Sir Trevor McDonald, Angela Rippon, Giles Coren, Len Goodman, David Harewood, Nick Knowles and Angela Scanlon will each champion one object in their bid to persuade the BBC Two audience to vote for the invention they are endorsing and see it win the title of Britain’s Greatest Invention.
The programme, which is produced in partnership with The Open University, will be broadcast live on BBC Two on 15 June from the Science Museum Group’s vast stores; a treasure trove of eight aircraft hangers near Swindon containing some of the UK’s most cherished inventions.
Presented by Dr Hannah Fry and automotive engineer Ant Anstead, the winning invention will be revealed at the end of the live programme and will go on to be celebrated in the Science Museum itself.
Food critic and journalist Giles Coren will champion the humble fridge, an invention that plays a crucial role in how healthy we are.
Train enthusiast and presenter Len Goodman will be an ambassador for the stream engine following his passion for trains since childhood, and will explore how steam turbines still generate 80per cent of the world’s power.
Having had TB when she was a child, Angela Rippon will be an ambassador for antibiotics, which has saved more than 200 million lives since its invention, whilst for actor David Harewood the jet engine, that keeps almost one million people in the air at any one time, is the most significant revelation of modern technology.
For Robot Wars presenter Angela Scanlon, the mobile phone is the winning invention because it uses a fantastic collaboration of multiple technologies, many of which are British, and sees us all on average spend 305 minutes of our day using it.
And for Nick Knowles, concrete is the most used material on earth and therefore deserves to win the title.
Sir Trevor McDonald is backing the television as the winning invention; when growing up in Trinidad it inspired him to pursue a career in broadcasting that has spanned four decades.
Battling it out in front of a live studio audience and surrounded by incredible objects from the Science Museum Group’s collections, each ambassador will champion their invention as the most influential, inviting the BBC Two audience to vote for their favourite during the live show.
We will also delve behind the scenes in the amazing Science Museum Group’s stores to discover a treasure trove of inventions, asking the viewer to help solve mysteries of some these objects, and even invite them to bring forward vital lost artefacts the Science Museum Group wants to add to its national collection.
Discovering items big and small, epic and seemingly humble, Britain’s Greatest Invention will be a celebration of our inventing past, asking the public to vote on which item they feel has most shaped our lives today.
Sir Trevor McDonald
Dr Hannah Fry
key behind the scenes crew
Jay Taylor as Executive Producer
15 June 2017 from 8.30pm-10.00pm
network and production companies
BBC Two – Thoroughly Modern Media – The Open University
Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)
In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.
Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966
Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)
Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white
Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)
Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989
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