Great Indian Railway Journeys

Great Indian Railway Journeys follows the success of Great British Railway Journeys, Great Continental Railway Journeys and Great American Railroad Journeys, all presented by Michael Portillo.  

With a century-old Bradshaw’s Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel tucked under his arm, Michael will embark on a brand new railway adventure through a land of majestic mountains, scorching desert and plains watered by holy rivers. Published at the height of the British Raj in 1913, Michael’s guidebook will steer him towards ornate palaces and golden temples. He will meet Maharajas and Mughals and ride some of the world’s most exhilarating trains.

Along the way, Michael will discover how imperial railways designed by British engineers inadvertently spread ideas of independence among hundreds of millions of Indians, who today live in the world’s largest democracy.

Taking in the extraordinary variety of the Indian landscape, journeys in the series include Amritsar to Shimla, Lucknow to Kolkata, Mysuru to Chennai and Jodhpur to Delhi through India’s famous ‘Golden Triangle’.

Love in the Countryside

Love in the Countryside is a six part series for BBC Two, following a group of men and women who are struggling to find a partner with whom to share their rural lives.  A reliance on the land for their livelihoods, and being based within small rural communities, has limited their chance of finding someone to love.

From farmers to rural vets, the singletons, isolated from the urban dating pool, are ready to not only see if they can meet their match but also to introduce a potential partner to the true realities of life in the countryside.

With many city dwellers longing to escape the rat race, and an unprecedented number migrating from town to country every year in the hope of a different way of life, it is an achievable dream. But what is the reality of adapting to a new ideal away from all the trappings of a town or city, AND potentially finding your perfect match?

Presenter Sara Cox will join the couples along their way as they negotiate getting to know each other, whilst the urban love seekers are grappling with wellies, the wild outdoors and woeful Wi-Fi.

Meet the rural singletons looking for a perfect match:

I Escaped to the Country

New BBC 1 daytime series,  I Escaped to the Country celebrates the house buying success stories of people who purchased one of the rural properties they were introduced to on their original Escape to the Country journey.

In each show, Escape to the Country presenters including Nicki Chapman, Jules Hudson, Alistair Appleton and Jonnie Irwin revisit their proud homeowners and see the transformations they’ve made to their country houses. We also discover how making the leap of moving to the country has improved our  escapees’ everyday quality of life, be it getting involved in the local community, spending more time in the great outdoors or realising the dream of creating a new rural business.

Watch out for more new Escape to the Country programmes which are due to broadcast on BBC 1 in the forthcoming months.

Great Continental Railway Journeys

Michael Portillo embarks on a series of railway journeys across Europe, armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide.

In 1913, Europe was criss-crossed by a network of railways stretching from Finland in the North, to Constantinople in the East, and Cadiz in the West, all of them described in ‘Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide and General Handbook’.

This comprehensive guidebook opened up an exotic world of foreign travel to the Edwardian British tourist; glittering cosmopolitan cities, dramatic Alpine landscapes, warm sparkling seas and picturesque villages.

Building on the success of Great British Railway Journeys, Michael Portillo embarks on a series of railway journeys across Europe. Armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, he travels from station to station, visiting the towns and villages described by the Guide, following the suggested itineraries, staying in the recommended hotels, exploring the sights, sampling local traditions while telling the story of Europe in 1913.

Great Continental Railway Journeys was first broadcast on BBC Two in 2012.

House Doctor

House Doctor returns with a new presenter Tracy Metro. In today’s housing market, there’s a marked contrast between the houses that sell in a heartbeat and those that languish on the market.

The home that’s properly ‘staged’ for the market clinches the deal while also max’ing the sale price. Years after House Doctor first hit our TV screens Britain’s sellers still haven’t got the message. Cluttered, dirty, dark and old fashioned homes struggle to get noticed while in the same street better presented example are being snapped up in days.

Enter Californian Tracy Metro; she’ll show that with a minimum investment, simple home-styling can turn dodgy décor into unrecognisable, show-home material.

