Director: Titus Ogilvy
Starring: Michael Portillo
Production Company: Boundless West
Kent Locations Used: Canterbury, Maidstone, Chartwell House in Westerham
Great British Railway Journeys (2010-) is a documentary series in which Michael Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country by train referring to his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide stopping at places of interest.
Produced by Boundless West for the BBC, the episode is directed by Titus Ogilvy with John Comerford as Executive Producer.
In episode 11 Michael Portillo takes a journey from Canterbury to Alexandra Palace exploring the east of England in the inter-war period. Beginning in Canterbury, Michael treads the boards as he uncovers the political message behind a play published in 1936 ABOUT the 12th-century murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket.
In Maidstone, Michael learns of the international origins of the most British symbol of remembrance at the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal before paying his respects at a war memorial based on London’s Cenotaph.
Michael stopped off in Sevenoaks and travelled to nearby Westerham where he visited the country home of one of his political heroes, Sir Winston Churchill and discovers how the 1930s were wilderness years at Chartwell.
Canterbury is a vibrant City that offers a variety of locations ranging from the modern day city, parks and open spaces, historic streets and the world heritage site of Canterbury Cathedral. Canterbury is a popular filming location and has previously been used as a location for filming for Britain’s Christmas Story (2019) and Britain’s Great Cathedrals with Tony Robinson (2018).
As the county town of Kent Maidstone plays an important part in Kent’s history. The River Medway runs though the town centre linking it with other towns such as Rochester and Chatham. The Borough of Maidstone is a popular town for filming, previous productions include Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 (2018) and popular Netflix show Black Mirror.
Chartwell House, Churchill’s former home. Set in delightful gardens, Chartwell is a National Trust property in Westerham, just outside Sevenoaks, and the rooms remain much as they were when Churchill lived there. Chartwell has previously been used as a film location by productions such as Flog It! (2014) and feature film Darkest Hour (2018).
Episode 11 Canterbury to Alexandra Palace airs on BBC Two at 6:30pm on Monday 20th January 2020.
For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.