Channel 4 have commissioned Fortress Britain, a 4×60’ series from IWC Media (a Banijay UK company), in conjunction with independent producers Dom Bowles and Theo Williams.
Presented by Professor Alice Roberts, Dr Onyeka Nubia and Professor Dan George, Fortress Britain looks at key moments in British history where the country has been under threat of foreign invasion, and identifies the physical reminders that remain to this day.
While some invaders succeeded, others failed; some didn’t ever get near British soil, but nearly every threat has left its mark. From mighty Tudor forts on the South coast and giant WWII tank traps hiding in plain sight behind a leisure centre in Guildford to Norman castles that have stood for a thousand years and the giant network of tunnels outside Fife intended to help the nation survive a nuclear attack, the physical reminders of the threats posed to Britain over the centuries pepper our towns and countryside.
Each episode will unpick the myriad threats from a different would-be force of invaders, looking at who, what, how, why and when. Alice will be based at the Fortress Britain hub in Walmer Castle, where she will be joined by leading experts who’ll set the scene for each period, introduce the key historical players and showcase some extraordinary historical artefacts. Onyeka and Dan will be travelling the length and breadth of the UK visiting the buildings, battlefields and ruins that tell the story of Britain’s struggle against invasion.
Dominic Bowles, Series Producer / Director said:
“As an island nation with an inconvenient habit of falling out with our neighbours, Britain has a unique history which has resulted in an almost constant obsession with threat of invasion from the continent. What’s truly amazing is that so many physical reminders of those threats, both perceived and real, remain to this day.”
Mark Downie, Creative Director of IWC Media, added:
“We’re delighted to be making another new series with Professor Alice Roberts. No-one is better at making British history accessible and relevant for contemporary audiences. Combined with Dr Onyeka Nubia and Professor Dan George we’ve assembled an exceptional team.”
Emily Shields, Channel 4 commissioner:
“We’re delighted to be working with Professor Alice Roberts and the team on this brand new series that sheds new light on the history that’s all around us. Visiting some glorious locations all around the country and packed with fascinating detail about four key moments in British history this series is a real treat.”
Fortress Britain is a co-production between IWC (a Banijay UK company), Brainchild Productions and Brightside Media. It will be executive produced by Mark Downie for IWC, Dominic Bowles is Series Producer / Director and Theo Williams is Associate Producer. Nick Adey is Development Executive. Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 is Emily Shields.