into our lineup, Take a Seat: Egypt sets a high bar of for the kind of adventure series our viewers are sure to identify with,” said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports. “Each of Dom’s companions has a unique background, and watching their stories unfold through the openness of the tandem provides a compelling and personal look at one of the world’s most current events.”
“Partnering with Universal Sports has given me an amazing opportunity to share this journey and the experiences of those who took a seat on my bicycle,” said Gill. “As an adventurer, I was excited for the challenge of cycling across the United States, but to be able to do it while helping others overcome adversities and break boundaries is an honor. I just provided the seat; Ernie and each of my companions provided the inspiration.”
Take A Seat: Egypt follows the award-winning 2011 documentary series Take a Seat: Sharing a Ride Across America from Universal Sports in association with Encompass Films. In this 10-episode series, Gill was joined by ten companions, all with a different physical disability, who took turns on Gill’s tandem cycling from Santa Monica to New York City to prove that determination triumphs over disability.
Universal Sports Network Broadcast Schedule: Take A Seat: Egypt
All Times ET – subject to change
Oct. 1 8 PM ET Episode 1: Take A Seat: Egypt – Introduction / Companion Ayman Shabrawy
Oct. 8 8 PM ET Episode 2: Take A Seat: Egypt – Companion Ayman Shabrawy
Oct. 15 8 PM ET Episode 3: Take A Seat: Egypt – Companions Osam El Deeb and “Mo”
Oct. 22 8 PM ET Episode 4: Take A Seat: Egypt – Companion Osam El Deeb
Oct. 29 8 PM ET Episode 5: Take A Seat: Egypt – Companion Ahmed Gamal
Nov. 5 8 PM ET Episode 6: Take A Seat: Egypt – Companion John Manoly
Nov. 12 8 PM ET Episode 7: Take A Seat: Egypt – Companion Jasmine El Defrawy
Our sincere thanks to Jared for sharing this information with us….