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Britain's Greatest Generation

  • Season 1
  • 4 episodes
  • History
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Episode 4: A Better World

Summary

A look at individuals who played their part in creating a more culturally diverse post-war Britain, including pioneering actor Earl Cameron, who broke through the colour bar in the film industry. Other well-known names also considered are gay rights activist George Montague, and Brian Rix, who has campaigned passionately on the issue of disability. Plus, Arctic Convoy survivor Austin Byrne and former prisoner of war Jim Purcell share their stories and memories of the era.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Talk about television to anyone over a certain age and sooner or later they’ll complain about intrusive background music. Ironic, then, that this otherwise superb series devoted to people now in their 90s is carpeted with the kind of by-the-yard emotional strings its own subjects would hate. And their stories need no help from a soundtrack. The final episode focuses on the postwar years, giving us oral-history snapshots (as well as actual snapshots, often poignant) of lives lived amid roiling social change.

Diana Athill talks of how she “stumbled” into the life of an independent woman. Actor Earl Cameron recalls his role in the first film that portrayed a mixed-race relationship. Actor Brian Rix recalls the birth of his Down’s syndrome daughter and being told by a doctor to “put her away, forget her, start again”. (He became a lifelong campaigner and president of Mencap.)

And self-styled “oldest gay in the village” George Montague describes how he married and started a family to please his mother: “I was living a complete lie.”

How to watch

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
ContributorBrian Rix
ContributorEarl Cameron
ContributorGeorge Montague

Crew

rolename
DirectorSteve Humphries
EditorAndy Attenburrow
ProducerSteve Humphries
ProducerAndy Attenburrow

All episodes

  • Episode 4

    A Better World

    Summary

    A look at individuals who played their part in creating a more culturally diverse post-war Britain, including pioneering actor Earl Cameron, who broke through the colour bar in the film industry. Other well-known names also considered are gay rights activist George Montague, and Brian Rix, who has campaigned passionately on the issue of disability. Plus, Arctic Convoy survivor Austin Byrne and former prisoner of war Jim Purcell share their stories and memories of the era.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    Talk about television to anyone over a certain age and sooner or later they’ll complain about intrusive background music. Ironic, then, that this otherwise superb series devoted to people now in their 90s is carpeted with the kind of by-the-yard emotional strings its own subjects would hate. And their stories need no help from a soundtrack. The final episode focuses on the postwar years, giving us oral-history snapshots (as well as actual snapshots, often poignant) of lives lived amid roiling social change.

    Diana Athill talks of how she “stumbled” into the life of an independent woman. Actor Earl Cameron recalls his role in the first film that portrayed a mixed-race relationship. Actor Brian Rix recalls the birth of his Down’s syndrome daughter and being told by a doctor to “put her away, forget her, start again”. (He became a lifelong campaigner and president of Mencap.)

    And self-styled “oldest gay in the village” George Montague describes how he married and started a family to please his mother: “I was living a complete lie.”

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    ContributorBrian Rix
    ContributorEarl Cameron
    ContributorGeorge Montague

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorSteve Humphries
    EditorAndy Attenburrow
    ProducerSteve Humphries
    ProducerAndy Attenburrow
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