Britain’s Storm Eunice becomes Big Jet TV Heathrow Planespotter’s new star – Deadline
The spectacle of Britain’s Storm Eunice created an all-new star of British broadcasting on Friday, in the form of an exuberant glider perched near the perimeter of Heathrow Airport.
Thousands of people tuned in to Big Jet TV on YouTube, where aviation enthusiast Jerry Dyer tirelessly commented on more than six hours of footage as pilots took turns battling 120mph winds and getting their planes to safety on the tarmac of Heathrow’s south runway in west London.
Those tuning in could hear Dyer deliver a very personal commentary, punctuated with phrases such as “Go ahead, son” and “Bosh, get off mate” as the planes touched down. As an Aeroflot plane appeared in the sky, it shouted, “Here come the Russians,” a phrase that quickly began spreading on Twitter.
At the height of the lunchtime storm, more than 200,000 viewers tuned into Big Jet TV instead of national television and radio stations. Meanwhile, reporters from those stations lined up to interview Dyer, who could be heard negotiating hours to speak to different broadcasters between comments.
Dyer has run his channel since 2016. Subscribers pay around £4 a month to watch two live shows a week and listen to commentary from airports in the UK and Europe.
The worst of Storm Eunice had died down by the end of the day, although early estimates of the cost of its damage – including a huge hole torn in the roof of London’s O2 arena – pegged it around of £500 million. Four people have been confirmed to have died in one of the worst storms to hit the UK in decades, with thousands of homeowners without power across the country.