Westminster Abbey

Series 1 - Episode 1

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

Westminster Abbey has been the venue for 16 royal weddings, including that of Prince William to Kate Middleton last year. For many of us these are probably the only occasions we’ve seen inside.

This absorbing three-part documentary (first shown last December)

gives us a chance to do more than admire the Abbey’s formal façade by exploring the inner workings of this unique institution, recording the daily rhythms of the liturgical calendar and revealing how its 15 full-time staff maintain the fabric of the building. It takes rather more people – 250 – to oversee the Abbey’s spiritual mission.

They all, whether plumber, chorister, publicity officer or Dean, obviously adore the place, but it’s Ptolemy Dean, the 19th Surveyor of the Fabric whose job it is to ensure the conservation of this World Heritage site, who is most in love. Judging by the constant grin on his face, he thinks he’s got the best job in the world.

About this programme

1/3. Documentary taking a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of Britain's most historic institutions. Dean of Westminster the Very Rev Dr John Hall talks about the building's history and its close relationship with the monarchy as well as offering an insight into its spiritual life. There are interviews with some well-known faces attending services, including musicians Rufus Wainwright and Hugh Masekela, and an insight into the daily life of the 30 boys who attend the choir school.

Cast and crew

Crew

Executive Producer
Leonie Jameson
Series Producer
Flavia Rittner
Categories
Documentary

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