Portillo’s Hidden History – Revealing Britain’s abandoned heritage gems

  • 22 April 2018, 9:46 am
  • By Claire
  • in Shepton Mallet Prison

In this truly unique take on evaluating Britain’s “lost” history, Micheal Portillo shows he is a man of the people (after all) by shining his torch light on history that although abandoned still bears witness to extraordinary stories.

Episode 1 tells the fascinating, but squeamish, story of the Royal London Hospital. Best not to watch while eating your supper!

This first programme in the series features interesting insights into Jack the Ripper (could the killer have been working at the hospital?) and tells of its humane and compassion through a mission to treat all of society, whether rich or poor. Joseph Merrick (aka the Elephant Man) made the hospital his sanctuary for 4 years (after much mistreatment) before dying at age 27.

Shepton Mallet Prison is featured in episode 3 (to be aired May 4th 2018).  Portillo says of this unique 400 year ancient prison in Somerset: “This is a history of Britain’s Crime and Punishment, if only these walls could speak!”.  Walls don’t speak sadly, but people do and Transparent TV and Michael manage to piece together a people’s history that opens the mind to what we were and how far we have come.  This is an extraordinary series, not to be missed.

Catch-up the first programme aired April 20th: