Ration Book Britain

International supermodel Jodie Kidd and former Olympic tennis player Andrew Castle are joining TV chef Valentine Warner, to explore how the spirit of 1940s rationing affected all areas of British life during the Second World War.

Ration Book Britain, exclusive to Yesterday, will also hear first-hand wartime memories and tales of resilience and ingenuity, during what was a period of frugality.

Catwalk queen Jodie Kidd has strong family connections with the Second World War, as her great grandfather was Lord Beaverbrook, a key member of Churchill’s war cabinet. In this episode, she will explore how women on the home front had to ‘make do and mend’ when it came to furnishings and fashion, whilst being expected to look their best at all times, to help boost morale.

Under the guidance of an expert, she will learn how to apply make-up 1940s style, using cherry juice for blusher, beetroot for lipstick and tea bags, as an alternative to stockings, for when supplies ran low.

She will also look at how the nation managed to remain house proud as the bombs continued to fall and furniture became more difficult to find. Delving into the past, Jodie will visit the Geffrye Museum in London’s East End, where she will learn what it was like for newlyweds to build a home during this challenging time.

Former professional tennis player turned TV presenter, Andrew Castle will tell the unlikely story of how sport played an essential role in the war effort, by maintaining morale, keeping people fit and entertaining both the armed forces and civilians.

He will go on to meet medal winners from the 1948 Olympics, who triumphed over adversity when the games were staged in war-ravaged Britain.  Andrew will also travel to Herne Hill Velodrome to meet former Olympic champion Tommy Godwin. Here, he will go back in time as he takes to the track on Tommy’s trusted bicycle, the same one he rode to victory more than 60 years ago.

Following a successful one-off episode earlier this year, popular chef Valentine Warner will return to present two programmes in this new and exclusive Ration Book Britain series.

The first will see him discover how the government dealt with the monumental task of feeding troops who were locked in combat on the frontline in the four corners of the globe, leading to the creation of the Army Catering Corps. He will also get to grips with ration packs, build his own field kitchen and put his culinary skills to the test, as he recreates a typical ration meal for a group of World War Two veterans at Chelsea Royal Hospital.

In the second programme, he will explore how a typical wartime Christmas was celebrated on a shoestring budget, and how food rationing gave rise to some surprisingly inventive festive cooking. Included on his frugal menu are roast chicken with trimmings, Christmas pudding and a special wartime themed Christmas cake topped with mock marzipan.

Get set for a Christmas without the frills, as decorations were made from newspaper and presents including oranges were handed out at a time when everything was in short supply, and nothing was taken for granted.

Get into the British spirit of rationing with Ration Book Britain, new to Yesterday, the UK’s leading factual channel, weeknights at 9pm from Monday 13 December.

Ration Book Britain the series, new and exclusive to Yesterday, weeknights at 9pm from Monday 13 December.

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