Return to Forgotten Britain

Return to Forgotten Britain

Series 1 - Episode 1



Those of us who live in towns and cities have fairly vague ideas of what life is like for a dairy farmer in Cornwall, say. We hear about issues like bovine TB or supermarket prices putting farms out of business, but it takes a programme like this to make those issues human and real and moving.

Fergal Keane revisits families he first met for a documentary 12 years ago, when both the Baileys in Cornwall and the Roberts family in Wales were facing daunting odds to keep any kind of income. Over the course of an hour we learn how they have survived since, in an ultimately uplifting tale.


Part one of two. Fergal Keane revisits people he met for his 2000 documentary Forgotten Britain, in which he travelled to hard-pressed areas seemingly left out of a new age of prosperity. He returns to Cornwall to find out how struggling tenant farmers Ben and Jackie Bailey have managed in the intervening years. Fergal also heads to Cwmpenanner in north Wales for a reunion with Gwlithyn Roberts, who was battling loneliness and depression to make the best out of life for her family, as her husband Arwyn worked long hours on their farm in the aftermath of the BSE crisis.