In March 1999, Peter Firstbrook led a BBC filming team to the North face of Everest. The objective was to find evidence of George Mallory’s unsuccessful attempt on the summit, 75 years after the death of Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine. There was every chance that the climbing team would find nothing – at best, they hoped to find the body of Irvine, which was thought to have been seen below the summit. After 2 months of preparation and climbing, the high altitude team made one of the greatest discoveries in climbing history – they found the body of George Mallory himself, still with a box of matches in his pocket, a rusty pair of scissors, and an unpaid bill for a pair of gloves. The story made front-page headlines around the world and the resulting documentary set a new record for sales at the BBC.
‘Lost on Everest is set to become the BBC's most commercially successful single documentary, following a raft of international distribution and publishing deals worth an estimated £350,000 by BBC Worldwide.’
Broadcast Magazine, 10 December 1999
Copyright © Peter Firstbrook 2014