Episode 1

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Episode 1 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

Three-part documentary series detailing life of the new aristocracy over Chatsworth's entire 2011 season. For the first time ever, the palace of the peaks, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, has opened its doors to the cameras for a whole year. It is a unique opportunity to take an in-depth glimpse of life upstairs and downstairs in the 21st century.

The first programme joins the 12th duke and duchess as the house is being prepared to open to the public. It is the busiest time of year for the house staff and everyone has a role to play - even the duke and duchess, as they join the annual litter pick around the estate.

2011 sees the six month probation period of the youngest and very first female head guide, Heather Redmond. Will she win over the 60-strong guide team, some of whom have worked at Chatsworth since before she was born, and get the job for keeps?

Chatsworth's award-winning farm shop is presided over by manager Andre Birkett. Man and boy he has worked for the family, starting in the kitchens of the house. He is now responsible for 120 staff and an annual turnover of over five million pounds. But there are always new challenges for Andre, and it is a first for him as he has to deal with a pair of discarded underpants in the cistern of the farm shop toilets.

As winter turns to spring it is lambing season on the estate's 62 farms, and farm manager Ian Turner, who has 32 years service under his belt, takes us on a tour of the farm, where we get to see first-hand a sheep adopting a rejected lamb.

For four and a half centuries Chatsworth has been owned by one family, and for one year we have been there to bring you an exclusive insight into the real-life Downton Abbey.

More episodes

See all episodes from Chatsworth

Credits

Executive Producer
Alexander Gardiner
Executive Producer
Andrew Nicholson
Executive Producer
Andrew Nicholson
Writer
Patrick Uden

Broadcasts

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