Southend - on - sea is not the most glamourous place to be on a windy and overcast day in March. But the cast and crew of London's Burning like a challenge and that's where they went to film their latest storyline, which will be shown on ITV1 this Sunday.
Insider was there by the sea, too, watching Blue Watch make the most of their day out - even though they looked as though they would rather be in Barbados.
The episodede sees our fire - fighting heroes trying to snatch a baby from the jaws of death - but there's no fire, no smoke nor any long ladders in evidence. For the baby in question is a young whale that's been washed up on the beach and needs returning to the sea. The whale is actually a 20ft - long animatronic model, with a metal and wooden skeleton covered with foam rubber, and an outer skin made of latex and neoprene - the same substance used to make diving suits.
'It's a massive, great big rubber puppet,' says Terry Alderton, who plays joker Charlie Mead. 'It was the weirdest thing, but it obviously cost a fortune to make.' He also reveals that the whale is greased with vaseline to make it look more realistic.
'We were pulling this puppet with a big blue rope,' he adds. 'We got very muddy and I had these boots on that must be ruined.'
Southend is Terry's home town, and he says that seals are occasionally washed up, but a whale is a little more unlikely.
For Terry, the shoot was a real family affair. His mum still lives in Southend and his sister, Corinna, and his five - year - old nephew, Jack, were extras in this particular episode.
'You can easily recognise them,' he says. 'My sister has a little dog, Jack is wearng a Southend United football shirt and they are walking up near the pier.'