IT IS the £1 billion industry that has helped to make Southampton the city it is today, and has provided work for thousands of its residents.

Southampton’s port plays a huge role within both the city and the region, and now its staff are to star in a new television programme.

The BBC’s Sea City series, which looks at the thousands of people who keep the £1 billion port going, will begin its second run at 4.45pm tomorrow.

It will consist of three 30-minute episodes which will be broadcast to BBC One viewers in the south, and is narrated by John Altman, who played Nasty Nick on EastEnders.

The first series, which was broadcast last March, featured episodes on P&O Cruises gathering its fleet for a review by the Princess Royal, the work of the pilots and control tower staff who help the huge container ships dock safely and the arrival of a record number of containers at the port’s terminal.

Daily Echo: Southampton docks.

The second series will kick off with a look at Red Funnel ferries and how the services coped during the busy Isle of Wight music festival last June.

With hundreds of festival-goers travelling from Southampton to the Island, the episode will look at how Red Funnel’s staff dealt with the huge increase in travellers, while still trying to stick to their timetables.

Meanwhile, on board Queen Mary 2, the film crew will meet the vessel’s interiors specialist Jo Raven as she keeps the Cunard flagship spick and span, while at the cruise terminal Reverend Roger Stone helps a crew member from India find his grandfather’s grave.

The details of the second and third episodes, which will air on March 23 and 30, have not yet been released.