Firm comes to rescue of movie star

By Annie DavidsonA COMPANY from Essex rushed to the rescue of Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor just days before he set off on an adventurous round-the-world motorbike ride.

By Annie Davidson

A COMPANY from Essex rushed to the rescue of movie star Ewan McGregor just days before he set off on an adventurous round-the-world motorbike ride.

Parkeston-based TBR UK was called upon to help equip two four-wheel-drive vehicles that were being used as support trucks for the trip.

McGregor, star of Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge, and his friend and fellow actor, Charley Boorman, set off on motorbikes from London in April and arrived in New York three months later having travelled through Europe and countries including Slovakia, Mangolia, Siberia and Ukraine.

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The pair were joined by a film crew and their epic journey, called Long Way Round, is currently being shown on Sky TV.

Chris Hill, who works for TBR UK, based on Phoenix Industrial Park, said it had been contacted on Good Friday just four days before the expedition was due to start.

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McGregor and Boorman had been offered two vehicles by a company, but the offer fell through and Mitsubishi stepped in with a L200 and a V60 Shogun Warrier.

However, the vehicles were not equipped with roof racks, winches or other vital equipment.

Mr Hill, of Plummers Road, Fordham, said the parts could not be found in the UK, but they had tracked them down to the main TBR factory in Kulmbach in Germany.

He and a colleague drove to the factory over the Easter weekend to collect the parts and bring them back to Parkeston. The work was then carried out on the vehicles to get them ready in time for the actors' trip.

Mr Hill, 39, said he was “very proud to have been involved” in getting the vehicles ready and had been invited to a party after the trip to raise money for the charity Unicef.

He mingled with stars, including Hugh Grant, and saw McGregor's motorbike auctioned off for £85,000. In total the evening raised £200,000 for Unicef.

Mr Hill donated the chance for someone to be a co-driver on a trip he is taking to Morocco next year and a woman won the bid after offering £6,500.

He will be doing the trip to test various equipment that TBR supplies, but also hopes to fundraise for Unicef at the same time.

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