‘It’s been scarring’ Joanna Lumley speaks out on co-star Dan Burton’s tragic death

Joanna Lumley discusses death of campaigner Dan Burton

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The actress joined Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on Good Morning Britain on Monday morning to discuss her documentary Joanna Lumley and the Human Swan. For the one-off special, Sacha Dench and Dan were flying around Britain for the climate challenge and were followed by Joanna, who was interested in their project. Joanna spoke about the impact Dan’s death has had on her and how the documentary will be dedicated to him.

After introducing Joanna to the show, Richard asked: “Tell us exactly what you were trying to do, to underline in this amazing project.”

She explained: “Well, I heard that Sacha was going to be this extraordinary project of flying around and stopping all over the place.

“She [Sacha] would be flying around with her support filming her flying around and doing lots of different things.

“As soon as I heard they were doing that, I went to ITV and said, ‘Please can I follow her’ and see the wonderful things she was going to be doing,” she explained.

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Susanna commented: “And then, tragically, Dan is involved in this collision with Sacha and that, I mean absolutely shocking accident to happen, and we send our warmest wishes to his family.

“And also, to Sacha for her recovering because she’s injured, it must have been a very difficult decision then to carry on with the project and with the documentary!”

Joanna explained: “Well, the wretched thing was this absolute tragedy happened right at the end of their journey around.

“Dan’s family have been so brave and so generous to honour his memory in showing the film and his work and Sacha who is as brave as a lion who I speak to at the very end of our film.

“They both insisted the important thing is the message, the whole point we’re doing this is about climate change and what we’ve all got to do about the challenge of climate change.”

Richard asked: “So how did you carry on then without her?” to which Joanna replied: “Well, the film was completed, so all Sacha and I had to do was to sit together and say, ‘There’s the end of our film.’

“The inquest is still ongoing with the mid-air collision, so I have nothing to report on that,” Joanna revealed.

“She’s as brave as a lion, and she will come through this, but it has been scarring for everybody, particularly for Dan’s family.”

Susanna and Richard was also joined by Ruth Pilbeam, project manager of the Round Britain Climate Challenge.

Speaking on Sacha’s goals, she explained: “I mean, what’s really important to Sacha is that we honour the work that she and Dan were doing, and his family have been so supportive in that.”

Richard asked: “It’s great she has still been able to continue the documentary, any news at all about when she will come out of hospital?”

Ruth revealed: “So we were glad she was able to finish the documentary, but she’ll be in hospital for a while yet.

“I can’t go into detail on her injuries, but she is a lot brighter, and she’s supporting us to go to COP26.”

“If you’re watching Sacha, good morning, and we wish you speed with your recovery, and we’re very glad you are recovering,” Richard said.

Susanna ended the interview saying: “It’s a tragic end to the documentary Joanna,” to which she said: “The important thing is, is that Dan’s way of living was you’ve only got one life, live it now.

“This was an accident, we have to keep going forward we must not lose our nerve and just sit back in terror and look at what appears to be happening.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV. 
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