Channel 5’s House Doctor returned in 2016.

The Secrets in My Family

The Secrets In My Family is a six-part UKTV Original genealogy series that uses ground-breaking technology to help ordinary people uncover their ancestral histories. Hosted by Alex Jones this series allows those kept apart by secrets, to dig deeper into their family history using a pioneering DNA test, developed by Ancestry, to uncover the truths behind their family mysteries.

The series proves that with little information it is possible to uncover secret family members and solve long-held family mysteries, but the results do not always lead to the ending people hoped for.

Mondays, on W (UKTV), 9pm


Normal for Norfolk

Documentary series following eccentric gentleman farmer Desmond MacCarthy as he struggles to keep his 17th-century manor home afloat, while holding on to the country traditions of his childhood.

Warm, funny and irreverent in tone, Normal for Norfolk offers an alternative insight into country life through one of its most entertaining characters. First broadcast April 2016.

Currently in production on series 2.

The Week The Landlords Moved In

The Week The Landlords Moved In challenges landlords to go ‘back to the floor’ to spend one week living in one of their own rental properties.

This transformative series challenges some of Britain’s most successful landlords to spend an eye-opening week living in one of their own rentals. 

Each episode sees two successful landlords leave their home comforts behind and move into one of their rental properties for a week, living off their tenant’s budget and experiencing life through their eyes.

There are over 11 million people renting in Britain and most of those are with private landlords. As demand for homes far outstrips supply, the rental market is fraught with challenges – for both landlords and tenants. Fear of rising rents makes tenants afraid to flag problems while landlords are often far removed from what’s really going on . 

These landlords want to see renting from their tenants point of view but when the keys are handed over, and the landlords open the door they are often completely unprepared for what they find – from collapsed ceilings and mould-ridden rooms, to breadline budgets and an enforced choice between heating or eating.

And after a week experiencing the true reality of renting, how much will the landlords change?

My Grand Design (w/t)

Working in close collaboration with Cherwell District Council to secure access to the country’s biggest mass self-build site, located in Bicester, Oxfordshire, My Grand Design (w/t) offers ten households the chance to purchase a plot, design and build their own homes at the dedicated site.

Kevin has conducted a nationwide search for the ten households who want to create their own unique homes and become part of this new community. Highlighting how big ideas about architecture and design can be achieved on a budget, Kevin has found people with a creative ambitious approach to building which will demonstrate how high quality homes can be built without breaking the bank.

All ten homes will be built next to each other and become part of a fledgling new community. The aim of this project is to reduce the barriers to self-build, enabling people to create their own inspirational home on their own budget.  Alongside access to land, self-builders will get access to additional help and advice to make it easier to get their ideas off the ground.

The series will hope to reveal what kind of homes the great British public would choose to live in if they were given the chance to design and build them, instead of leaving it in the hands of developers.

Coming to Channel 4 soon.

Grand Designs House of the Year

Grand Designs House of the Year follows the RIBA House of the Year competition to find the winner of this prestigious architectural prize

Presented by Kevin McCloud the series explores some of Britain’s most contemporary and cutting edge homes, revealing how they were built and why they are considered some of the best new architecture in the country. Featuring jaw-dropping property from Jersey to Scotland, we meet owners, architects and crafts people. Grand Designs House of the Year is in its second series on Channel 4.

Great American Railroad Journeys

Michael Portillo crosses the Atlantic to ride the railroads of America, armed with Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, published in 1879.

Escape to the Country

Escape to the Country is a long running rural property programme, which helps prospective buyers find a dream home in the country

In each episode we discover why they want to move, what they’re looking for and which part of Britain they’ve set their heart on. In their chosen area, prospective buyers are shown a selection of classic country properties that match their aspirations and budget. The last property to be shown is an option that challenges their perceptions of what they think they want.

