North and South: Across the Great Divide

North and South: Across the Great Divide

Episode 1



Ian Marchant’s arrestingly-well-written introduction tells you that this documentary will be full of pleasant surprises. Marchant asks whether the dividing line between north
and south still exists, what it represents and, geographically, where it is. Just north of Watford, just south of Cleethorpes , or somewhere in the middle?

Half of an agile two-part travelogue later, the answer boils down not to class per se, but certainly to a concentration of money and power and a perception of a gulf between “us” and “them” that is deep-rooted but not indestructible. It’s more about the south-east than the south: if you’re reading this in Wales, Devon or Cornwall and feel more kinship with Guisborough than you do with Guildford, you’re not alone.


Part one of two. Ian Marchant explores the line Professor Danny Dorling of Sheffield University claims separates the north and south of England. It runs from Cleethorpes to Coventry, with clear economic differences for those on either side. Ian learns from people living on the line how the divide affects them, finds out how pies are marketed differently in the two areas from a former CEO of Greggs and meets North Lincolnshire councillor Rachel North to discuss degrees of southernness.