ITV has commissioned Britain’s Secret Homes, a brand new series revealing the remarkable stories behind the UK’s most secret and surprising homes, and Britain’s Secret Treasures, last summer’s series, has been re-commissioned.
The two series will be produced by ITV Studios, and presented by two award-winning broadcasters – journalist Michael Buerk, and historian and author Bettany Hughes.
Britain’s Secret Homes, 4×60, will be made in partnership with English Heritage, and will include contributions from Historic Scotland, Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Together, they have trawled the country to find the 50 most intriguing homes in the UK. Some are still inhabited. Many are unknown to the public. But all these extraordinary places have borne witness to key moments in our nation’s history. The order will be determined by factors such as each home’s national importance, cultural significance, historical value and beauty.
An eclectic range of well-known people and experts will join Michael and Bettany to investigate the UK’s best kept secret homes, and the stories will be brought to life using archive, cutting edge CGI and dramatic reconstruction. From country manor houses to unassuming terraced two-up two-downs, these homes’ stories will deliver eye-opening accounts of political intrigue, conspiracy, invention, romance and heroism that make the very fabric of British history.
Britain’s Secret Treasures proved popular with viewers and critics alike in 2012. This new series (8×30) will again be made in partnership with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, which lent its expertise and guidance to the first run in 2012. Each episode will focus on fascinating historical finds by members of the public in specific parts of the country, and will culminate with a reveal of the most important discovery ever made in that area, as determined by the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme.
The first series really engaged the treasure-loving public, with more than 1000 new items sent in by ITV viewers – from Bronze Age weapons to silver rings, World War Two pistols to Victorian toy soldiers, the experts were amazed at the sheer variety. This series will also unravel some of their tales.
The same production team is behind both series, led by Executive Producers, Ed Taylor and Michael Kelpie. The Series Producer for Britain’s Secret Homes is Michael Waterhouse.
Both new series have been commissioned for ITV by Katy Thorogood, Commissioner, Daytime and Factual with Alison Sharman, Director of Factual and Daytime.
Katy said: “We are delighted to be working with ITVS and these fantastic national institutions on these two ambitious projects. Whether it be a treasure discovered by a member of the public, or a home lived in by one of our viewers, behind each one is a great story that illuminates our understanding of Britain’s rich and varied history”
Ed Taylor, Executive Producer, ITV Studios, who is Executive Producer for both series, said: “We are thrilled to be making history programmes that sit at the heart of the ITV schedule. The series give us the opportunity to delve into the knowledge and expertise of the British Museum and our great national heritage bodies, and then offer these rich historical stories up for ITV viewers”