Britain on Film: This Sceptred Isle

Series 1 - Episode 7 Britain on Film: This Sceptred Isle



This oddity of a series, which shows in crisp colour what we Brits were getting up to 50 years ago, turns its gaze to a whole host of festive customs: be they May Day fertility dances in the streets of Padstow (long before Rick Stein set up his seafood empire there) or morris dancing outside a soot-caked St Paul’s Cathedral.

Cameras follow student rag week in Sheffield and Manchester, where the most startling activity is a pipe-smoking contest.

Meanwhile, ordinary folk flock to stately homes (Woburn Abbey) and scoff jellied eels at Epsom Derby Day while, somewhat randomly, Carry On star Sid James narrates an elephant’s visit to a greengrocer’s.


Documentary examining Look at Life's coverage of eccentric British traditions, customs and rituals, revealing how the programme managed to capture the efforts of those determined to preserve the nation's more peculiar ways of life.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer David Okuefuna
Producer Sarah Metcalfe