Return To Forgotten Britain

8:00pm Sunday 2 December on BBC TWO

BBC Foreign correspondent Fergal Keane revisits the acclaimed documentary series Forgotten Britain, in which he took a journey to see how some of Britain’s most hard-pressed communities were coping at the turn of the millennium.

Now, with Britain battling to get out of recession, Fergal is retracing his steps to find out what happened to the inspiring families and individuals he met then and how they are managing today.

In episode two, Fergal returns to the cities of Glasgow and Leeds.

In Govan, Fergal is reunited with welder John Brown who, with his workmates, fought to save the shipyard from closure 12 years ago. With the yard’s future again in doubt, Fergal finds John determined to battle adversity once more.

Fergal also goes back to the Lincoln Green housing estate in Leeds, where he discovers that Liz Craig, a champion of the estate has died, but catches up with her family. While the area has benefited from extensive regeneration, have the fortunes of her grandson Shane, a 22-year-old father of four, changed with it?

Ep 2/2

8:00pm Sunday 25 November on BBC TWO

At the turn of the millennium, renowned BBC foreign correspondent Fergal Keane took a journey closer to home. As many in Blair’s Britain were beginning to enjoy the longest boom in British history, Fergal travelled across the UK to meet people for whom this time of hope seemed just a distant dream.

His journey sparked the critically acclaimed documentary series Forgotten Britain, introducing viewers to places seemingly forgotten in the new age of prosperity. From the wilds of Cornwall to Glasgow’s shipyards, from a Leeds housing estate to the mountains of North Wales, Fergal found hard-pressed communities where people were struggling to cope in the face of adversity.

Twelve years on, with Britain battling to get out of a deep recession, Fergal is retracing his steps for Return To Forgotten Britain, to find out what happened to the inspiring families he met then, and how they are managing today.

For episode one of this moving and uplifting two-part documentary series, Fergal returns to Cornwall to visit the Baileys. In 2000, viewers witnessed tenant farmers Ben and Jackie tearfully selling their dairy herd as farming faced its biggest crisis in half a century and the couple’s debts spiralled. Despite their situation, this engaging couple were determined to fight back. Twelve years on, with beef farmers now struggling in the face of the TB scare, will Fergal find that fortune has favoured the brave?

Fergal also returns to ?Cwmpenanner in north Wales, the home of a Welsh-speaking farming community, proud of its identity. Fergal is re-united with Gwlithyn Roberts, who was battling loneliness and depression, but determined to make the best of life for her family, as husband Arwyn worked impossible hours in the aftermath of the BSE crisis. At the time Gwlithyn described their situation as ‘a big black hole’. As Fergal visits their sheep farm once more, with farming becoming an ever smaller sector of the economy, he wants to find out whether the stoic yet warm woman and her young family survived their struggle.

Presenter – Fergal Keane; series producer and director – Alice Perman; executive producer – Sam Collyns

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