During the property viewing journey, the buyers also have the chance to experience country life; visiting local towns and monuments while often gaining hands-on experiences of traditional rural crafts and pursuits in the hope that these encounters will help in their decision whether to escape to the country. Escape to the Country first aired on BBC One in 2002 and is now in production for its 19th series.

Grand Designs

BAFTA winning Grand Designs is widely recognized as the pre-eminent series on modern architecture and design in Britain.

It was originally conceived as a documentary series presented by designer and writer Kevin McCloud that takes us into the heart of life’s great unfolding human stories, where ordinary families risk all to experiment with architecture, technology, and their own lifestyle.

Now in its seventeenth year, Grand Designs is one of Channel 4’s biggest returnable factual series and has grown into a global phenomenon, selling in over 100 territories. Apart from the TV series, the Grand Designs brand has also expanded to include books, a monthly magazine, architectural awards and a biannual exhibition, Grand Designs Live.

You’re Fired

You’re Fired is the companion show to The Apprentice.  Hosted by Rhod Gilbert, business experts and celebrities appear weekly to discuss the outgoing candidates’ performance.  It airs immediately after The Apprentice on BBC Two.

Each week Rhod is joined in the studio by three guests, bringing together popular figures from the world of entertainment and captains of industry as well as journalists and broadcasters. They all share one thing in common: they are passionate Apprentice fans, and they don’t hold back when it comes to tackling the candidate’s behaviour or challenging Lord Sugar’s decisions.

The newly fired apprentice reveals what it’s really like to be on the receiving end of a boardroom show down with Lord Sugar and hear the words each of them dread – “You’re Fired!”.

Dara and Ed’s Road to Mandalay

Comedians Ed Byrne and Dara O Briain pack their cases once more as they embark on an expedition of a lifetime, crossing 3,500 miles from the bright lights of modern day Malaysia to the jungles of Myanmar.

More Programmes

Great British Railway Journeys

Michael Portillo follows in the footsteps of the father of the train timetable in this revealing portrait of Britain through the eyes of George Bradshaw whose Railway Guide was published in 1841.

Prior to the 1840s, travelling across Britain was a complicated affair at best. For a country with over 20,000 miles of track there was – amazingly – no such thing as a national railway timetable or map.

The series is a snapshot of Britain today: its people, stories, scenery, architecture, customs, history and how life and landscape has changed over the last 150 years since Bradshaw became a household name.

Using the ‘Bradshaw’ as his guide, Michael makes a number of classic train journeys across Britain’s railway network unlocking Victorian history as he visits the guide’s recommended landmarks, hostelries while meeting local experts and characters.

Great British Railway Journeys was first broadcast on BBC Two in 2010.

Sarah Beeny's Four Rooms

Britain’s most competitive dealers are all on standby to spend their personal fortunes in edge-of-seat deals, if the right item comes through their doors.
Members of the public come to the Four Rooms to sell their treasured collectables for the most profit possible. However, once a seller has turned down a dealer’s offer and left the room, there’s no going back.
Joining Sarah Beeny are returning top dealers Celia Sawyer, Alex Proud, Raj Bisram, Andrew Lamberty and David Sonnenthal, along with new dealer Pearl Lowe, successful fashion designer and vintage expert.
Rotating across the series, these dealers are on a mission to purchase stunning, iconic or unusual items, including art, antiques, memorabilia and taxidermy. But can the sellers use tactics, timing and tough negotiation to ensure they walk out with a windfall?

The Apprentice

The series that gives a unique insight into the competitive world of business. Lord Alan Sugar – one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs – assisted by Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner – scrutinizes eighteen candidates as they vie for his approval in the hope of winning a £250,000 investment.

The Apprentice, sees eighteen young entrepreneurs, short listed from thousands; battle it out for the opportunity to become partners with self-made billionaire Lord Sugar. Each week the candidates are set a business task and each week someone gets fired for not pulling their weight. The series tests the candidates’ business wits, competitiveness and ambition and unmasks the cut-throat world of business.’

Click here to view the offical BBC Apprentice site