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Michael Portillo returns with the 12th series of Great British Railway Journeys

Book a seat on your sofa. Michael Portillo returns today with the 12th series of Great British Railway Journeys

First episode details revealed

Michael Portillo will kick off the series tonight at 6.30 pm on BBC2. In this episode, Michael travels from Oxford to Abingdon.

In Oxford, he visits Somerville College to hear how pioneering crystallographer Dorothy Hodgkin became the only British woman to win a Nobel prize for chemistry. Meanwhile, fashion fan Michael can’t resist a visit to Walters & Co, the home of the famous Oxford bags trousers.

On the outskirts of the city at Garsington Manor, he discovers the secrets of the risqué Bloomsbury set who enjoyed a louche life between the wars. At the manor Lady Ottoline entertained a group of famous artists and writers. They shocked the nation with their bohemian behaviour and nude frolics.

His next stop is Culham, where from 1929 the classic British sports car, the MG was built. Michael is keen to hear the history of the car and enjoys a spin in a classic 1938 MG VA.

What’s in store in the rest of the series

The 12th series of Michael Portillo’s very popular BBC2 series Great British Railway Journeys, sees him travelling around the UK during Covid restrictions. The theme of this year’s shows is Britain between the world wars and armed with his trusty 1930s Bradshaw’s guide, he will see how the railways fared during this tumultuous time.

During 15 weekly episodes of the 12th series of Great British Railway Journeys. Michael explores how Britain fared between the wars. Highlights of the show include a visit to Farnborough to discover the history of its famous air show. Michael also hears the history of Mars confectionary in Slough, home to the famous Mars Bar.

On a trip around East Anglia, he applauds the work of the women’s land army. And on a nostalgic trip to Cambridge, he remembers his own college days with tales of future MPs including Margaret Thatcher and spies.