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Documentary following a family who give up their modern lives for one summer to experience what life was like for Caribbeans who immigrated to Britain in the postwar period.

A family give up their modern lives for one summer to experience what life was like for Caribbeans who immigrated to Britain in the postwar period.

Beginning in 1948, the year the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury and discharged its passengers, the Irwin family travel through the 1950s and 60s, guided by presenter Giles Coren and social historian Emma Dabiri who introduce them to their new homes as well as the events of the time. Along the way the Irwins discover the food, work and entertainment of first-generation immigrants making their lives in Brixton.

In 1959, the whole family get a lesson in 1950s steel pan from EastEnders star Rudolph Walker, and in 1962, dad Weininger gets some fashion tips from 60s singer Kenny Lynch. In 1966, mum Janice embraces her role as a nurse at a time when the NHS recruited directly in the West Indies for staff.

As the family's living situation improves over the years, they decide to see the 60s out with a blues party.

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 16 Jun 2020 23:30

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Music Played

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

  • 00:03

    Horace Andy


  • 00:04

    The Jamaican Calypsonians

    Mango Walk / Give Me Back Me Shilling / Mr Parney / Sweetie Charlie

  • 00:05

    Sound Dimension

    Drum Song

  • 00:08

    The Jamaican Calypsonians

    Mary's Lamb / The More We Are Together

  • 00:08

    Hubert Porter & The Tower Islanders

    Hold 'Im Joe

  • 00:11

    Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

    Ration Blues

  • 00:12

    Count Owen & His Calypsonians

    Take Her To Jamaica

  • 00:13

    Lord Kitchener

    London Is The Place For Me

  • 00:16

    Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

    Reet, Petite and Gone

  • 00:17

    Lord Kitchener

    Sweet Jamaica

  • 00:21

    Lord Kitchener

    Saxophone no 2

  • 00:28

    The Platters

    Shake It Up Mambo

  • 00:29

    Harold Richardson and The Ticklers

    Parish Gal

  • 00:32

    The Jaynetts

    I Wanted To Be Free

  • 00:34

    Elmore James

    Dust My Broom

  • 00:35

    Elmore James

    She Just Won't Do Right

  • 00:36

    Count Lasher & His Calypsonians

    Calypso Cha Cha Cha

  • 00:40

    Bo Diddley


  • 00:42

    Andy Capp

    Pop A Top

  • 00:45

    The Coasters

    Wake Me, Shake Me

  • 00:46

    The Duke Reid Band

    Strolling In

  • 00:46

    The Wailers

    Simmer Down

  • 00:48

    John Barry

    Twist It

  • 00:49

    Sam Cooke

    A Change Is Gonna Come

  • 00:51

    Jimmy Cliff

    Miss Jamaica

  • 00:55

    Thomas McCook & The Skatalites

    Silver Dollar 

  • 00:59

    Eric “Monty” Morris

    Penny Reel


Role Contributor
Presenter Giles Coren
Presenter Emma Dabiri
Participant Kenny Lynch
Participant Rudolph Walker
Participant Paul Stephenson
Participant Donald Hinds
Executive Producer Emma Hindley
Series Producer Nancy Bornat
Director Geoff Small
Producer Carl Callam


  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 21:00
  • Wed 23 Nov 2016 00:15
  • Wed 23 Nov 2016 00:45
  • Sat 17 Dec 2016 02:05
  • Wed 26 Jun 2019 23:15
  • Thu 17 Oct 2019 00:00
  • Tue 16 Jun 2020 23:30

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