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Reel History of Britain

Episode 5: The Roaring Twenties

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales

Melvyn Bragg, accompanied by a vintage mobile cinema, travels across the country, to show incredible footage preserved by the British Film Institute and other national and regional film archives, to tell the history of modern Britain.

At Cliveden House in Berkshire, Melvyn looks back to the Roaring Twenties to discover how the other half lived, when a group of bright young people created Britain's first modern cult of celebrity.

The tragic story of Britain's original 'it girl', Elizabeth Ponsonby, is told by her niece Elizabeth. The current Lord Astor returns to his ancestral home to give a guided tour. And Martin Blaber explains what life was like below stairs for Cliveden's renowned head butler, his uncle, Edwin Lee. Show less


Melvyn Bragg
Series Producer:
Dympna Jackson
Executive Producer:
Ruth Pitt

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