Historian Michael Wood will present a major new landmark series for BBC Two - The Great British Story: A People's History - charting Great Britain and Northern Ireland's remarkable past from the perspective of ordinary people.
The eight-part series utilises the extraordinary energy and interest of local communities combined with the incredible resources of local archives, museums, societies and universities up and down the land to tell the story of our history.
Travelling the breadth of the UK, Michael looks at our story from the ground upwards setting the lives of the local people in the context of major events - from the Viking invasions and the Norman Conquest through to the Industrial Revolution and two World Wars.
Along the way Michael gets right to the heart of local communities and their history - from the tin miners of Penwith; Govan shipbuilding families finding their roots on Skye; DNA surveys of the Wirral Vikings; chain-makers of the Black Country; and sailors of Londonderry retracing the voyages of the saints.
With dialects and languages from Cornish to Scots Gaelic, chronicles, songs, memories, medieval documents and vivid oral recollections, The Great British Story charts the people's journey through time as they struggle with invasion, catastrophe and each other to embrace innovation and opportunity.
Michael says: "This is an exciting journey that follows the development of our languages and laws, our rights and freedoms, our ways of doing and seeing, it highlights the common threads that bind us and the unique differences that enrich us all. In The Great British Story we see how 'they' became 'us'."
Executive Producer, Cassian Harrison, says: “We are delighted that Michael is presenting The Great British Story which promises to unlock our shared historical past through the eyes of ordinary people and hopefully encourage them to explore more about their own local history and their place within it.”
The Great British Story is an 8x60-minute series co-commissioned by BBC Two and BBC Learning, which will broadcast later this year. It is written and presented by Michael Wood, directed by Rebecca Dobbs for Maya Vision, and is executive produced for BBC Two by Cassian Harrison and BBC Learning by Karen Gregory.
To accompany the BBC Two series there will be a number of special opt-out programmes broadcast in the nations and regions.
There will also be a major BBC Learning campaign supporting the series, which includes showcase events in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland celebrating local history and helping people find out more about their own personal history as well as that of their local area.
BBC Learning is also working with regional and national partners to offer hundreds of The Great British Story-inspired activities and events such as historical walks, the chance to meet local historical experts and to discover how important historical artifacts and documents can be preserved for future generations.
Notes to Editors
BBC Learning plays a central part in meeting the BBC's purpose of promoting education and learning. Utilising the power of the BBC’s big brands and key talent, the department puts learning right at the heart of the BBC and provides a variety of resources and learning opportunities for children, teachers, parents and adult learners. Working with partners and in local communities, BBC Learning aims to stimulate interests and encourage engagement through a variety of campaigns across all BBC genres and platforms.