The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Bonnie Davidson
The Courier 

The British Were Coming!

TV Produces Look Around For Interesting Characters, The 'Spirit Of Glasgow'


Bonnie Davidson / The Courier

Michelle Crowther, a television series producer, takes in the view and takes a few photos with her phone as local rancher Lee Cornwell shows her the land and tells her a little of the history of not only his family, but of Valley County on Saturday, April 18. Crowther was scouting out the area for possible filming in the early fall with famous Scottish comedian Billy Connolly.

A couple of unusual visitors made their rounds around the area this weekend. They were fairly inconspicuous, but their accents were a dead giveaway to anyone who came across them.

Michelle Crowther, a series producer from London, made a call a few weeks ago to see what interesting things might be around Glasgow and what kind of interesting characters might be lurking. Her mission was to scout out the trip that would be made across America on Amtrak by famous Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. The series will be called "Tracks Across America."

Crowther said that Connolly loves America and trains and that seeing the landscapes and coastal routes along the train track. As Connolly was raised in Glasgow, Scotland, the stop here in Glasgow, Montana, seems logical. Crowther said before her visit that she hoped to find the "spirit of Glasgow" while in town. While the official stop isn't fully set yet, they spent close to two days visiting businesses and locals this past weekend.

This reporter introduced the pair, Crowther and producer and film photographer Michael Reilly, to Saint Marie on their first night. Michael was overly impressed by the sunset he was able to film and some of the eerie empty buildings of Saint Marie. They were able to make a stop at Sam's Super Club and the Montana Bar on Friday night, where they did bump into a few locals. But their jet lag got the best of them and they called it a night.

They were to only stay Friday night, but after losing a wallet and wanting to film some of the trains passing by, as well as delays with Amtrak, they ended up staying an extra day. That extra day gave them enough time to also meet up with local rancher Lee Cornwell. While Reilly went on to film the passing trains, Crowther got to take a tour of some of the Cornwell lands, as well as the lands they graze or lease. That expedition was more of what Crowther was looking for.

Cornwell took some of the unmarked paths and nearly took out a bumper after jumping a creek bed. After a quick stop to check the bumper, he continued onward to a point where the view into Canada could be seen.

Crowther commented several times on always wanting to see the landscape of the area and she was able to ask a lot of questions about the ranching business, wildlife and get a feel of what the area was like.

There wasn't much time after the expedition out to the ranch, as the producers were taken out to Fort Peck to see the dam and film another amazing sunset. They were also lucky enough to spot some Bald Eagles and the bison. Their last stop was the Gateway.

The pair left on Sunday and were headed towards Washington. Luckily Crowther's wallet was recovered at Sam's Super Club, but some of the cash in the wallet was not recovered. Crowther said she plans to visit again in July to follow up with a few more locals and continue to gather more information.

Filming on the series will begin late August and early September. She had hopes of seeing the pipers at homecoming, but the timing might not work out with filming.

Connolly previously had a series where he went across America on Route 66 by trike and made stops visiting different locations and people. He won Best Presenter at the Royal Television Awards for that last travelogue series and it was one of the highest rated television seriers that year.


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