Enniskillen journalist and TV producer Graham Little wrote and produced the recent BBC2 programme Dufferin -Adventures in High Latitudes.

Graham says he was inspired by Lord Dufferin after moving to Bangor and living near Clandeboye Estate, home to the Marchioness Dufferin and Ava. He adds that he simply wanted to bring this amazing man to a contemporary audience.

In June 1856, The 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, left his home in Bangor on an incredible 6,000 mile journey to the Arctic in a small sailing schooner, the Foam. His account became a best-selling book.

Dufferin’s extraordinary journey was recreated by Graham and his team and was aired on Sunday evening.

"Lord Dufferin was one of the most incredible figures ever to come from Northern Ireland," enthuses Graham.

"He must've been the most widely travelled man in the world at that time, and since travelling is also a big passion of mine I have been very interested in him since I moved to Bangor a few years ago."

"His house on the Clandeboye Estate is extraordinary. There couldn't be a private collection of artefacts to match it anywhere in the world- its like a Victorian Imperialist Aladdin's Cave. There are exotic creatures, Red Indian axes, Ancient Greek tablets, treasures from Egyptian tombs etc. It's spell-binding.

"He was a prolific letter writer and artist and wrote one of the world's first humorous travel books in 1856, which recounted his adventures sailing to the Arctic. I read it and thought it would be brilliant to re-introduce this amazing man to a contemporary audience by retracing his voyage and trying to work out more about him. My friend Leon McCarron is a modern day explorer and travel writer and I felt he was the perfect vehicle."

Graham reveals that the whole project was a tremendous challenge.

"It was months of pre-production work and a real grind at times, but the week in the Arctic was fantastic. 24 hour daylight was a gift for film-making, but by the end of it I was feeling a sort of jet-lag, and when we got back to Longyearbyen had this really weird rocking motion all the next day, especially when going to the toilet."

"It's an extraordinary landscape. Beautiful of course, amazing clarity, blindlingly bright. We saw reindeer, walrus, seal, ptarmigan, but sadly no polar bears, although we had to carry emergency flares and a rifle every time we went on land as there are more polar bears in Svalbard than there are humans."

The open water swimmer was not going to miss a great opportunity either.

"It was a great adventure and a great excuse to go somewhere special. I couldn't resist a quick dip - I thought I'll probably never have a chance to swim somewhere as far north or as cold ever again. Two weeks prior to that I was swimming in Cape Town, so I thought it would be cool to say I swam at the bottom of the world and the top of the world within a fortnight," concludes Graham.

Groundbreakers: Dufferin-Adventures in High Latitudes is an NPE production for BBC Northern Ireland with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund anmd can now be watched in the BBC iPlayer.