What really happened when the Middletons met the Monarchy? When the party planners came to the Palace? What it’s like to suddenly find yourself and family intimately within the royal orbit, the rules, the potential gaffs, navigating within the royal family itself. The warnings, coaching, relationships and tensions that entering this world throws up for a family from the outside. What happens when the royals take you to their heart ..or not? Is it a dream or nightmare?
Today in the Repair Shop, Jay Blades and the team bring four treasured family heirlooms, and the memories they hold, back to life.
First in, a big project for guitar expert Julyan Wallis. The 1960s guitar belonged to Robyn Griffith’s grandfather, who had a real love of jazz and yet he never had the opportunity to learn to play this cherished instrument. Robyn has inherited not just the guitar but a talent for playing and he’d love to enjoy it. The guitar has been broken and silent for decades and Julyan is his last hope. Jules carefully pieces the guitar together, replacing the missing mother of pearl inlay, reattaches the peeling bindings and restrings it. Robyn returns with his grandmother, who looks on proudly as her grandson plays her late husband's jazz guitar for the very first time.
Wood restoration expert Will Kirk has his work cut out when Christine Clay from Doncaster delivers a handmade card table that is very dear to her heart. The one of a kind octagon table was made for her by her father, who only recently passed away. Friday night was cards night as Christine grew up and her dad was quite the player. The intricate veneer work on the top of the table is lifting and several pieces have long gone. The legs are unstable and it’s no longer fit for purpose. Christine would dearly love to start playing again, using this significant table and raise a glass to her dear dad. Will comes up with an ingenious plan to use as much of the original veneer as possible, secures the eight table legs and brings the piece alive with a gorgeous French polish. Christine is overcome by the transformation.
Terry Poole from Berkshire is next to arrive with his late father's bookmakers clock bag and hopeful that siblings, horologist Steve and leather expert Susie will join forces to get this unusual keepsake coming up trumps again. The locking mechanism is broken, the key is missing and the clock face is cracked. While Steve tackles those, Suzie gives the cracked leather pouch a good going over with saddle soap. A rummage through Steve’s box of spares delivers a replacement key which, with a few careful alterations, is a perfect fit and the pouch is returned to Terry in fine form.
And expert David Burville is put to the test when Liz Harvey from Sheffield arrives with what's left of a Victorian clockwork pigeon. It belonged to Liz’s grandmother and although she remembers it well, she has never seen it go. Liz recently attempted to fix it herself but with disastrous results. David excels himself...casting a new wheel, rebuilding a set of mini bellows to create the pigeons coo, he overhauls the wind-up mechanism and eventually the little metal pigeon performs.
Brand-new comedy show in which the nation’s favourite comics and celebrities compete to convince Mel that they are the most Unforgivable person in the room. To do this they will have to dredge up their most outrageous sins, lies, legal transgressions and morally bankrupt behaviour. In each episode three celebrities come clean and regale tales of their most despicable deeds and uncharitable behaviour as they are probed by host Mel Giedroyc and her assistant Lou Sanders for all the dastardly details, in the show that scratches away at the polished and preened surfaces of some of the nation’s favourite faces to reveal their dark underbellies.
In tonight’s show Mel Giedroyc and Lou Sanders are joined by Graham Norton, Desiree Burch and Alex Brooker. Graham reveals a lie to his mother that went too far leading to him having to have his appendix removed, Alex Brooker talks about ‘trying to catch a girl’ in a Home Alone inspired trap and Desiree admits to cheating with a friend’s boyfriend at high school.
In tonight’s show, host Rhod Gilbert asks comedian and writer David Baddiel, Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan and comedian Darren Harriott to share their teenage stories. Whose adolescent experiences will be consigned to Rhod’s memory box of shame and win them the coveted title of Most Embarrassing Teenager?
David tells a mortifying story about his parents’ sex life, Nicola reveals the lengths she went to to meet Busted, and Darren’s first kiss story ends with an unfortunate accident. Each guest chooses an Embarrassing Year from their youth, bursting with shameful culture, music and long forgotten fads – which one will Rhod decide is the most woeful and consign to the box for eternity; will it be David’s 1979, Nicola’s 2004 or Darren’s 2001?
In case there is anything they have forgotten to tell us Rhod has got hold of some mortifying morsels of information from their friends and family – who’s Mum never let them ride their bike on the road? Who’s job was it to listen to people having a wee?
