Ann Widdecombe to live as a working class Victorian in BBC1 reality show 24 Hours in the Past

The former Conservative politician joins fellow celebrities Tyger Drew-Honey, Alistair McGowan, Colin Jackson, Miquita Oliver and Zoe Lucker in the new history reality series

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The Strictly judges might have believed Ann Widdecombe’s dancing was straight out of the Dark Ages, but now the former politician really is going back in time (well, sort of) for new BBC1 history series 24 Hours in the Past.

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Widdecombe and five other celebrity time travellers will find out what it was like to live as a working class Victorian for a day. They will be denied all modern luxuries, and instead will have to survive all the grime and muck of 19th century Britain.

Outnumbered star Tyger Drew-Honey, comedian Alistair McGowan, ex-athlete Colin Jackson, presenter Miquita Oliver and actress Zoe Lucker will each spend four days working in four gruelling environments, from a Victorian rubbish tip to the workhouse.

They will eat, sleep, dress and work to match the period, and find out what life was really like for Victorian workers in a new “hard-core” history reality series, set to air later this year and billed as “living history as you’ve never seen it before, complete with rats, poo and rotting meat…”

Radio presenter Fi Glover will front the four-part BBC1 series, first announced by RadioTimes.com in November last year, while historian Ruth Goodman will judge the celebrities on how they cope with the period challenges.

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“24 Hours in the Past will bring living history to BBC1 in a hard-core way,” said BBC1 Controller Charlotte Moore. “Viewers will get up close and personal with what it was like to be poor in Victorian Britain in this new series, as these six famous faces travel back in time to undertake the endurance challenge of a lifetime.”