Seven Ages of Britain (2010 TV series)

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Seven Ages of Britain
BBC Seven Ages of Britain title.png
The title card of Seven Ages of Britain
Genre Documentary
Written by David Dimbleby
Directed by Jonty Claypole
Presented by David Dimbleby
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 7 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Jonty Claypole
Running time 60 minutes
Original network BBC One
Picture format PAL (576i)
HDTV (1080i)
Original release 31 January – 21 March 2010
External links

Seven Ages of Britain is a BBC television documentary series written and presented by David Dimbleby. The seven part series was first aired on Sunday nights at 9:00pm on BBC One starting on 31 January 2010.

The series covers the history of Britain's greatest art and artefacts over the past 2000 years. Each episode covers a different period in British history. In Australia, all seven episodes aired on ABC1 each Tuesday at 8:30pm from 7 September 2010.[1]


Originally the series was to air in late 2009, but was later re-scheduled to early 2010.[2] The HD edition of the show aired on BBC HD and repeats aired on BBC Two.

In Summer 2009 artist Nathaniel Mellors was commissioned by the BBC to make a short "work of modern art" to introduce the final episode of the series. The resultant work The Seven Ages of Britain Teaser features Dimbleby voicing a silicon mask cast from his own face, alongside actors Gwendoline Christie ( as 'The Operator') and Johnny Vivash (as 'Kadmus').


Episode number Title Period covered Airdate Viewers
1 "Age of Conquest" AD 43 – 1066 31 January 2010 4.2 million (16%)[3]
2 "Age of Worship" 1170–1400 7 February 2010 4.3 million (16%)[4]
3 "Age of Power" 1509–1609 14 February 2010 4.5 million (17.1%)[5]
4 "Age of Revolution" 1603–1708 28 February 2010 4.4 million (16.5%)[6]
5 "Age of Money" 1700–1805 7 March 2010 3.82 million (14.2%)[7]
6 "Age of Empire" 1770–1911 14 March 2010 3.72 million (14.6%)[8]
7 "Age of Ambition" 1914 – Now 21 March 2010 3.347 million (12.6%)[9]

2003 Channel 4 series by the same title[edit]

Channel 4 had previously aired a series by the same title but covering a broader time period in 2003, presented by Bettany Hughes. The series has since been picked up by the Discovery Channel.


  1. ^ "ABC1 Programming Airdate: Seven Ages Of Britain (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  2. ^ "New arts series for BBC One, The Seven Ages Of Britain with David Dimbleby". BBC Press Office. 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  3. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (2010-02-01). "TV ratings: Andy Murray Australian Open defeat peaks above 6m viewers". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  4. ^ Conlan, Tara (2010-02-08). "TV ratings: Haiti single documentary draws 7.3m to ITV1". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  5. ^ Deans, Jason (2010-02-15). "TV ratings: More than 4m watch Gordon Brown interview". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  6. ^ "'Being Human' ends run with 1 million". DigitalSpy. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  7. ^ Deans, Jason (2010-03-08). "TV ratings: Wonders of the Solar System pulls in 2.8m". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  8. ^ "7 million see Danny Young exit 'DOI'". DigitalSpy. 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  9. ^ Plunkett, John (2010-03-22). "TV ratings: Nick Clegg interview polls just over 1m". London: DigitalSpy. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 

External links[edit]