BBC Two Daytime today announces it has commissioned a brand new 20 x 30-minute series Travels With Bradshaw (working title).

Commissioned by Liam Keelan, Controller, Daytime, for BBC Two, the series will be presented by Michael Portillo and is a TalkbackThames production.

In a series of epic train rides that criss-cross the length and breadth of Britain, Michael Portillo will chart the great British romance with the railways.

Passionate about trains, Portillo will follow in the footsteps of the cartographic legend George Bradshaw, who wrote the first national railway timetables and travel guides in the 1840s.

Armed with Bradshaw’s guide, he will travel all over the country to find out how much of Bradshaw’s Britain remains, see what’s changed and discover how our love-hate relationship with the railways all began.

Michael Portillo will retrace four of the epic journeys, for example Swindon to Penzance and Liverpool to Scarborough, which will be charted nightly across the week.

He will make regular stops along the way to visit the cities, villages and landmarks from Bradshaw’s guide.

He’ll meet up with a fascinating cross-section of the British public who live along those routes, hearing stories of how their lives have been shaped in some way by the railways.

Travels With Bradshaw will create a revealing portrait of Britain as it was in Bradshaw’s time, and how it is today, 150 years later.

Michael Portillo says: “Some of my earliest memories are of long overnight journeys from a smoky King’s Cross to Scotland. I have never quite lost my excitement at embarking on epic trips, whether at high speed or dawdling along branch lines.

“I enthuse about Victorian stations, tunnels and viaducts and I deeply admire those who built them. It will be a privilege to escort the viewing public as we retrace Bradshaw’s footsteps”

Liam Keelan says: “This series will delve right into the heart of one of the great British institutions – our railways. I’m delighted to have secured Michael Portillo to present this new series for BBC Daytime.”

Travels With Bradshaw is a 20 x 30-minute TalkbackThames production for BBC Two Daytime. Executive producers are Charlie Bunce and Camilla Lewis. The series producer is Fiona Caldwell. The BBC executive producer is Damian Kavanagh.
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