Last Night’s TV – Seven Ages of Britain

by Lynn Connolly

David Dimbelby took us by the hand and led us through the ‘interesting’ world of art and artefacts through the ages, and though I do have a soft spot for David Dimblebumblebee, this documentary failed to rouse my interest.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a philistine or perhaps it’s because I was tired, but whatever the reason, the only highlight for me came in seeing Dimblebumblebee hanging off a rope in his endeavour to check out a medieval painting that’s hanging in Coventry’s Holy Trinity Church.

And one has to admire his pluck; being 71 years old, it’s arguably a testament to his commitment to strive for the best in journalistic endeavour that he’d dangle 40ft up, particularly when he might more easily have simply had a camera-person zoom in on it.

However, he did get to travel around a lot to bring us these gems, so perhaps it’s not such a woeful lot after all. In Munich he paid homage to a stunning crown that once belonged to Richard II, and to be fair, I could see why he was inclined to evangelise about it – it was stunning.

We also got to see and hear about the process of making stained glass, and the rather surprising fact that at one time, the urine of a pre-pubescent ginger haired boy was considered to be the best for colouring glass. Dimblebumblebee just used vinegar instead, praise be.

And in Geddington, Dimblebumblebee even dabbled in a spot of marital couselling when elderly – and very sweet – couple Burt and Margaret opened their spousal hearts to him and told him they’d never had “flings or anything of that sort.”

He found out that nugget of info when playfully asking if Burt considered Margaret to be as “chaste” as both the Virgin Mary and Edward I’s wife, Eleanor. This was prompted after mutual admiration of a monument to the latter lady.

So, though I can’t honestly say I’d deliberately tune in again, it wasn’t without interesting moments, and during the aforementioned rope dangling, we did discover that David has an eclectic taste in socks. Good to know.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.