We have mythical creatures, witches, vampires, aliens, cults and ghosts, to watch Kestrel Investigates is to enter the world of the unknown. Most of the time I don’t even know what’s going on.
The latest addition to York’s web series empire is Kestrel Investigates, a new semi-regular series dealing with all manner of paranormal activity in the Yorkshire area: witches, ghosts, werewolves and the like. In this exclusive interview, we speak to Agravain Kestrel himself about his influences, experiences and… Wizbit?
One&Other: Is Agravain Kestrel your real name?
Agravain Kestrel: Yes, although my full name is Agravain Brian Dennis Carl Mike Al Kestrel. My mother was a big Beach Boys fan.
O&O: Agravain is an unusual first name.
AK: Ah yes, that was my dad’s choice whom I have sadly never met. He left my mother shortly after conception.
O&O: What can people tuning into your show expect?
AK: Oh we have mythical creatures, witches, vampires, aliens, cults and ghosts, to watch Kestrel Investigates is to enter the world of the unknown. Most of the time I don’t even know what’s going on.
O&O: In your show you are accompanied by your friend Mike behind the camera. How long have you known each other?
AK: Oh Mike is like the brother I never had, we’ve known each other since school. I remember the first time I met him, it was break time and some of the other kids had stolen my ALF lunch box. There was this one big bully who had started it, he was throwing it to the others kids and laughing as I tried to grab it. Then out of nowhere this boy stepped in and commanded the bullies to stop what they were doing, he grabbed my lunchbox and gave it back to me then pushed the ringleader onto the ground. Unfortunately the rest of the kids then jumped him and he was hospitalised.
O&O: Wow, so that was Mike who stepped in to save you?
AK: Oh no. Mike was the ringleader of the bullies. I have no idea who the other lad was, he never came back to school after that.
Erm, the moors and Dales are huge so I guess it’s easy for beasts and that to remain undetected. We don’t have many airports so UFOs won’t bump into anything… and Dracula just seemed drawn to Whitby like so many Goths are. I suppose the short answer is I have no idea.
O&O: What sparked off your interest with the paranormal?
AK: Well I grew up in a haunted house you see, there was just me and my mum living there yet every night I would be woken up by heavy footsteps walking up the stairs and to my mum’s room, sometimes it sounded like more than one ghost. And often I would lie there awake listening to unholy moans that emanated from any given room in the house – once I came home from school early and found my own bedroom door was shut tight and the same ghostly groans and rhythmic banging was coming from in there. Obviously my mum did her best to play it down so I wasn’t scared, she has always been a very loving woman.
O&O: Who is your role model and why?
AK: Paul Daniels, master of Illusion, sexual icon and creator of Wizbit, a seminal slice of fantasy television that would give JRR Tolkien a run for his money. You know, people often said he was too short to be a magician but he was actually five foot four.
O&O: What do you think it is about Yorkshire that makes it such a hotbed for paranormal activity?
AK: Yorkshire is a very historical region. The land itself has been there for thousands of years at least. York, the capital city is well known for supernatural encounters because of the amount of settlements that have been built on top of each other. Erm, the moors and Dales are huge so I guess it’s easy for beasts and that to remain undetected. We don’t have many airports so UFOs won’t bump into anything… and Dracula just seemed drawn to Whitby like so many Goths are. I suppose the short answer is I have no idea.
I suppose the golden goose for me would be proving the existence of extraterrestrials. Many an afternoon I have sat in Morrisons café wondering if there is intelligent life out there somewhere.
O&O: If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
AK: Hmm, a tricky one, I’d love the ability to communicate with anyone in the world and maybe let them see what I’m seeing though my eyes then be able to save my memories like an image and access them at anytime. That or be able to access all of the world’s collected knowledge so I could answer any question immediately.
O&O: Have you heard of smart phones?
AK: What phones?
O&O: If you could prove the existence of one thing, what would it be?
AK: Well I suppose the golden goose for me would be proving the existence of extraterrestrials. Many an afternoon I have sat in Morrisons café wondering if there is intelligent life out there somewhere.
O&O: You have many posters on the wall of Kestrel HQ, is that how you stay inspired?
AK: I’ll let you into a little secret, that’s actually my bedroom, I’ve had a lot of those posters up for years, some of them are starting to look a little faded because I used the cheaper bubblejet ink cartridges.
O&O: Ok, I guess what I’m trying to ask is what drives you to investigate all of these things?
AK: Mike drives me, unless it’s in walking distance.
O&O: One of the posters is for something called Kenneth. What is that?
AK: Oh that’s my favourite film, a criminally overlooked piece of local cinema made by the incredibly talented people at Monster Island Films.
O&O: Interesting, how could I watch that?
O&O: Finally, what message do you have for those who remain unconvinced and sceptical about paranormal phenomenon?
AK: I would say keep watching the show, the truth is all around you if you just open your eyes, ears and brains.