04 Sep 2007

Meet The History Detectives on BBC TWO

The History Detectives

The History Detectives

Meet The History Detectives – three intrepid fact-finders on a mission to investigate the fascinating stories brought to them by the general public. They examine treasures found in the attic, objects passed down through the generations and reveal the stories behind the history hidden in our own homes.

This is history rediscovered in a new six-part series fully funded by The Open University and produced by Lion Television Scotland which will be transmitted on BBC TWO from 7.30pm Friday September 21 (Not in Scotland - see local press for details).

The History Detectives are archaeologist Neil Oliver, presenter of The Open University’s BAFTA award-winning series Coast; engineering heritage expert Claire Barratt, formerly of Channel 4’s Salvage Squad; and Dr Jeevan Deol, international historian.

Each week they will use the full range of historical research techniques, from genealogy to archaeology, to explore both the immediate story of the items presented to them and the broader historical context within which they were once placed.

As they consider treasured heirlooms and documents, photographs and folklore, our expert detectives will scrape away the dirt and pull back the cobwebs to unlock extraordinary stories – like the bottle found behind a Suffolk fireplace that leads to a witch-torturing past; the old toolbox which reveals the extraordinary story of Britain’s motoring heritage; and the letter that sparks a hunt for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s missing gold.

The History Detectives - You provide the questions. They provide the answers.

John Kirkaldy from The Open University, who advised on the programme, said: "The History Detectives is an exciting programme to work on. Researching history involves real detective work, and while searching for the truth behind stories you encounter many thrills and disappointments. We hope the series conveys these feelings to the viewers.

"The Open University has many courses covering many different areas so viewers can take their learning further if their curiosity and interest is awakened by The History Detectives."

The Open University has also produced a free guide for viewers who are keen to conduct their own local history investigations or learn more about local or family history. It can be ordered by calling 08700 100878 or by visiting open2.net/historydetectives

Here, viewers can also find out more about the series or visit the exciting new interactive feature called “High Street History”.

Local history is a huge area of interest within the UK and wherever you live there is likely to be a wealth of history on the doorstep to be told through many of the buildings and features within local communities. Viewers can follow the history trail along a virtual high street.

Editor’s Notes

The History Detectives is a 30-minute, six-part series fully funded by The Open University for the BBC. It is made by Lion Television Scotland.

The series will be broadcast at 7.30pm on BBC TWO from Friday September 21 2007.

The series producer is Brendan Hughes; The Executive Producers are Colin Cameron for Lion Television and Mark Jacobs for The Open University; and the academic consultant for The Open University is John Kirkaldy.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for over 30 years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak-time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

All broadcast information is correct at time of issue.

For more information, interview requests, images and preview DVDs please contact Guy Bailey – contact details opposite
For Biographies contact Greg Day – contact details opposite

Related courses:
- A103 Introduction to Humanities
- A173 Start Writing Family History
- Y160 Making Sense of the Arts (Openings Course)
- A200 Exploring History: Medieval to Modern 1400 – 1900
- A218 Medicine and Society in Europe 1500-1930
- AT272 Ancient and Medieval Cities – A Technological History
- A433 The Professions in Early Modern England C1450-1800
- AA312 Total War and Social Change: Europe 1914-1955
- SXR260 The Geological History of the British Isles
- AA310 Film and Television History
- AA820 Introduction to the MA History Course

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