The best TV and radio programmes in October for family history

By Rosemary Collins, 11 October 2018 - 2:49pm

We pick this month's best historic TV and radio programmes, including a celebration of Great Britain's craft history and the cast of Emmerdale revisiting the First World War

Steph McGovern Made in Great Britain craftspeople
Steph McGovern and a team of craftspeople discover the famous goods that were Made in Great Britain

Pick of the month

Made in Great Britain

From 26 October, 9pm, BBC Two

Steph McGovern will lead a team of four contemporary craftspeople in rediscovering Britain's manufacturing heritage. The BBC say the series will "reveal the incredible, surprising stories" of famous UK products such as Northampton shoes and Sheffield cutlery. The craftspeople will even have the chance to try their hand at making these goods using historic tools and documents.


Also showing

Emmerdale 1918

20 September-25 October, 8.30pm, ITV

Emmerdale stars discover the people who lived through the end of the First World War in the real-life Yorkshire village of Esholt. So far we've seen Mark Charnock, who plays chef Marlon Dingle, explore the experiences of First World War cook Fred Brocklehurst. Then Charlotte Bellamy uncovered a story of wartime love and loss at the Woolpack pub.

Who Do You Think You Are? Series 12

26 September-10 October, 2.45pm, BBC Two

Another chance to catch up with the 2015 series, featuring celebrities including Paul Hollywood, Derek Jacobi, Jerry Hall and more.

Living with the Empire

8-15 October, 8pm, Radio 4

Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng has long been a staunch critic of the British Empire. He argued in his book Ghosts of Empire that a lack of a strategic vision caused instability in the former imperial territories. This former Eton scholar and son of Ghanian immigrants discovers what people both abroad and at home think of postcolonial, post-Brexit Britain.

Jewish GIs of WWII

11 October, 9pm, PBS America

The USA entered the Second World War in 1941, and among the 16 million troops were 550,000 Jewish-Americans. For many, the struggle in Europe was in part a battle to save family members from the horrors of fascism. Those discussing their wartime experiences in this one-off documentary include Henry Kissinger and director Mel Brooks.


Time Travels

30 September-16 October, 7am on Sundays and 1.30pm on Tuesdays, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC iPlayer

Comedian and history enthusiast Susan Morrison returns with a fourth series looking at Scotland's rich past. She discovers Scotland's surprising connections to famous figures including abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell.

American History's Biggest Fibs

October, BBC Four

In this follow-up to British History's Biggest Fibs, Lucy Worsley turns her attention to the USA. She focuses on three stories that underpin America: the American Revolution, the Civil War and the nation's boom in the 1950s. Travelling from New York to Atlanta and from Boston to Arizona, Lucy tries to separate mythology from fact.

Family Footsteps

1-15 October, BBC One Northern Ireland BBC iPlayer

The Laughlins, an Ulster-Scots family, get a personal taste of their ancestors' lives. As they try their hands at running a 19th century farm, the family's grandfather traces their tree, uncovering a famous historic ancestor.

Miss Birdie's Letter

6 October, BBC Radio 3 

Poet Karen McCarthy Woolf travels to Jamaica tracing a letter sent to her grandmother.



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