Portillo’s Great British Railway Journey… to Charlton

You might have seen the return of Michael Portillo’s wonderful BBC2 series Great British Railway Journeys, in which the hardline politician-turned-genial conversationalist tours the nation with just a battered copy of a Victorian railway guide, to see how the trains have changed Britain.

Tuesday’s instalment was all about the capital – Waterloo to Canary Wharf. But where he actually ended up was Charlton; chatting in the Anchor & Hope beer garden, going out on a barge from the nearby Cory yard, and musing aloud on the London-bound platform at Charlton station. Well, we’ve all done that, haven’t we?

I’m told there’s a few inaccuracies in his description of riverside life, but on the whole the programme’s a great watch – indeed, it’s a fascinating series. If you missed last night’s programme, you can watch it again on BBC iPlayer.

9 thoughts on “Portillo’s Great British Railway Journey… to Charlton

  1. Charlton Lane Dave January 5, 2011 / 18:08

    Maybe it’s the shirt but he looks like he’s missed the winter in the UK if the colour of his face is anything to go by. Something a genial conversationalist could do but not a hardline nasty Tory. Proof that there’s life after a humiliating election defeat.

  2. Nat January 8, 2011 / 14:36

    Fascinating stuff – not sure I’d enjoy an episode not about London so much.

    Quite recent too judging by the state of the building over the post office!

  3. dennis chandler January 26, 2011 / 19:42

    I enjoyed the first series, this second series is even better, Michael makes you want to go and catch a train to the towns that he visits and to check out their local history makes me feel proud of being British, well done and thank you BBC for a fine programme.

  4. John S Baker January 28, 2011 / 12:08

    We have very much enjoyed series two of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys and are wondering if it is possible to obtain DVD’s of the series.


    John S Baker

  5. Kaydee Knox February 17, 2011 / 02:40

    I agree, this has been a fantastic series – at least as good as the first. The first series was recently issued on DVD and I’m sure this will be too within the next few months.

  6. David Lloyd March 4, 2011 / 19:44

    A great series. Very enjoyable. Looking forward to the next. I particularly like the Scottish trip, but every episode worth watching. Thanks.

  7. G Luff July 12, 2011 / 19:31

    Both series we have found to be not only informative but also thoroughly enjoyable. MP comes across as a very likeable person, totally at ease with everyone and they with him. Love to have a third series.

  8. Cday December 22, 2011 / 18:34

    Does anyone know where the big viaduct bridge is that is shown at the beginning on the opening titles?

  9. Roger Kerridge January 10, 2012 / 20:19

    For a non avid TV watcher I find this programme enthralling. The combination of good research, fascinating local history and genuinely enthusiastic presentation by Michael Portillo makes for some of the best viewing in years. I’d be interested to know the viewing stats. Please don’t stop after this series.

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