In this new outing of the factual series, which traces the social and political history of Britain through the inhabitants of a single home, David Olusoga uncovers stories of the varied residents of a terraced house in Newcastle’s West End.
Tracing the residents’ stories from the 1820s to the present day, he uncovers real-life drama ranging from burglary to bigamy, as well as colourful characters including a vengeful lawyer, a scientist faced with financial ruin, and a doctor entangled in a workhouse scandal.
David Olusoga says: “I was brought up on Tyneside, so coming to the North East to film the second series was coming home. I am as proud of my North East roots as my African heritage and think of myself a Nigerian Geordie.
“In the last series, viewers got a glimpse of Liverpool’s glorious history as well as the turbulent times of the 1970s and 1980s. I wanted to do the same for Newcastle and present a fair and honest portrait of a city which has a global footprint and a global history.
“This series, as far as I’m concerned, is a love letter to the North East. I hope viewers are reminded of all we have been through in the past, what the generations before us achieved and all they went through to build a region we have today.”
In episode one, David visits the Georgian end-of-terrace property on Ravensworth Terrace in Newcastle. The current owners know little of their home’s history, but with its grand fireplaces and lofty proportions, the house offers a tantalising glimpse into the past.
Through the years the house has experienced huge changes in status. It was built in the 1820s for the middle classes and the occupants reflected that. Episode One traces three well-to-do households through times of financial turmoil and epidemic disease.
Episode two tracks the house from the 1860s to the 1900s as David discovers a tragic story of scandal and untimely death and sees the house reinvented as a refuge for homeless girls.
In episode three, David examines the history of the house through the First World War, while the final episode reveals dramatic cases of bigamy and divorce.
A House Through Time is commissioned by Simon Young and produced by Twenty Twenty Television for BBC Two. The four-part series is due to air this spring (TX details TBC).