And finally they offer advice to teenage selves, and Rhod crowns one of them Most Embarrassing Teenager.
January 2014 Dunfermline Scotland – Police find a body of a woman underneath a caravan wrapped in a sheet. When Forensics inspect the body, they find that she had been strangled. The victim is Carol Taggart, a 54-year-old mother of three. Police have a prime suspect for the terrible crime – her own son – 33-year-old Ross Taggart.
Carol Taggart was a determined single mother of two boys when she met Shaun Taggart. They quickly hit it off and soon had a daughter together - Lorraine. The family on the outside was seemingly happy – enjoy holidays together whilst Carol built a successful business running a children’s nursery.
But Carol struggled with mental health issues and increasingly favoured the youngest son Ross, refusing to discipline him despite a string of petty thefts and showering him with gifts. So much so that the relationship with Shaun her partner broke down. Over time Ross sought to increasingly isolate his mother from other family members including Carol's own daughter Lorraine, who was forced to leave home.
Now with his mother all to himself Ross demanded more gifts and attention with the two seemingly more like a couple in public than mother and son. The high point being a 30th birthday treat for Ross – a trip to New York City all paid for by Carol. Ross posted a series of selfies with him and his mother on social media seemingly to taunt the rest of the family.
On returning Carol seemed to have realised she was being taken advantage of and threatened to cut Ross out of her will for which he was the sole benefactor of a £350,000 pound estate.
This threat pushed Ross over the edge, and he hit and strangled his mother before hiding her body under a caravan. In the days afterwards he led the Police on a wild goose chase claiming she had left the house after an argument and never returned. In the meantime, he pawned her jewellery and cleared out her bank accounts spending money on cocktails, meals out and trips to the movies.
Whilst police searched for Carol her family were desperate, sensing something was terribly wrong, and their worst fears were confirmed when police searched the caravan park and found her body.
Ross was found gulity of murder and jailed for 18 years – and yet he is able to still taunt his family from jail - under Scottish law he is still in control of her estate.
The search for the first ever Celebrity Best Home Cook begins.
The ten celebrities battling it out are: reality TV star, Ferne McCann, Broadcaster and former Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, Don’t Take My Baby and Years and Years actor, Ruth Madeley, Celebs Go Dating’s Tom Read Wilson, Coronation Street and Doctor Who actor, Shobna Gulati, CBBC presenter and Strictly contestant, Karim Zeroual, Journalist and presenter, Rachel Johnson, Comedian and presenter, Ed Byrne, Comedian and writer, Desiree Burch and former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas.
The trio of judges putting them through their culinary paces are the queen of home cooking Dame Mary Berry, Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett and fruit & veg expert Chris Bavin. On hand with plenty of socially-distanced support and encouragement is presenter Claudia Winkleman who hosts with her usual dose of wit and warmth.
Each week the celebrity cooks are faced with two challenges, starting with Mary’s Ultimate round, where contestants produce their tried and tested food for special occasions. Up next, it’s Chris’s Rustle Up challenge; one surprise ingredient and one hour to create a mid-weekmasterpiece. Those who haven’t impressed enough across these two challenges will be picked to take part in Angela’s dreaded Eliminator, where the cooks must follow one of Angela’s recipes, perfectly. The Eliminator is judged blind, and the cook making the weakest version of the dish will be sent home. Judges will not know which cook has cooked which dish until they’ve made their decision.
Highgrove House in Gloucester is the smallest royal residence currently in use, with only nine bedrooms. It is Prince Charles’s own creation: he bought it, renovated it and made an extraordinarily innovative and inspiring garden in the 12 acres that surround the house. Described as an organic oasis, they include a sewage garden where ‘very beautiful reed beds deal with human waste in an organic way’ according to Jennie Bond.
In January 2019, 97 year old Prince Philip was involved in a car crash near Sandringham. We hear from the first witness at the scene who helped the Prince out of his overturned Land Rover Discovery. Following a public backlash, the Prince handed in his licence and the queen soon followed suit. ‘Don’t feel too sorry for them though. They have huge estates at Balmoral and Sandringham where they can still drive’ says journalist Simon Vigar.
To the surprise of many, the very first royal Christmas speech was made in 1932 by Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather George V. Unnerved by the new technology he was persuaded into it by the PM Ramsay MacDonald, who felt the Commonwealth needed a lift from the relentless bad news of economic depression. The press photographs show the king recording from the lavish Sandringham library, but we reveal the truth – due to his nerves, the recording was made from a tiny box room. The speech was a great success reaching an audience of 20 million worldwide.
