BBC Two Daytime has commissioned Reef Television to produce Britain's First Photo Album (w/t), a 10x30-minute series on the extraordinary achievement of Francis Frith, the pioneer Victorian photographer who embarked upon a colossal project to photograph as much of the United Kingdom as possible during the second half of the 19th century.
The pictures taken by Frith and his staff are viewed as one of the first and most comprehensive pictorial records of the UK, a wonderfully evocative record of our shared history, and equally a present day insight into the social landscape of Britain.
Presented by John Sergeant, each episode will focus on four storylines, all inspired by a Frith photo. Over the series, 40 of Frith's best images will be showcased, demonstrating his remarkable endeavour to visually capture Britain on camera, along with another 40 new ones that John will take himself.
To get to the heart of each picture, John will look to unfold the significance of each image, bringing them to life by meeting present day people who have a connection to these stories from the past. Each show will have a fascinating mix of different stories, taking us on a journey across Britain.
Liam Keelan, Controller of BBC Daytime, who commissioned the series, says: "Factual content such as Great British Railways with Michael Portillo and Climbing Great Buildings with Dr Jonathan Foyle on BBC Two in the afternoons, have proved hugely popular with our audiences. I hope this new series with John Sergeant at the helm will prove to be equally unmissable viewing."
This is the first time Frith's collection has been brought together in one series, and so Britain's First Photo Album will offer viewers a look back on this astonishing visual record of our nation: at what has changed; at what remains the same, and ultimately, what it tells us about who we are today.
Britain's First Photo Album is a Reef Television production for BBC Two Daytime and supported by BBC Learning. The series was commissioned by Liam Keelan and the BBC executive producer is Gillian Scothern. For Reef the series producer is Stephen Taylor Woodrow and executive producer is Richard Farmbrough.
Notes to Editors
The Frith Collection is a nationally important private photographic archive containing over 365,000 photographs depicting some 7,000 towns and villages throughout Britain forming a topographical record of Britain.
Each show will have a fascinating mix of different stories, taking us on a journey across Britain