This three part stripped history event explores eight critical days in May 1941 when Britain, and Liverpool in particular, was subjected to one of the most intense bombardments of the War. Presented by Michael Buerk, Angellica Bell and Rob Bell and using eyewitness accounts and recollections from relatives, The Blitz: Britain on Fire tells the remarkable story through a group of very different people caught up in the weeks terrible events, day by day, hour by hour. Amongst them are a film actress, a merchant navy captain, a volunteer fire fighter, a hospital matron and a mum of six. Over the course of three programmes, we find out what happened to each of them - how some survived, often against the odds, but how others were not so lucky.
Rob follows the story of Margaret Johnson, a mother of six who has already been bombed out of one home. There weren’t enough places for all children to be evacuated, so Margaret’s were left behind in Liverpool and when they bombs fell the family had to scramble to find a shelter. We also meet Howard Kinley, a merchant navy captain who was in charge of a crew of 72 and a ship full of explosives.
Angellica investigates follows the fate of Mary Lawson - a promising film star in 40s Britain, who was in Liverpool with her husband when the raids began, as well as Flo Richardson and her father who worked as an auxiliary firefighter at the docks, and Matron Gertrude Riding and Dr Leonard Findlay who ran a hospital with a busy maternity ward. All were right in the middle of the target zone.
Michael Buerk explores the Blitz from a broader perspective and examines Churchill’s morale boosting tour of Britain’s bombed cities as well as plans for evacuating children.
The story of the May Blitz continues as we discover how Dr Leonard Findlay and Matron Gertrude Riding are caught up in a direct hit on their hospital. In the maternity ward young mothers search desperately for their babies – and one of the babies who survived that night now tells their story.
Margaret Johnsons and three of her children are in an air raid shelter when it receives a direct hit and film star Mary Lawson, staying in the up market part of Liverpool, takes a risky decision not to stay in one of the public shelters.
In the docks, Captain Howard Kinley’s, bomb-laden ship catches fire. Despite the best efforts of Kinley and his crew all 350 tonnes of high explosives goes up in one of the biggest explosions of the Blitz. We also meet Desmond Gong, a young RAF recruit from China Town - his son Brian tells how an unexploded bomb could have killed his entire family.
Michael Buerk looks at the wider impact of the Blitz and interviews Arthur Johnson - the son of a journalist who broke the law to write an uncensored account of the devastation in Liverpool, and discovers eyewitness testimony of the huge explosion on Captain Kinley’s ship.
In the final instalment of the series we discover the fate of the group of characters we’ve been following. We find out how Mary Lawson’s rash decision to stay above ground during the bombing had serious consequences and we reveal what happened to the staff , patients and babies at the bombed out maternity hospital.
Rob reveals the moving end to Margaret Johnson’s story and Michael investigates the importance of morale during the Blitz and how, ultimately, the city emerged from this terrible time, wounded, but not defeated.
In the wake of The Jeremy Kyle Show's cancellation after the death of a man who had been a guest on the programme, Morland Sanders investigates what lies behind the headlines, what went wrong and who might be to blame. Talking to insiders and former guests, he examines the culture of the programme and others like it and asks what its abrupt end might mean for the future of reality TV.
This eye-opening documentary follows the extraordinary Richardson family, who run a chain of sex shops in Brighton and whose day-to-day dealings provide a unique peek into the bedroom habits of Britain. Head of the erotic empire is dad Tim, who’s owned stores Taboo and Lust for nearly two decades. His family life is as unique as his work life…. Helping run the business is Tim’s new wife Calandra and ex-wife Nancy, who’s also mother to Tim’s two children: Kizzy and Taz, the reluctant heir apparent, who Tim hopes will one day take over the family business.
The film charts the family’s efforts to keep business booming. Expect staff meetings focussing on the merits of a gimp mask or the latest vibrators, alongside family brainstorms on how to make the most out of the lucrative Valentine’s season… which culminates in the team taking “Sexy Bingo” to the streets of Brighton. Can they hit Tim’s ambitious £20,000 Valentine’s Day target?
Tim’s also organised a latex fashion show to drum up business. The star of the show? Daughter Kizzy. But with only seven days to organise the event and bring in a 150-strong crowd, tensions are high. Will the family pull together and pull it off?
Delsha's routine visit to get her eyebrows tattooed resulted in her ending up looking like a 'clown with four eyebrows', a woman's botox injection left her lips able to touch her nose, and a woman from Sussex nearly died after travelling abroad for cut-price surgery.