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News Story - Plumbers and Penguins - update on BAS recruits, employed after the 2009 public recruitment drive for tradespeople

Date: 13 Dec 2010

In the summer of 2009, British Antarctic Survey very publicly recruited 43 plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, electricians, chefs and doctors to spend 18 months working on their most southerly research stations – promising “the most exhilarating experience of a lifetime”. Every media outlet covered the recruitment campaign.

Now, for the first time, we track what actually happened to some of the new recruits. 'Plumbers and Penguins’, produced by BBC broadcaster Chris Eldon Lee follows the extraordinary journey undertaken by Mark Green, a 48-year-old plumber from Bristol, and Claire Lehman, a 30-year-old GP from Wiltshire, as they spend 18 months working for the British Antarctic Survey in some of the most inhospitable conditions on Earth. In temperatures of -50°C, Mark and Claire have to adapt their current skills and learn new ones in order to help keep their research stations going, which can mean anything from refuelling aircraft to baking Christmas cakes for Antarctica’s research teams. The programme can be heard on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 27 December 2010 at 11.02am and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for the following seven days.

Trades jobs available for next year's Antarctic season will be online mid January at