20 Jan 2010

Seven Ages of Britain

The story of our nation told through its treasures
TX Sunday 31 January, 9pm, BBC ONE

David Dimbleby charts a landmark history of Britain’s greatest art and artefacts over 2000 years in Seven Ages of Britain (7x60) shot in HD.
Produced in partnership with The Open University, Seven Ages of Britain looks at our extraordinary past through the Arts - both as treasures that have often played a decisive part in events and as marvels of their age.

From painted images and monuments of stone and gold to religious relics, weapons of war, instruments of science and works of art; often they are artefacts of great beauty and craftsmanship, but sometimes they are simple, everyday things which have a powerful story to tell.
Over the seven one hour programmes, David roams far and wide - including Italy, Germany, Turkey, India and America - tracking down astonishing artefacts that both encapsulate events or originate from the UK, and yet ended up leaving our shores.

Jay Hunt Controller of BBC One said: "The Seven Ages of Britain is a hugely ambitious arts series for BBC One. David brings the subject matter alive with journalistic endeavour and a twinkle in his eye."

In Britain or abroad, The Seven Ages of Britain is a journey revealing treasures of great beauty and craftsmanship that tell us who we were and are, and pay testament to the great events that formed our nation.

David Dimbleby added: "Seven Ages of Britain has proved an exhilarating quest. The television camera offers a spectacular view of some of our most precious national treasures. It allows us to see them in ways beyond the reach of the human eye as we tell the story of our country’s history over two thousand years through the art we have created in good times and bad."

Dr Rachel Gibbons, Academic Consultant for The Open University, commented: “Seven Ages of Britain is our social and cultural history, telling the story of the nation and its peoples through art and artefacts, through the precious treasures and the everyday objects created in Britain. Each of these objects and artefacts is evidence of the society in which it was produced. They all have value to historians for what they can tell us about our ancestors and how we, as a society, have become who we are now.”

Editor's Notes
Seven Ages of Britain was co-produced by The Open University. The Executive Producer is Basil Comely. BBC Commissioning Executive for The Open University is Catherine McCarthy. The Broadcast Learning Executive for The Open University is Caroline Ogilvie. The Open University academic consultant for the series is Rachel Gibbons.

For your free Open University 'Exploring History' booklet or to discover what artefacts reveal about Britain's history call 0845 366 8012

Media enquiries: Alexandra Heybourne, details right.

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