BBC comes to Cooma to see Tractor Bill

Well-known Cooma tractor collector Bill Shanley has caught the eye of a children's British television show who paid him a visit recently.

A CBBC (Children's BBC) television crew travelled to Mr Shanley's property at Bunyan to film some of his rare and antique collection of tractors.

The CBBC crew, from Scotland and are in Australia for a children's program, filming the unusual and unique.

BBC researcher Mark Young said the eight person crew have filmed in every state in Australia and are here for three months.

"The program will show children in the UK the breadth of activities in Australia," Mr Young said.

"We are a comedy travelogue, a fun and fact-filled travelogue about things and places that kids in the UK would not have heard of.

"We have been to a sheep shearing camp in Western Australia, Coober Pedy in South Australia, gold diggings in Tasmania, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, a Greek festival in Townsville, Surfers Paradise for a surf boat competition, finishing with the whale festival in Eden.

"We film a collector in each episode. Bill has about 117 rare, unusual, old and famous tractors, so we chose him," Mr Young said.

After showing the crew around his collection, Mr Shanley gave the two young BBC presenters , Ed Petrie and Iain Stirling a quick lesson on how to drive a couple of the tractors around some witches hats on a Lucerne flat.

Mr Shanley said the whole thing was a bit of fun with the presenters getting up to some high jinks and silliness, fortunately without mishap on the tractors.

The program goes to air in England in February or March next year.

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