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Episode 1 of 6

Historical cooking show. A British family experiences 1950s life, including a diet of dried eggs, dripping and liver prepared in a basic kitchen. Presented by Giles Coren.

One British family embark on an extraordinary time-travelling adventure to discover how a post-war revolution in the food we eat has transformed the way we live. Starting in 1950 and guided by real records of what ordinary families ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they will go from meagre rations to ready meals and delivery pizza in just six weeks.

The family's own home becomes their time machine and, in this first episode, travels back to 1950 - so it's goodbye open-plan living, hello formal dining room and poky kitchen with the most basic facilities.

Guided by presenter Giles Coren, food historian Polly Russell and the National Food Survey (an extraordinary collection of food diaries from the last 50 years), the family can only consume the food of the period - cue a diet of dried eggs, national bread, dripping and liver. 'We've just eaten the grimmest meal I've ever tasted.' And taking on the roles of the period, it's mum doing all the cooking, while dad is banished to the hearthside with a pipe and slippers...

The family mood is lightened by the end of rationing in 1954, heralding the consumer boom of the late 50s - Mary Berry sells them an electric oven on hire purchase (a job she actually used to do in the 1950s!) and mum discovers that, with all the new food, fads and gadgets on offer, cooking gets a lot more complicated...

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 1 Sep 2020 15:15

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Émile Waldteufel & Ondrej Lenárd

    Les Patineurs Op.183 (The Iceskaters)

  • Eddie Cochran

    Instrumental Blues

  • Mickey Champion

    Bam A Lam

  • Lena Horne

    Prisoner of Love

  • Eddie Calvert

    Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White

  • Konrad Elfers

    Sentimental Blues

  • The Everly Brothers

    Bye Bye Love

  • Adolph Deutsch

    Sugar Blues

  • Ronald Stein

    Sweet and Cool

  • Eileen Barton

    If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked A Cake

  • Doris Day

    A Woman's Touch

  • Anton Karas

    Harry Lime Theme (The Third Man)

    Performer: Anton Karas.
  • Monty Babson

    Brand New Feeling

  • Perry Como

    Magic Moments

  • Eddie Cochran

    C'mon Everybody

  • George Chase


  • Jackie Wilson

    Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want To Meet)

  • Ted Heath & His Orchestra

    Hot Toddy

  • The Kinks

    You Really Got Me

  • The Royaltones

    Poor Boy

  • Lionel Hampton

    Flying Home

  • Ernie Fields Orchestra

    In the Mood

  • Glenn Miller

    Moonlight Serenade

  • Chuck Berry

    School Day

  • Lee Allen & His Band

    Walkin' With Mr Lee

  • 00:11

    Percy Faith

    Theme from A Summer Place

  • 00:23

    Eileen Barton With The New Yorkers

    If I Knew You Were Coming I'd've Baked A Cake

  • 00:29

    Chuck Berry

    School Day (Ring Ring Goes The Bell)

  • 00:33

    Anton Karas

    The Harry Lime Theme

  • 00:55

    The Shadows

    Dance On


Role Contributor
Presenter Giles Coren
Participant Polly Russell
Participant Mary Berry


Back in Time...

Back in Time...

Families travel back in time to experience how food, leisure and society has transformed.