A new BBC documentary on Donald Campbell

Written by Sandra. Posted in Publicity

On Sunday 31st of March, on BBC 2 at 8pm: 'Donald Campbell - Speedking'

"The film has a duration of 1 hour and uses rare archive and first hand testimony from those who knew him intimately, explores the life of Donald Campbell, one of Britain's most compelling sporting heroes. Despite his triumphs, setting several world speed records on land and water, he remained a haunted man. His father Sir Malcolm Campbell had been a prolific record-breaker in the 1920's and 30's but an indifferent parent and all his life Donald felt driven to emulate his father in his choice of profession.

Motorboat and Yachting Feature

Written by Neil. Posted in Publicity

Look out for the February edition of Motorboat and Yachting magazine. It has a 6 page article about the book including a number of monochrome and colour illustrations. I was very honoured when the editor Hugo Andreae asked me to write the feature back in November. With a readership of over 15,000, it will help introduce the Donald Campbell story to a whole new audience, as well as jogging the memory of its older readers who remember that fateful day at Coniston. It should be available from all good newsagents. 



Mail Online - Donald Campbell was NOT reckless

Written by Neil. Posted in Publicity

Experts say Bluebird simply could not withstand the speed
  • New book reveals the record-breaker unknowingly pushed boat to its limit
  • Relieved daughter pleased that research puts an end to 'silly rumours'


A new book has finally laid to rest conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Donald Campbell during a world speed record attempt more than 40 years ago.

Campbell was killed on Coniston Water in Cumbria in January 1967 when his Bluebird K7 flipped over while traveling at speeds of more than 300mph.

The horrific accident has been the subject of fevered speculation ever since.

To read the full article continue here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2047038/Donald-Campbell-acting-recklessly-Bluebird-crashed.html#ixzz1aVKCUq00

Independent - Bluebird' just could not take the speed

Written by Sandra. Posted in Publicity

It's a mystery that has obsessed many and been the subject of fevered speculation for nearly 45 years. Just why did the experienced world speed record holder Donald Campbell crash so spectacularly on a calm, cold day in January 1967?

Now a new book debunks every theory – from suicide to mystery manifestations in the water – that has grown up around the tragedy.

It was on Coniston Water in Cumbria that Bluebird K7 flipped over at over 300mph, killing Campbell.

The author, Neil Sheppard, claims in his book, Donald Campbell, Bluebird and the Final Record Attempt, that – far from being killed by recklessness or crossing over his own wake – the record holder unknowingly pushed the boat beyond its physical limits.

Using new material, and more than 300 illustrations, Mr Sheppard carried out a comprehensive scientific and engineering analysis of the accident and its causes.

Read the Full Article from the Independent here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/bluebird-just-could-not-take-the-speed-2367801.html

Daily Express "Campbell would detest our risk averse world"

Written by Neil. Posted in Publicity


THEY stand out for their remarkable calmness and composure.

The last words of a man who must have known he was facing certain death: "I'm getting a lot of bloody row in here. I can’t see anything. I’ve got the bows out. I’m going...”

In recent years it has become fashionable to portray Donald Campbell, as his boat Bluebird K7 lifted out of the water while attempting to break his own water speed record on Coniston Water on January 4, 1967, as foolish and reckless if not actually insane.

There are various theories that he was undergoing a mental breakdown, that he was consumed by his own superstitions after drawing an unlucky hand at cards the previous day, that his last record attempt was really an act of suicide.

That is not how it appeared at the time. Just 24 days after his death Campbell was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct “for courage and determination in attacking the world speed record”.

Mankind has stopped pushing boundaries


It is not how Campbell’s biographer Neil Sheppard sees it either. In a new book Donald Campbell, Bluebird And The Final Record Attempt he concludes that Campbell died simply because he and his engineering team were unaware of how close they were pushing the boat to its limits.


Read the full article from the Express.co.uk here: http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/276681/Donald-Campbell-would-detest-our-risk-averse-world