BBC2 will be airing the twelfth series of Michael Portillo’s new TV show Great British Railway Journeys this Spring. This is what we know so far…
Because of the Covid crisis, Michael Portillo could only film in the UK in 2020. ‘We are restricting filming to the UK,’ he told The Telegraph. ‘but we have been given the go-ahead for further series stretching into next year, so we are considering our options.
‘In the medium term, that might be Egypt and Belarus. In the longer term, China and Japan. I am always thinking about where our train journeys may take us in the future.’
Filming through Covid
Michael and his team had to work hard to find railways and locations in Britain where everyone involved could be filmed safely. And despite the severe restrictions, he managed to do this with his usual wit and aplomb.
Fans of the show will be pleased to see that Michael’s wardrobe is as bright and fun as always.
What you’ll see on Great British Railway Journeys
Michael filmed this series during lock-down which bought some filming challenges but he still managed to travel around the country to see some of Britain’s best-loved railways.
In September last year, Michael visited Rhyl’s Miniature Railway. He spoke at length to the train’s staff about the history of the line, the fun fairs and the locomotives. He also enjoyed a train ride around Marine Lake. It was a sunny day when he visited the site so it will be shown in its full glory.
Lock-down made filming very difficult so in one episode Michael goes slightly off tangent and visits the Sandford Mills Museum in Essex.
The museum houses the famous ‘Writtle Hut’, home of the first BBC radio station. It made its debut on 14 February 1922 and in the show Michael gets to try it out himself, just ahead of its centenary.