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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Bridge not under threat, pet
Auf Weidersehen Pet cast and the Transporter Bridge
Oz, Dennis and the lads plot to pull down the bridge
Middlesbrough Council has received calls from people worried that the town's famous Transporter Bridge is being pulled down - because of watching the BBC's Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

Producers have used computer effects to show the bridge being torn down by the Geordie builders in the Sunday night comedy-drama.

And some people have even offered to support campaigns to save the Cleveland landmark.

Ian Stubbs from Middlesbrough Museum told BBC Radio Newcastle he was not surprised at the reaction.


It's attracted an awful lot of attention, which we are delighted about

Middlesbrough Council spokesman

"We've always known it [the bridge] was popular," he said.

"It appeared in Billy Elliot and now Auf Wiedersehen Pet and people have been coming to see it since that.

"People are coming from all over the world... we had a couple come from Los Angeles after seeing it on Billy Elliot."

In the cult comedy on BBC One - which has returned to television screens after a 16 year break - Oz, Dennis and the rest of the lads are contracted to dismantle the bridge and take it to Arizona in America.

A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council said they had recieved calls from people worried that the famous landmark really had been removed.

Largest bridge

He said: "We have had a number of calls and there has been a lot of speculation about the future of the bridge.

"It's attracted an awful lot of attention, which we are delighted about, but we're equally delighted to be able to tell people it's not coming down."

The bridge - built in 1911 - is only one of two still working in the UK.

At 850ft long and 225ft high at the tallest point, it is the largest of its kind in the world.

Two hundred people, or six cars, can be carried across the River Tees in about 90 seconds by the travelling 'car' - or 'gondola' - which is suspended on a platform and pulled by two cables

'Quite flattering'

The other working example is in Newport, Gwent, and carries vehicles over the River Usk.

Mr Stubbs added: "Even the people in Newport sent us an email to say they were willing to support a save the Transporter Bridge campaign.

"[They're afraid] they could be next."

A BBC spokeswoman said today: "The quality of the graphics is superb and it's quite flattering that people really think the bridge is going to America.

"But people can be assured we would never dismantle such a high-profile landmark and the bridge is not going anywhere."


Click here to go to BBC Tees

Click here to go to Tyne
See also:

29 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Auf Wiedersehen Pet is ratings hit
27 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Pet boys fête TV return
13 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Cameras roll for new Auf Wiedersehen
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