BBC Three Counties Radio breakfast host Andy Collins has celebrated his 30th anniversary of leaving the Royal Navy by broadcasting his show live from the bridge of HMS St. Albans.
HMS St Albans is a Type 23 frigate based out of Portsmouth. She’s an active on-duty warship sailed by a crew of 200.
The live breakfast broadcast also coincided with the announcement from the MOD that HMS St. Albans will be playing a leading role in the D-Day 75 anniversary remembrance celebrations.
On Wednesday 5 June over 300 veterans will sail from Portsmouth on a Royal British Legion chartered ship. As the vessel departs Portsmouth, HMS St. Albans will escort her to sea and pay its respects with a gun salute.
BBC presenter Andy Collins served on HMS Bicester, a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel but left the Navy in 1989 for a career in entertainment.
The BBC team spent two days on-board the ship broadcasting from the engine room, kitchens, mess and operations room.
They met and interviewed crew from Beds, Herts & Bucks along with sailors whose family had been involved in D-Day. The aim of the programme was to give listeners a flavour of life on board and to find out why the warship bears the name of the Hertfordshire city.
Andy Collins said: “It’s been thirty years since I’ve been on-board a warship and have to thank Commander John Cromie for allowing us on-board. His crew have made us feel very welcome and shown us what life is truly like in the Royal Navy. I’m sure it’s not every day on HMS St. Albans that they build a radio studio on the ships bridge”.