The Real George Orwell - Down and Out in Paris and London

Series 1 - Episode 1

Radio Times
Review by:
Tom Goulding

Hot on the heels of Animal Farm comes another treat for Orwell fans as Joseph Millson reads from one of the novelist’s earlier works.

Swapping allegory for memoir, this abridged ten-part series follows a younger, naive Orwell as he struggles to forge a living in two bustling hubs, first as a Parisian dishwasher and later as a resident of London’s infamous spikes.

As the son of a civil servant, the 1984 author may have grown up in relative privilege, but his first-hand account of 1920s poverty is often profound, sometimes revolutionary, and continues to resonate in these austere times.

About this programme

1/10. Written by George Orwell. An account of Orwell's years as a struggling writer in the French and English capitals, including his time as a dishwasher in Paris when he would survive on scraps from the kitchen. Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall. Read by Joseph Millson.

Cast and crew


Joseph Millson


Abridged By
Jane Marshall
Jane Marshall
George Orwell