Kate Williams describes the punitive Kensington System under which Queen Victoria was raised. Her mother Victoire fell under the spell of John Conroy who designed the ‘system’ which prevented the young princess from ever having time alone, even when asleep. No surprise that once she became queen she almost never returned to Kensington Palace where she had been so unhappy.
One of the Queen’s favourite diadems is the Vladimir Tiara. This once belonged to the Grand Duchess Vladimir who was sister-in-law to Czar Nicholas II. As the last Romanoff to escape Bolshevik Russia, her family lost everything but her jewels which she left hidden. Her son Boris commissioned an art dealer to go back and recover the stash, smuggling his haul out of Russia in a Gladstone bag ‘like something out of a spy mystery’ according to Janina Ramirez.
Secrets old and new, from the darkest history of the royal residences to modern day dilemmas and disasters – it’s all here in Secrets of the Royal Palaces.
Nigel Havers presides as sellers come face to face with five dealers who battle it out to make the highest bid.
Filmed throughout 2020, this new series offers a unique insight into one of Britain's best loved stately homes, with unprecedented access during extraordinary times. Chatsworth House is the historic Derbyshire Treasure House that provided the inspiration and iconic backdrop for Pride and Prejudice and has been seat to the Cavendish family since 1549. The 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Stoker and Amanda Cavendish, and their community of 800 staff take us on a fascinating - and often emotional - journey through one of the most challenging years in the stately home's five-century history. With a host of characters, humour, enchanting history, the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and access to the aristocracy, this series reveals how a unique British institution, now a modern phenomenon, navigates through a year like no other. As winter approaches and 2020 draws to a close, the Chatsworth House team look to the future. In the library, the Duke and Duchess review the newly restored Sixth Duke's Handbook - a guide to Chatsworth written by their ancestor - and mull over writing their own version for future generations. The Sixth Duke's legacy is felt elsewhere too, as seamstress Marie battles to restore and rehang the vast and heavy curtains he chose for the library. October brings the deer rut, when Chatsworth's stags lock horns to win the attention of their hinds, while the farmers secure the future of the flock by making sure their 2000 ewes are pregnant. And the foresters are kept busy with a 'flock' of their own - planting 24,000 new trees across the estate, ready to be harvested in 80 years' time.
Gregg Wallace is in South Africa exploring its stunning landscapes, majestic wildlife and of course its food glorious food. Along the wild coast, on safari, through vast savannahs and into the cities Gregg discovers the flavours this diverse country has to offer; from the winelands around Cape Town to an Afrikaans braai in the Kalahari desert at sunset, Soweto’s street food stalls selling fat cakes, and traditional hearty dishes like bobotie. Gregg also discovers South Africa's famous wildlife - coming face to face with sharks and helping care for wild leopards and African penguins and immerses in the country's rich culture and tradition, new and old, as he journeys east to west to get a taste of the real South Africa.
Grabbing a lift on a tuk tuk Gregg whizzes around the colourful and energetic township of Soweto just outside Johannesburg – home of both Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. He dishes up lunch in a school canteen and learns the lively gum boot dance.
We meet the Bargain Brits who find clever ways to get what they want even though they live on benefits. These cost cutters are canny, and know every trick and tip to help them live their dreams. Jayne’s gothic mansion makeover is a tribute to her love of hammer horror movies. She trawls charity shops for stuff she thinks has potential and then puts her on touch on it. From stuffed animals to top end crystal, Jayne has updated every room in her house to give it a unique look. She’s even customised a shelving unit into an Egyptian tomb – with its own handmade mummy.
Boy George Impersonator, Liam, has had limited work since the first lockdown, and has had to turn to benefits to make ends meet. But Liam believes that living on a budget has made him reassess his lifestyle, and he’s now priding himself on the canny ways he’s come up with. Liam’s turned to Fakeaways not takeaways to save himself a £100 a week AND has taught himself to cook. He’s got himself a job where he gets free breakfasts, and he’s managed to find a way if updating his idols costumes on the cheap.
The Rushby family love a makeover and having completed the inside of their house, they’ve now turned to outside and sprucing up their garden. With a small budget for plants, everything else has got to be done using what they already have and their big family secret to a winning makeover is…. leftover paint! From sprucing up the patio, or a couple of hanging baskets, slapping on a couple of coats transforms their garden on the cheap.