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The New British Empire

Dominic Sandbrook explores British postwar culture, examining how culture has become Britain's newest export and a key part of our identity.

Like the industrial revolution before it, our postwar culture is a success story built on geographical opportunism and an indefatigable entrepreneurial spirit. Just as the industrial revolution transformed British society, creating new wealth and a thriving mill-owning middle class, so too have money, marketing flair and creative invention underpinned our cultural development. It is, after all, a development that has been driven by a handful of inventive, single-minded, and savvy entrepreneurs, from J Arthur Rank to Brian Epstein and Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

In the first episode in the series, Dominic examines the way in which culture has become our newest export and a key part of our identity on the world stage. He argues that it is an industry every bit as much as shipbuilding or textile production - a commodity that has been manufactured, marketed and exported. And, like the industrial revolution, ours is a cultural revolution that has flourished in the old industrial regions and has drawn heavily on the former connections of empire. London may be a global cultural capital, but British culture owes as much to the industrial north and the echoes of our imperial past as it does to south east England.

59 minutes

Last on

Thu 29 Sep 2016 00:15

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Role Contributor
Presenter Dominic Sandbrook
Writer Dominic Sandbrook
Series Producer Alexander Leith
Director Alexander Leith
Executive Producer Steve Condie
Production Company Oxford Scientific Films


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  • Thu 29 Sep 2016 00:15