Norwich couple’s dream campervan features on Jimmy Doherty TV show

Jimmy Doherty filming TV show Dream Builds On Wheels with Ernie

Jimmy Doherty filming TV show Dream Builds On Wheels with Ernie the campervan built by Norwich couple Wendy and Rupert Davison. - Credit: Rupert Davison

A minibus called Ernie restored into a dream camper van by a Norwich teacher and her husband has featured in Jimmy Doherty’s new TV show. 

Wendy Davison and her husband Rupert turned their beloved big blue Mercedes bus into a travelling home from home allowing them to venture far and wide.

Norwich teacher Wendy Davison who has used lockdown to publish a children's book.

Norwich teacher Wendy Davison published a children's book based around the adventures of a bus called Ernie.  - Credit: Danielle Booden

The beloved bus even provided the  inspiration for the Bignold Primary School teacher to fulfil her lifelong dream of publishing a children’s book called Ernie’s Journey.

Now Ernie has featured on Jimmy Doherty’s Dream Builds On Wheels, which sees the Suffolk-based presenter meet people who’ve turned vans, buses and trucks into extraordinary motoring marvels. 

Joined by his friend and engineer Jimmy de Ville, the show sees him getting expert knowledge before building his own dream campervan. 

Jimmy Doherty and co-presenter Jimmy de Ville behind the wheel of Ernie.

Jimmy Doherty and co-presenter Jimmy de Ville behind the wheel of Ernie. - Credit: Rupert Davison

The two Jimmys also follow people transforming vehicles ranging from a double decker bus to an old fire engine.

You may also want to watch:

Mrs Davison said: “We were extremely excited about Ernie featuring so heavily on the programme.

“There is a recent huge boom in travelling locally and in the UK on holidays since the pandemic and so many people we have met have been inspired to customise their own vans, buses and horseboxes to create a tiny home on wheels.”

Norwich teacher Wendy Davison and her husband Rupert hoped to travel in their restored bus but have been homebound due to...

Norwich teacher Wendy Davison and her husband Rupert  hope to travel far and wide in their restored bus.  - Credit: Wendy Davison

Most Read

Her husband said the couple had first been approached by the Quest TV programme’s makers in 2018 after a social media post about Ernie attracted a million likes. 

“We did a day’s filming for a pilot programme down at Jimmy’s house in Suffolk but then the pandemic happened and we heard no more about it,” he said.

“Then I got an email in March this year saying they’d be interested in filming us for the show.”

Ernie being filmed for Jimmy Doherty’s Dream Builds On Wheels

Ernie being filmed for Jimmy Doherty’s Dream Builds On Wheels in Aldeburgh. - Credit: Rupert Davison

Filming took place in March and April at Aldeburgh and Dunwich with Ernie featuring in the first episode of the eight-part programme. 

“They were very impressed with Ernie, particularly the bike rack and the interior. The interior in our van is amazing so they were very interested in what we’d done,” said Mr Davison.

• The episode of Jimmy Doherty’s Dream Builds on Wheels can be seen on the catch-up services of Quest and Discovery+.

• Found out more about Ernie at #erniessurfshack on Facebook and Instagram.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter